Frequently Asked Questions
RELENTLESS Fishing Charter Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Do you charge by the person or by the charter?
- How many anglers can fish on board the RELENTLESS?
- Can we share or split the boat with other people?
- Is there a restroom on board the boat?
- What about tipping the mate?
- Will I need a fishing license?
- So, how much does it cost?
- Why should I book the “RELENTLESS”?
- Can I keep the fish I catch?
- What If I’ve never fished before?
- What about bait and tackle?
- What type of payment do you accept?
- How do I make a reservation for my trip?
- What is included in the charter price of the boat?
- What time do we need to show up at the boat?
- How far will we run before we get to fish?
- What kind of fish will we catch?
- When is the best time of year to go fishing?
- What kind of tackle will we use?
- Can I bring my own personal tackle?
- What if I want a mount of my fish for my home or office wall?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What about rough weather?
- What about safety equipment and your qualifications?
- What do I need to bring on board with me for my day of fishing?
- What if we want to snorkel or dive?
Why should I book the “RELENTELSS”?
Consistency, experience and service. The “RELENTLESS” was specifically built for fishing right here in Key West. It is not a converted yacht pretending to be a fishing boat. The crew is well-trained, qualified and competent. Our goal in business is repeat clientele. The only way to create a solid customer base that returns year after year is to run the best trip possible every trip out.
Is that price per person?!? No. Although we sometimes can work out sharing the RELENTELSS with other anglers (say if you are here for a few days and we can find another couple AND if we can get a good phone number so we can get a hold of you when we do find them). But usually we do only private charters. The price is for the private charter; it is the same whether it is one person or 6. Just like renting a car, they don’t ask how many people you have riding with you.
How many anglers can I fish? All Sport fishing Charter boats are limited to six paying passengers. Besides that being the law, we find that is about the maximum amount of anglers we can accommodate and still provide good service. Please don’t ask me to break this Federal Law. I don’t want to have to make French fries for a living…
Can we share or “split” the boat with other people? Sometimes if we get plenty of notice. Most of our charters are private. As a Captain, I want to be able to concentrate on running a quality fishing trip. I don’t want to be in the position of referee between customers over who catches the next fish, who drank my beer, or why aren’t we fishing for groupers instead of sailfish, etc. Sharing a sport fishing charter is like going to a 5 star restaurant and sharing a table with strangers for 8 hours. You wouldn’t even consider it in a restaurant, so think twice about sharing a charter boat.
There are many charter boats in Key West that do book “splits.” I could definitely make more money that way. If I charge $600 for a private half day, I could charge $150 per person for 6 people and make a lot more money. Remember, you get what you pay for. But, bottom line, we would rather just take your crew and cater to you exclusively.
What about tipping: AKA gratuity? Tipping is not mandatory, but greatly appreciated. Remember, the mate works for tips just like a bartender or waiter. 20% of the charter price in cash is customary. Most of a mate’s income comes from tips. The “Absolut” uses only experienced professional mates and they are almost always Captains in their own right. If you have trouble working out a tip, ask the Captain. It is not customary to tip the Captain, but if you feel he went above and beyond, he won’t turn them down.
Is rain gear necessary? RELENTLESS has a cabin to retreat to in case it rains. Usually, off-shore, it rarely rains for more than a few minutes and we can move the boat away from bad weather. Since it is the tropics, rarely do we lose a day completely to rain. Like we say, “This is Florida, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes!”
What experience level is necessary? Absolutely none. We frequently get anglers that have never caught a fish. We will guide you every step of the way and rarely make fun of you. That’s the beauty of a high-end charter, all you need is money!
How do I make a reservation for my trip? As soon as you have a date in mind, pick up the phone and call; or email and make sure that day is available. A deposit of $200 will be needed to hold all reservations… yes, even for our friends, it is a business and everyday lost is a big impact to us. Deposits are most easily taken right over the phone with a credit card handy.
What time do we need to arrive at the boat? Arriving 15 minutes prior to departure time is appropriate. We do like to leave in a timely fashion to get to the fish before the other boats, but we won’t leave without you!
How far will we run before we get to fish? We usually run about a half hour to 40 minutes. It’s about 6-7 miles to get to 100 feet of water. Remember, we are docked centrally on the island of Key West, not a 25-minute drive up the Keys like other boats.
What kind of fish will we catch? We have a huge variety of fish here in the Florida Keys. Depending on the time of year and your luck, we have trips where we catch up to 10 different species. Please see our fishing calendar (coming soon).
When is the best time of year to go fishing? Whenever you can go. We fish year round, 225 plus trips. We always catch something, which is the beauty of fishing in Key West! See our fishing calendar for Key West waters (coming soon).
What kind of tackle will we use? We use all Shimano and Penn reels, and Star rods. 12 to 80 pound class. Mostly, we use 30 pound for trolling; it’s heavy enough to land almost any fish in our waters, but light enough to make it sporting.
Can I bring my own personal tackle? Sure, but why not abuse our rods and lose our tackle instead? But seriously, we don’t mind you bringing your favorite rod or lure; it always makes the catch more rewarding. Please let us know ahead of time so the mate can make preparations.
Can I keep the fish I catch? On “RELENTLESS” all fish belong to the customer. We never try to talk you out of the fish that you paid to catch. Part of the mate’s job is to clean your catch, bag and ice it. Most restaurants in Key West will cook your catch and there’s nothing like eating what you caught, especially if you like fresh fish! Remember, we do respect all local fish and game laws, please don’t ask us to keep illegal fish. Remember, it is called Sport Fishing. Don’t put your stomach before your fun!
What if I want a mount of my fish? We are representatives for Gray Taxidermy, the largest saltwater taxidermist in the world. We would be happy to arrange mounts of your catch. All billfish mounts are release only. We take care of fish preparation for shipping and remember if you have a business, ask your accountant about deducting fish mounts as a business expense!
What is your cancellation policy? We require a $200 dollar deposit to book a charter. You can also mail us a check for the deposit as long as it is received in a timely fashion (5 days). Bring credit card, cash or travelers checks for balance of payment day of the trip. Personal checks accepted only in advance and must be cleared ahead of time. Only one charge card per trip. Multiple cards will require me to charge the 7.5% sales tax for the State of Florida.
If the client “no shows” at the marina at the time and date of the booking, the full charge will be made to the card. If customer cancels within 48 hours, the reservations full charge will apply. $200 deposit is non-refundable, that’s the definition of a deposit. We are not responsible for seasickness refunds, so please take precautions. Hangovers don’t qualify as the “flu.” Rain is not a reason for cancellation. If the Captain cancels the charter there is no charge and deposit will be refunded. Please remember, this is our livelihood. If you get drunk the night before and blow us off, we lose that entire day.
What about bad weather? The “RELENTLESS” is a 43 foot, full-time Sport Fishing charter boat in Key West. We rarely lose days to bad or rough weather. I generally say we can run in wind speeds up to 30 knots or 6-8 foot seas. In case of rough weather, we do have other options. Moving the charter to the next day available, going bottom fishing in the shallow, calm water or Shark fishing in a protected channel. There is almost no situation with weather here in the Keys we cannot go out fishing in. And keep in mind, our weather service can sometimes (mostly) be incorrect, or overly cautious, so we adopt a “wait and see” policy. We don’t cancel trips until we have to. The weather forecast is a prediction, nothing more. If you were wrong in your job as much as they are incorrect in their forecasts, you would be out of a job. If we do cancel, there is no charge. All weather calls are made by the captain.
What about safety equipment and your qualifications? The “RELENTLESS” is equipped with all Coast Guard required safety gear as well as Fire Extinguishers, Life Jackets, First Aid Kit, Life Ring, Radio GPS, Diving Gear for removing entanglements, and extra gear.
What do I need to bring on board with me for my day of fishing? You will need to bring whatever you want to eat or drink. We provide coolers and ice. We also suggest sun block, polarized sunglasses, possibly a jacket, closed-toe shoes and a cell phone to call work with and brag about your catch!
What if we want to snorkel or dive? Generally, we only run fishing charters (and occasional sunset cruises) However, we have been known to stop at the reef for a swim. If you wish to snorkel, you will need to bring your own skin diving gear. We don’t do SCUBA diving but we do have other boats like ours that will. But, if you make arrangements ahead of time, it can be worked out. Keep in mind there are dozens of dive boats in Key West that will specialize in taking you to a dedicated dive site. Where we fish isn’t necessarily the best place to dive. All they have in common is special shoes. The dive boats don’t take people fishing and mostly we don’t take people diving. We get along great.
What type of fishing do you do on RELENTLESS? We do all types of fishing depending on the conditions at the time. On all trips, full day or half day we do Trolling (Big Game), Drift bottom fishing or fishing at anchor, and chumming the bottom, which is very productive, and on the hook we bait up with a mixture of dead and live baits. If however one type of fishing style is proving a lot more productive at the time we will obviously concentrate on that one, that is the advantage of our boat, we have a great boat here that does both styles on every trip. If it is a specialist trip ie. Sharking/Marlin/Tuna/Jig fishing, we will concentrate on that style. Live baiting with or without kites, trolling the reef and/or ocean, jigging, bottom fishing. Its up to the captain’s discretion as to the method of fishing that will occur that day. While we make every effort to accommodate your request, weather and sea conditions are an important factor in our determination to produce the best catch possible for your trip.
What to Bring? Just comfortable fishing clothes, sunglasses, your lucky hat if you have one, Food and refreshments, sunscreen, and a camera for a picture of that world class fish!! YES – You can bring adult beverages. Just about everything you’ll need is already on board, including fishing gear, bait, license, fuel, and two coolers with ice – to hold all of the fish you’ll catch on your charter!
Why only Six people on such a large boat? United States Coast Guard regulations do not allow us to carry more than six passengers.
When is the best time to go? Fishing in the Keys is a year round sport, everyone has their favorite time of year. We operate year round and everyone comes back the same time year after year, whether it’s January or June. So the best time to go is when you can get away from the rat race for a few days and no one will miss you!
When is the best weather? In the Summer we have much less windy days but we could have tropical depressions, In the Spring we get thunder storms, the Fall we may get depressions or thunder storms. Winters we do get cold fronts that can make it windy. When we have no thunder storms, no depressions, and no cold fronts, it’s beautiful, most of the time, that is why we live here! No matter what the weather is, we always have a great time!
How much deposit do you need? A 200.00 deposit is required to secure your dates. Deposits may be mailed or a credit card number may be used. Deposits are nonrefundable for no shows if not contacted within 48 hours prior to your trip.
What’s biting now?
Just about everything but take a look at the fishing chart.
How deep do we fish?
Can we fish at night? Of course, that is why we go overnight! some of the best bottom fihing is at night.
Where are the Marquesas Keys
About 30 miles west of Key West
Do you provide all the tackle and bait, will everyone get a rod for themselves?
Do you only do fishing trips? We also do a trip where you can spend about half the time trolling fishing and half the time anchored up in a small bay, where you can relax, have a swim, sunbath and if you want, do some light tackle fishing , while we cook up some hot lunch and buffet. This type of trip suits a Full Day ‘Private Charter’ best, and we can cater for up to 6 people. Contact us for a quote on the price.
How much time is actually spent fishing on the trip? Do we have a long journey to the place where we will be fishing? We don’t waste any time getting to the fishing grounds because we run until we get outside the reef if we are trolling. We can fish in the harbour or immediately set out the trolling lures as the water is full of macral close to the coastline. When we are bottom fishing we have a lot of choices along the whole of the coast in average depths of between 30 to 40 feet and that is no further than 1/2 a mike from the coast. Also we have all the tackle and baits set up along the boat so when we stop the trolling we start the bottom fishing straight away.
What type of fishing do you do? We do all types of fishing depending on the conditions at the time. On all trips, full day or half day we do about half the time Trolling (Big Game) and half the time Drift bottom fishing or fishing at anchor, and chumming the bottom, which is very productive, and on the hook we bait up with a mixture of dead and live baits. If however one type of fishing style is proving a lot more productive at the time we will obviously concentrate on that one, that is the advantage of our boat, we have the only boat here that does both styles on every trip.If it is a specialist trip ie. Sharking/Marlin/Tuna/Jig fishing, we will concentrate on that style.
Do you provide all the tackle and bait, will everyone get a rod for themselves? Every fisherman has two rods, one for the trolling fishing and one for the bottom fishing for the whole duration of the trip. Many other charter boats will do a “lucky dip” system where you have to wait your turn, not us!
What kind of food and beverages on your trips, is alcohol allowed? We supply a packed lunch of a ham and cheese baguette, packet of crisps, 2 pieces of fruit and a chocolate bar on the full day 7 hour trips plus cold soft drinks, water and beers (in moderation, it’s not a ‘Booze cruise’), and free cold drinks on the half day 4 hour trip
Are children allowed to fish from your boat? Yes,there’s no age limit, we just leave it up to you as you know your own kid’s best, and will be the better judge of whether they will enjoy it or not. We also have some light tackle if needed.
What happens to the fish caught, are we allowed to take some home to eat? Most of our catch is released after you have had the opportunity to take a photo. Some of the catch will be eaten by either us or we do offer our customers a share, as we know a lot of the accomadation over here is self-catering and some of you like to sample your fish on a dinner plate.
Do you supply saftey equipment, ie. lifejackets, liferaft, flares, satellite GPS.tracking etc.? Yes, we are regularly inspected by marine engineers and have all obligatory saftey equipment on board plus extra equipment not even required by law for extra security.
When is the best time of year to fish, like the Big Game fish, Marlins and Tuna, Sharks, Snapper , Amberjacks etc.? We have virtually all year round fishing here. There is always something to target. Obviously the catch rate varies, as that is the nature of fishing. Check out my fish seasons chart by clicking on the ‘Fish Seasons’ tab at the top of this page.
I have no experience and am a complete novice in sea or boat fishing, is that a problem? Absolutely not, many of our customers are ‘First timers’ Just giving it a go while on holiday. We set up all the tackle and bait for you and give you any assistance needed.
I am an experienced Game/Sea fisherman/angler, can you accomodate me? Yes we do cater for the professional/experienced angler and can arrange for specialist private charters to target particular species ie. Just Big Game Fishing, Just Bottom Fishing, Shark Fishing, Just Live baiting and Jigging over rough ground or a mix of styles, for either 1 fisherman or groups of anglers.
What if the weather is bad and the trip is cancelled? We will give you the option of either changing for another day, but if thats not possible you are welcome to a full refund.
Can I change my dates I have booked for my fishing trip? As long as you give us plenty of notice it’s normally ok, no less than a week at least, and the date you would like to change to is available.
Can I use my own tackle, rod, reel, lures, hooks? Yes, as long as it is good enough for the job, but we do have everything needed, if you have a favurite rod & reel etc. you would like to use, then just bring it along.
Shipping your catch – You can also ship your frozen fish to any US address. Supplies are available at all major grocery stores and shipping through FedEx, UPS or USPS.
What if I don’t know how to fish? Everyone has to learn sometime! Why not let us show you the ropes. If you have any special requests, please call us so we have time to prepare.
What do I do with the fish after I catch it? A majority of the local restaurants will cook your fish for you. Prices vary.
<a href=”#” class=”tooltip”><u>Answer</u><span><span>No, we have a ‘Collective’ fishing license which covers all our passengers for the Big Game fishing and the bottom and shark fishing.</span></span></a> – Do I need a fishing license for my fishing trip with you? <br />
</span></span></a> – What will we catch, will they be big fish or little ones? <br />You never know, thats the excitment of fishing! We are set up to catch anything from a small makerel to a giant Marlin! but if you go to my fish seasons tab at the top of this page you will get a good idea of whats about when you are here.
Do you do ‘Private Charters’ for the boat exclusive and if so how much does it cost? Yes we do arrange ‘Private Charters’ for you to have the boat exclusive for just yourself or a private group, Family/friends etc. You will have to contact us for a quote.
Is it better to fish in the morning or afternoon, low tide, high tide, slack water etc.? We can fish any time of day here, and we do not have much change in tide heights in this part of the world. There is one species of tuna called the ‘Albacore’ which do not like the midday/high Sun, but the rest of the species we target are not affected.
How do I make a reservation? When you send me an enquiry, I will send you back the dates and times available whilst you are here, and also give you a link to our booking page where you can make a reservation, or you can go back to our homepage and you will see a tab on the top right saying ‘Contact Bookings’ then just follow the instructions.
How many passengers do you take out? We have a licence for 6 passengers.
Will I get seasick? Getting sick on a boat has nothing to do with how tough you are. Certain people are prone to seasickness by their body chemistry. Many Factors can bring about sickness on the sea. Some of these things are: The amount of sleep you have,The amount of alcohol you drank last night, Nervousness. Getting overheated can push some people into getting sick.
There are many over-the-counter medications for seasickness available. If the weather forecast is for seas any more than a light chop, we recommend that you use one if you are unsure of your susceptibility to seasickness. We want you to have a good time and don’t want your day ruined by something as curable as seasickness.