Party Boat – Smarts


party boat
“True American” party boat.


1.- Where?

party boats
“Danny-B” open party boat operates off South Padre Island, Texas.
Sheepshead Bay
Catch Fluke, flounder, striped bass, black fish, bluefish, porgies tuna and mackerel out of “Sheepshead Bay”, “Brooklyn, N.Y.” To learn exactly what’s running, simply call the boat you intend to board and with a smile they’ll gladly answer your questions.
Sheepshead Bay scenery
Birds, restaurants, scenery and fishing boats. Visit “Sheepshead Bay” just to look, relax and enjoy, even if angling isn’t your cup of tea – yet!

The Mute Swanmute swans

“The Mute Swan”, New York’s largest bird has resided in America since the late 1880s.  Some New York officials want to destroy the “The Mute Swan” because “New York’s State Department of Environmental Conservation” contends that these jumbo white waterfowl with beautiful long graceful necks are an invasive species.

protect the mute swan
Protect the “Mute Swan”.

Their fate is being litigated now. Plans exist to destroy these elegant birds by 2015.

2.- First visit the boat via the internet. Just about every captain has a web site and a phone number.


PoolFish winner


3.- ‘DEFINITELY CALL’ the boat, especially if this is your first trip on this boat and ask…

a) Do you sell food and beverages aboard? What food & beverages and about how much does it cost?  Do and should passengers bring their own food and beverages?

b) Do you provide rods, reels and bait? Is the cost of equipment and bait extra and if yes, how much?

c) How much is the fare?

Some boats makes 2 three hour trips and if you remain aboard, is there is a discount for your 2nd trip?

Senior citizens and children usually get discounts.

Trips on week days often costs less, than trips on holidays or weekends. As a bonus, week day trips are usually less crowded.

d) Ask – What is the ‘suggested tip’ for the mates?

d1) Ask – What is the ‘suggested tip’ without cleaning fish?

d2) Ask – What is the ‘suggested tip’ if the mates clean and fillets your catch?

B.- Clothing

Wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Occasionally its cooler in the morning so wear layers. In addition, wear clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty.

HNY - 16 pocket cargo vest
16 pocket cargo vest.

Cargo Vests

Sixteen pockets, front and back enable me, an old “Boy Scout” to always “Be Prepared” — very handy!


I bring ‘several’ pair of low priced cotton work gloves, plus a pair of leather faced work gloves.

My cheap (99¢ store) cotton gloves get wet and slimy and without fanfare I pop them into a plastic bag and take them home to wash (very fast and easy). For me, (a thrifty type) cotton gloves work. Also, when a party boat I’m on repositions (to a better fishing spot, I use a binder clip

binderclip clipart

to secure gloves to a towel I tied onto the rail, or to my backpack so that the gloves may ‘air dry’.

Gloves designed specifically for fishing, provide a firm grip on slimy objects and within reason protect hands from perferation and cuts and efficiently enable fish handling, while protecting against fish slime and odors. These gloves also easily rinse out, resist chemicals and are machine washable.

Offshore Angler® Fillet Gloves
Offshore Angler® Fillet Gloves
Lindy Fish Handler
Lindy Fish Handler Gloves

Two fishing glove brands to look at are “Offshore Angler® Fillet Gloves” and “Lindy Fish Handler”.

mountain climbing carabiners
Mountain climbing Carabiners.

Mountain climbing Carabiner. The ones I use come from 99¢ stores and should ‘NEVER’, ‘NEVER’, ‘NEVER’ be used when security and or strength are essential. I use these cheap Carabiners to attach items to my belt, backpack and cart.  Carabiners made for climbing will cost in excess of $12.00 each.


cotton hat
Soft, cotton hat. Handy, light, it rolls up and does the job. I use mine throughout the summer, spring and fall and its washable.

Left funky_frog_in_fishing_hat_cartoon_post_card-r1fc9d0829caf4404b5d004f84422705c_vgbaq_8byvr_512

A hat or a baseball cap is a good idea, its very important to protect your head from the sun’s burning rays. For the most part you’ll ‘NEED’ a hat for protection from the sun and the elements. I use either an old soft cotton ‘safari’ rollup or at times a vintage baseball cap. The ones I use are light, soft, structureless and roll conveniently rolls into my pocket. The brim of my safari hat also snaps up and its chin strap tightness ‘whenever’ the wind necessitates  using a strap.

Bring sun glasses. Preferably polarized fishing glasses to lessen the sun’s glare that reflects up off the water.

sun glasses
Sun glasses
polaroid sunglasses
Polaroid sunglasses

Polarizing Sunglasses: When the sun shines you are in ‘real’ danger if you fail to take measures to combat the danger of the sun’s rays.

Foul Weather Gear

Storm Gear
Storm Gear

If you will be fishing in foul or rainy weather you may want to bring some gear to keep you dry. Not as important on boats with parlors, cabins, and covers.



Bring a camera

Nikon L610
Nikon L610 (my camera). A very small, and light camera. 14 X zoom, still & video modes and it stores about 500 shots.  Nikon L610 had been replaced with Nikon L620.

…to take snapshots of those big fish you catch or bring a video camera and catch all the action on your next fishing trip. Nikon Coolpix L600, Shoot still and video.

Camera Overview

HERO4 Black
2X the performance

GoPro / Hero4 is a tiny ‘action cam’  designed for people who engage in outdoor activities and sports and appreciate the benefits of having a rugged tight fitting waterproof housing.  Use your GoPro / Hero4 on a bike, surfboard or snowboard when you need the ability to capture both ‘still’ and ‘moving images’, ‘hands-free’. GoPro4 is famously ‘rugged’, light and compact.  The camera’s waterproof housing may be snapped on to protect from water, or instantly removed to enhance sound, weather permitting… although sound with the waterproof housing attached is satisfactory.   Also, there are mounting brackets to attach this state of the art camcorder to a helmet, a jacket, a headband, a bike, a boat, car window, etc. etc. etc.

The most advanced GoPro yet.

HERO4 Black 2X the performance.

The Wait Is Over!!!


Dramamine, Prevention For Just In Case.

If you get sea sick… or aren’t sure if you get sea sick then it is a very wise idea to take your “Dramamine” before you leave the dock. Nothing can ruin a fishing trip worse than motion sickness. More, to alleviate motion sickness.

Tipping The Mate

Tipping is expected just like in a restaurant.

My advice is that if you are new to party boat fishing is slip the mate $10 and introduce yourself when you get on. It goes a long way.

Customary tip is 15% – 20%. Tip more, if six or more fish are filleted for you ($1 or $2 per fish). However, even if you don’t catch, tip at the end for work, effort and courtesy. If cash is tight, skip the pool – but tip the mate – he deserves it!

If I’m lucky enough to win the pool, the mates get 1/2 up to $100.

You may call the boat in advance to clarify exactly what tipping scenario is proper for that particular boat, because you intend to board it as a passenger.

What is the job of the mate?


• Assists anglers on board and make their trip more enjoyable.

• Provides fishing rods and reels to all customers.

• Collects the fares and the pool money.

• Rigs up all the rods for the days fishing (sometimes for a variety of different species).

• Instructs anglers on the secrets of catching fish after fish.

• Takes out tangles and birds nests in the reels.

• Keeps the fish fresh by adding frequent water or managing the burlaps/ice coolers.

• Weighs up the pool fish.

• Expert fish cleaning and bagging of fish on the ride home.

• Baiting hooks and distributing the bait.

• Keeping up on a fresh supply of bait for all customers.

• Nets and gaffs of all fish.


• Assist everyone in disembarking safely.

• Makes sure the boat is clean inside and out on each and every trip.


open fishing boat
Open fishing boat & a mate who cleans flounder.

A Day In The Life Of A Party Boat Mate

Just like in a restaurant, though it is not the law, its custom. If you go out to a restaurant knowing full well you only have enough money to pay for the meal and won’t have enough to tip, you shouldn’t go out to eat. Best idea, fish from a ‘FREE’ municipal pier.

Best Clothing for Party Boat Fishing

What should I wear?

Wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Occasionally it is cooler in the morning so wear layers. Wear clothes that you will not mind getting dirty.

Bring a pair of fishing gloves.  Handling or cleaning fish becomes more difficult in cold weather.  While fishing, nylon sun fishing gloves conserve heat and and prevent various cuts and scrapes.

Standard bottom fishing gear. That would be the Penn 4/0 reel with 50-pound line, with a stiff six or seven foot rod. A longer medium rod of eight feet, with 30- or 40-pound line on a baitcast reel, can be used for tossing single baits away from the boat or jiggin deep. The longer rod creates more sweep while jigging, and the same goes for the hook-set. If you’re dropping metal jigs for tuna or amberjack, eight feet of medium-action rod is nice and earns more strikes.

Ice chest in the car for hauling home your fish fillets.

What do I need to bring?




•Small coolers with food and beverages

T-shirts are for sale on board. Bait is included in your fare. You should bring food, beverages and suntan lotion. We do sell food & beverages on the boat. It’s optional to bring a camera, cooler, change of sandals or sneakers (we hose the deck often after fish are caught to keep the deck clean. Your feet may get wet.)


The days can be hot and the nights cold, so bring along enough clothing.   We also suggest bringing along a rain suit in case of foul weather.   Important – bring your waterproof shoes or boots!   The deck will be wet if the weather is not dead calm and the mates regularly hose down the deck to keep it clean.–rates.html


schlep verb ˈshlep
to carry or pull (something) with difficulty : to drag or haul (something),

Whenever I’m not wearing my 16 pocket vest, odds are I’ll be toting a fanny pack, plus a belt pouch or two. Usually within them will be a pen, a pad, a cel phone, first aid items like ibuprofen, asprin, band aids, “Neosporin” and eyeglasses.

fanny pack
Fanny Pack

Everyone of these items are well worth having as ‘insurance’.  Think, if I do take these precautions, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen?

A pouch can be used to hold a camera until you are ready to take it out, and snap away.

camera pouch
This type of camera pouch goes right on your belt. Mine is so comfortable that I often forget i’m wearing my camera.
belt bag with clamp-ons
Belt bag I use to carry my camera to which I added the clamp-ons.


I maintain a stash of these items.  Habitually I visit discount stores and there at times aquire items more for 99¢ to $1.50.  As a rule all of my my purchases are made before necessary and stored till needed.  In time, all of these items wear out and it is cheaper to replace them with bargains than to pay for repairs.

These Vietnam era USAF surplus pouches sell on line for about $6.00 ea.

M14 Pouch Vietnam War Surplus
M14 Pouch USAF Vietnam War Surplus, about $6.00 each.

Party Boat

Most (not all) open party boats rent rods and reels, sell hooks, lines, rigs and some sell hats, t-shirts, sunglasses and food.

Call to confirm the price of the fare, plus the cost of renting rods, rigs, jigs etc. plus expected TIPS and what’s customary and proper?

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