Fishing Orange Beach

How The Middleman Affects Your Charter Fishing Trip in Orange Beach!

The main reason for this page, is to explain how so many anglers are paying someone to book their charter for them and it's costing them 20% to 25% more than you need to pay for a charter.  You may not think this not your problem, but it is if you want the best fishing charter in Orange Beach, Alabama.   Every year, people go to a marina charter office or use one of those Super Fish Booking Anywhere websites and book their fishing trip.  Unbeknowing to them, they are paying the marina 15% minimum for putting them on a boat.   If they use one of those super websites, you are paying 20% to 25% or more in commissions.

What you need to know is, that boat - because they had to pay a commission, is only going to give you 85% of the charter you expect.  We arrive at that illustrative number by taking 100% effort, less 15% to 25% commission, equals 85% to 75% effort from the charter boat, depending on the commission paid.   Charter boats who pay commissions, know how to play the GAME when a marina or a super fish website books them a trip.  The only way a captain makes money paying commissions, is to pull back on the throttles to save fuel and only gives you the bare minimum charter.

If You Care about getting the best charter, you should ask this question before you book a fishing trip with anyone is: "If I book with you, are you charging me a commission (hidden as a deposit) or is the boat paying you a commission to broker this transaction?"   This is how you identify the Middleman!  If they won't answer your question or him haw around, you are paying a commission.

Who Are The Super Big Website Middleman in Charter Fishing That Charge Up To 30% Commission? 

The online middleman that are competing with local marina charter offices are:,,, and  These are mostly online companies that allow you to book your fishing charter through their website.  They have no physical location to visit.  Fishingbooker we found out, is actually a Serbian owned company.  They all charge consumers or charter boats a 15% to 30% commission to handle the transaction.  This number is determined by the charter boat when they sign up for the service.  Ones that agree to pay 10% don't get booked.  Those who pay them 20% or more, get booked every day.  This is what we call "Pay to Play."  This means the boat that agrees to make you pay the biggest or highest commission, are ranked higher on their website or get tagged as being "In High Demand" or "Most Popular" or "50 People Are Watching for example."  These are marketing call to actions, but what they really mean is, if you choose one of those boats, you are about to pay the highest commission known to man.  You pay them a commission when you pay the deposit and you don't even know your paying it.

How The Middleman Keeps You From Getting To The Best Fishing Grounds.

What you need to know is, when you book a charter through any middlemen, the boat doesn't have enough revenue to buy the fuel to get you far enough offshore where fishing is best.  A few years ago, we had a robust red snapper fishery near the coastline where the average snapper landed, weighed about 8 pounds each.  Because our economy has improved and a lot more people are fishing in their own boats and on charters, the red snapper close to shore are getting over fished.  Those fish in those areas now are weighing about 3 pounds each.  Sure, there are some larger fish in these close to shore areas, but they are smart and hard to catch.  It's kind of like nature is protecting them.   But, there is a new problem that is occurring called hi-grading.

The Middleman Inadvertantly Causes Hi-Grading Of Fish

Because charter fishermen feel like they have to give their customers BIG FISH every trip, they feel the pressure to start hi-grading their catch.  Hi-grading is where you catch a smaller but legal fish, throw it in the cooler or in the live well and continue fishing until you get a bigger fish. Because the middleman takes a big portion of a charter boats revenue, it forces them to stay closer to shore in order to save money and not burn fuel.  The end result is, over fishing occurs in the areas closer to shore and creates a depletion zone.  Each year this depletion zone gets larger or farther offshore.  In order to catch big fish close to shore, these charters have to use live bait, lower pound test line or even flourocarbon (invisible) fishing line to trick the few remaining big ones in these areas, into biting.   When you book direct with the charter you want instead of using a middleman, they have the revenue to get you out far enough where you can catch quality fish and not have to hi-grade.

In our opinion, there are too many people (both charter and private boat owners) hi-grading in these areas in order to maintain a larger pound average per fish.    Hi grading is a serious problem and will continue to get worse unless we stop the practice.  What hi grading really does:  In order to harvest 1 million pounds of fish, anglers are killing 2 million pounds.

Knowing that the fishery has been declining close to shore, charter boats that have to pay a middle man don't have the revenue on board to get you beyond the depleted zone, where the quality are still abundant.  

So if you decide to pay a middle man and want quality, that is simply not going to happen for you.  It is financially impossible for the charter to get you where you need to go.   If you want quality, you need to invest in a fishing charter by booking direct with them, so they will have the revenue to get you to where the fishing is better.

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