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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just returned from there last week. My guide who came highly reccomended with 30+ years of experience took us 24 miles (45 miles) into the backcountry. When we were 25 yards from the the "hole", his engine shut down and we sat on a mud flat for hours waiting for the tide to finish going out and back to flood stage before we floated off. That was my 4 hour trip, never cast a line.

His new Mercury Optimax has a sensor on the tell tale (pisser). When we got real shallow and picked some mud & weed, the sensor detected low water pressure, the engine went into "safe mode" at 1000 rpms, came off of plane and dropped us on a flat. My wife (non-fisherman) was not pleased. He claimed that this has happened to him 2X in 30 years. Go figure.

The trip was beautiful none the less, we saw numerous tarpon and sharks and redfish, I would go back and fish there again. The guide came top rated and I liked him, his luck, and mine, ran out the day I was there.

Question? The guides in the Keys get $350 for a half day trip. What, if anything would you have paid the guide ???? He lost his afternoon charter as well as a result of this grounding.

I will post what I did later in the thread...

PS: We did go fishing later in the week at Key Largo for 2 days aboard a friends 40' charter boat. The reef fishing was a blast, caught grunts, snappers, hogfish, cudas and one 20# grouper. Went offshore, no offshore bite at all, snorkeling saved the day with another trip to the reef for snapper and cicero mackeral.
 

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I would not have paid. Sorry but equipment failure is not my problem. Mabye I still would have tipped 15% but the guide should have offered to reschedule or refund the trip. If he didn't then I'd never use him again and tell everyone else the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He did offer us the afternoon slot but my wife was traumatized after 4 hours of sun, no potty and we did not bring any food thinking we would be back at noon...
 

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How was the cap't attitude once that happened? Overly apologetic, try to make the best w/good humor, try and drag you off the flat, call a buddy to come pick you up and take you back? Or was it a nonchalant, "whatever", type attitude? How the cap't handled an obviously shixxy situation would wholey determine how I acted/reacted - not to mention my wife.

Sometimes a good recovery from an unfortunate situation can go a long way......

Andy
 

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Ive never heard of this. Things do happen and these guys are not getting rich but I would have been a little unhappy. Sounds like he ran a long way to find an out of the way spot but it is his job to know which flats are runnable and under what tide and it looks like he was way off target. He should have offered you another slot and then i would have tipped him well to help compensate.
 

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Thats a tough one. I think the capt is responsible for guest comfort, and you wre anything but comfortable. My wife would have gone ape sh!t. She did actually six years ago.

We chartered a half day trip, fishing the reef, we got into them pretty good. At 11, time to leave, we were out of fuel ! We were beside ourselfs with the Capt's stupidity. Long ,png story short, one of his buddies ran 50 gallons out to us. Had to bleed the lines, and after 4 hours we were on our way back. Back at dock, we went to retreive our catch, a wahoo, a black tuna, three dolphin and some yellowtails, all in a fishbox with next to no ice. It had all melted, and was actually warm. So we left the boat, overheated, tired and fishless. Need less to say we were extremely unhappy. Capt felt bad for us, and called after we had some time to shower and rest. Offered a free trio the next day to compensate which we took him up on. Never hired him again, he went out of business
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The guide was very personable, very apologetic and we spent the time talking about fishing, boats and since my wife is a social worker, they talked about his relationship with his girlfriend. He was very nice and felt very bad for the situation we were in.

There was no way to pole out of there, 4 feet of nasty sloppy mud. When the tide rose a bit, we double teamed the pole to push us just inches, believe me ! That is how we eventually got out. There was no way to jump in, pure mud and nothing other than a helicopter that was going to get us. We ran on plane across a whole bunch of 12" water before our predicament.

A "conventional" outboard would have just plowed a small trench across the mud flat before reaching the "hole." New technology did us in.
 

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Dennis I'd go to the florida sportsman web site and ask on the fla keys forum if anyone else has had issues with your guide. Your guide should give you a free trip at your convience. I know the expense of getting down there more than most. The capt's reputation is very important, I can't see him not wanting to correct this.

It must of been a long trip home with your missus!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well in the end I gave the guy $150 because the boat ride alone was worth something and I could easily envision myself in the same situation. His mistake cost him $550 for the day total. He was punished enough I think.

I was really looking forward to catching a tarpon though...
 

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I think its odd that he decided to run 24 miles for a 1/2 day trip...I think I'd have done the same in your shoes though.
 

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If it where me

If it where me and it has once upon a time. (Hole in The Wall) I would have pulled the back flush plug and ran the engine for a minute. Pulled the pee line and run the engine for minute. I have rewired my boat engine so customers can go out once. Only 15 minutes late leaving dock.
I would have jumped into the mud and lifted the boat out..(done that and I know you have to). I would never charge for a no chance fishing day and reschedule for half price. The customer comes first..

I am truly sorry for your bad luck..

I also ask the same question as to why run 24 miles. If you wanted to catch Tarpon I would have targeted the channels for the big boys.

Capt Mike
 

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That's a real tough one.

On one hand the Captain was apparently trying very hard to give you a quality fishing trip as evident by him motoring 50miles round trip to get to some off-beat fishing hole. But he's human too. And he screwed up a little but by under-estimating 12" of water. Six more inches would have made all the difference. It's not really his fault.

But it's certainly not your obligation to pay him either as you were paying to catch (or try to catch) fish. Your offer of $150 is generous. And the same as I would have done.
 

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This is why I despise all new "safety" technology and electronica...when it breaks there is no fixing it. Suppose this had happened while crossing in front of a large ship? I know, a prudent person wouldn't cross in front of a ship, but maybe there are extenuating circumstances. Just like clutch safeties on stick cars, I disable them. Given the choice between the computer deciding to shut me down or me deciding to blow my engine to reach safety, well, that should be a no brainer. These engine safeties should have an emergency override on them for circumstances such as this. Don't get me started on the **** that is supposed to save us from ourselves:censored:
Pat in Joppa
 
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