Fishing is good for these Orange Beach charter boats.
Orange Beach, Alabama - June 11, 2011 - The summer of 2011 is turning out to be a fun and recordbreaking year for a few charter fishermen in Orange Beach, Alabama. With last years oil spill and all of the negative press about our area and a 48 day Red Snapper season, Intimidator Sportfishing Charters, Distraction Charters and Alabama Inshore Fishing Charters are blazing new trails into the Gulf of Mexico. They have raised the bar on customer service and the fun they offer is in high demand. We have heard recent fishing reports that some other charter boats and marinas were only 60 percent booked during the weekdays and 80 percent booked on weekends. We wanted to find out why these three charter fishing businesses were running every day and others were reportedly not. What we found out will astonish you and make you think differently about charter boats. Not all charter boats are the same, we are here to tell you. Not even close.
We went to the Orange Beach Marina and waited on the Distraction Charter Boat to come around the corner at 12:30 pm sharp. We wanted to speak to the "Leader in Family Fishing Charters," Captain Troy Frady and ask him how business was going? We had to wait until 1 pm for him to get free for a few minutes so we could to speak with him. Troy was extremely busy taking care of his guests and calling them by name as they arrived back in port. Everyone was having fun, laughing and smiling as they backed the charter boat into his slip at the Orange Beach Marina. Troy, immediately began helping his customers off the boat and telling them thanks for their business. His afternoon charter was standing nearby and received a quick greeting and they began preparing to head back out for their afternoon charter fishing adventure.
We asked Troy, Why are you so busy this summer? He said, "People are starving for great customer service and want to experience a fun and memorable fishing trip. We are simply fulfilling that need." When asked what his company did different than other charter companies in the area, he said "Consumers are smarter than they have ever been and they do their research about people and companies prior to deciding to do business with them. We are honest with them and do not take them for granted." I told Captain Troy that I saw saw how he treated his customers as they arrived back at port, and was impressed. He called each person by name. I asked him "How did you remember everyone's name?" Troy said, "It's my job to make everyone on board to feel comfortable and at ease. By immediately learning their names, puts them at ease. I have the responsibility to ensure that our guests have a good time and get the most value for their investment." Unlike other charters that rely on a charter booking office to fill their boats with customers, Captain Troy does all of his own bookings. When the Captain who is going to take you fishing speaks to you and books your charter, you get exactly what you expect. That means a lot today. Charter offices at large marinas simply don't offer that personal touch that people are starving for now days. They don't have time or take time to really get to know their customers and find out if they are tourist or fishermen. They assume everyone that gets on a charter boat, wants to catch a limit of fish. This initself is nearsighted and old school thinking.
We did a little research and found out that Distraction Charters prices are slightly higher priced than other charter boats, similar in size. They charge $750 for a 4 hour trolling fishing trip and $1,150 for a 6 hour bottom fishing trip. The tip or gratuity is extra. Distraction offers private charters for up to 6 people and they specialize in family fishing. They are the only fishing charter in Orange Beach that is closed on Sundays. We did not understand how these three charter boats stayed busy, running two trips a day, so we asked Captain Troy to explain how they do it? He said, "I don't have the biggest, fastest or newest boat in the fleet. But, I do have one of the best maintained charter fishing boats and it is very clean. All of our fishing gear is new and that means fewer break downs and malfunctions for our guests. If something breaks on the boat, we fix it. If it wears out, we replace it. We are at the best marina in Orange Beach and people expect more from us than they do elsewhere. We have to be sharp, look sharp and be ready to give the best service on every fishing charter."
When we asked him about his prices, Troy said, "Anyone can sell fishing charters for a low price or discount their trips. Those people are selling price, not service. Nobody can sell a cheap price, give great service, have the best equipment and expect to stay in business very long. There is a trade off when it comes to great service and moderate prices. We offer fun for the whole family, great fishing experiences and memorable fishing charters, every trip, day in and day out. Consistency is what we provide. Distraction Charters is in the service business and good service costs more money." Troy continued by asking me, "Have you ever been in one of the large super centers in the country that sells low prices? Do you really expect to receive good service while there?" I quickly answered him with a big "NO." He said, " Your only there because you can save a buck and good service is not expected from them. You can walk from isle to isle and never have anyone come up to you and ask you if you needed anything. The same people who shop in those stores even sometimes have the audacity to complain to the management about not having enough check out lines open or cashiers available." That is how Distraction Charters is different. Troy says, "We call you by your name. We help you with anything you need. We educate, demonstrate and help you catch fish. Distraction Charters, simply cares enough to try to be the best we can be. We offer the best all around fishing charters. We even allow kids to come upstairs and drive the boat."
We saw that the customers only had three fish in the cooler when they unloaded the boat. We asked Captain Troy, "Where is all your fish?" He just laughed and said "There in the cooler." I said "other charter boats came in with great catches today and your catch looks small." Troy just laughed at me and asked me to define "Great Catch?" He said, "This is a great catch. This is all the customers wanted to keep for supper. We caught plenty of fish, but we let most of them go. Our customers had fun but now don't have to deal with a lot of unwanted fish. " I asked why didn't they keep all the fish they could? With Red Snapper season only being open 48 days, Amberjack and Gag Grouper is closed, why don't you catch and keep your limit?" Captain Troy said "We are responsible fishing guides and we simply ask our customers prior to departing, if they want to release all they catch or keep a few for supper? If customers want to keep all they catch, that's alright too. Surprisingly, most people that fish now in Orange Beach, are responsible anglers and want to go for the experience, not for just the kill. "We don't fish for limits, we fish for the enjoyment of fishing." "People fishing for limits on every trip in the past, is the reason we have short fishing seasons now." Distraction Charters, by the way, is leading the charter boat industry in the Gulf of Mexico, by promoting and supporting deep sea fishing conservation. They have always been a big promoter of "CPR - Catch, Photograph and Release."
Intimidator Sportfishing, Distraction Charters and Alabama Inshore Fishing, over the years, have all developed a wonderful reputation by providing the best customer service, the best fishing charters and the best personalized services to guests from all over the world. These fishing guides do their homework ahead of time and everything they do beforehand and during your fishing charter, permeates professionalism. Their attention to detail when it comes to dealing with the public is evident in their operations. They are truly professional fishing guides that pride themselves on being family friendly. These Alabama fishing guides offer "G" rated fishing charters so families with kids can rest assure they will be around a safe environment. While the reputation of charter fishermen has historically been compared to Captain Quint of the 1975 movie "JAWS," these fishing guides are nothing like that. Actually, these guides are as gentle as they can be. They are changing charter fishing, one trip at a time and one fish at a time.