Fishing Orange Beach

How Shared Expense Fishing Charters Work in Orange Beach Alabama

Have you ever signed up for a walk on charter and just before you were getting ready to go, the charter office calls you and say's that they can't go because they don't have enough people signed up? Nobody likes getting left at the dock when a walk on or shared expense fishing charter in Orange Beach doesn't develop as planned. Our goal is to try and explain how shared expense charters sometimes never develop and will leave you frustrated and sitting at the dock. We don't want anyone disappointed or left at the dock, but unless you spend the money and book a private charter like on Distraction Charters or Intimidator Sportfishing Charters, you could be sitting when everyone else is fishing.

I just got a phone call from a customer who wanted to know if I had any shared expense charters going out tomorrow from Orange Beach. I told him no, because the weather was going to be too bad for anyone to go tomorrow. He told me that he was booked with another charter boat fleet and when it came time to call everyone and tell them when and where to show up, they did not have enough people to fill the charter boat and make the trip go, so they cancelled their scheduled charter. This customer was really disappointed because he had waited all week to go fishing and now he was not going to be able to go.

After thinking about shared expense charters in Orange Beach, I thought about how they worked and why they are so attractive because of the low price per person it costs to go fishing and how sometimes when they don’t come together, it leaves people frustrated and without a charter. What I found out was very typical of the charter fishing industry’s shared expense trips, walk on charters and party boats. It was no surprise as to why these people were left without a fishing charter for tomorrow.

I wanted to explain to you how shared expense charters work in Orange Beach and how they compared to private charters. It is extremely important to understand that walk on fishing charters and shared expense charters are totally dependent upon having enough people signing up for them. There is a minimum number of people that have to sign up per trip before the trip can go. Unlike the premium private fishing charter that goes when you want too, a person who wants to go on a walk on / shared expense charter for a low per person fee can often be left at the dock feeling frustrated.  They have lost a whole lot of time planning on something that just didn't come together. Who’s fault is it? Who is to blame for this happening? What can you as an angler do about it to ensure you do not get left at the dock and never going fishing?

Another problem we have when trying to put a walk on, shared expense or party boat trip together, is some people do not show up. When some people do not show up for their charter as scheduled, this means that the other anglers must ante up and pay for the extra spots. Now nobody wants to pay for those who do not show up, but if you don’t have the minimum number of people on the charter boat, the trip will likely get cancelled or never develop. The result is, we have a lot of upset customers that do not understand how important it is to make sure everyone who books a charter, shows up for the charter. For that reason, walk on charters usually take customers credit card numbers in advance so they can charge the card of the person who did not show up. That way, it is fair to those who signed up, paid and showed up for their charter.

A walk on charter like a Party Boat and a Shared Expense charter (where you join others) are 100% dependent upon having a minimum number of anglers or customers sign up at the same charter office or with the same agent and agree to go fishing on a certain date and a certain number of hours. With nine head boats in our area competing for your business, it is hard for any one charter company to monopolize and get all the phone calls and ensure you get to go fishing when you want too.

Our off fishing season in Orange Beach is to blame for much of the problem when it comes to walk on or shared expense charter bookings. Until a few years ago, our season began on April 21 and ended on October 31 each year. Due to over fishing and tight fishing regulations on reef fish, we now only have a tourist related business in Orange Beach. We have March and part of April each year which is called our spring break rush and our main season begins on about May 21 and will run until August 15 each year. It is during the summer tourist season when you can reasonably expect for all fishing charters to run on a daily basis. It is the off season when there is simply not enough people in town to put a charter together.

During the off season, when every orange beach marina gets a few calls from people interested in fishing, but not every marina charter office gets enough calls to reasonably predict running every day. It would be a whole lot easier if there was one charter booking agency that took all the calls during the off season because there is enough people for one company or charter boat to run every day in Orange Beach. Until that day comes, people who want to go fishing at a per person rate will continue to get left at the dock, feeling frustrated and annoyed by the whole process.

Solving the problem of walk on fishing charters in Orange Beach

Being the largest independent charter booking cooperative in the Orange Beach area, we have streamlined the entire charter booking process so anglers like you will get to go fishing during the off season with more frequency than other charter boat marina booking offices and fleets. Our online booking system allows us to better serve you and make sure that you don’t get left at the dock frustrated and wishing you had booked with someone who had enough business to ensure your walk on or shared expense charter would go.

It is extremely important to find a charter company, make your reservation and pray that the booking agent gets enough calls to fill up the spots on the boat so you all can go deep sea fishing. We promise to make sure we do our part to get you on the fishing charter of your dreams while in Orange Beach.

As we go through this process of trying to get more business and phone calls to one booking agent, we ask for your patience and understanding. When booking a charter, please be flexible on your dates you can go fishing. This allows the booking office to get enough people together with the same goal as you. Remember, the 6 hour charter is our most popular fishing trip. So, when choosing a charter, pick the one that will most likely run and you should be able to increase your odds of getting out deep sea fishing in Orange Beach when you want to go.


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