My husband is an old hand at fishing– I swear, he was born with a pole in one hand and a catfish in the other. Fishing is in his blood- everyone on his side of the family fishes (did I mention that my step-daughter taught me how to cast when she was three years old?) Anywhere that my husband casts his line, he catches a fish-every-single-time! He has some serious fishing mojo swirling around him, so it is no wonder that he was given a deep sea fishing trip as a Christmas gift (by yours truly). Honestly, when it comes to Christmas and birthday gifts, an experience is the way to go- memorable when getting it and once again when doing it (we’ve been given park passes (state) through the years by my sister.)
Anyhow, dear husband had a Christmas gift with an expiration date on it. I assumed he would take a buddy, drink beer and I’d drive everyone home. No, he decided to take our son instead. So our daughter and I dropped the boys off at the pier by the Dolphin Restaurant early on a Tuesday morning and went off on our own adventure, leaving them to fish.
My son reported back to me later about the day’s angling adventure, so here comes the low down on The Pastime Princess daily fishing charter in New Smyrna Beach.
The boat was packed out with 80 passengers. Their angling adventure was taken during spring break and this was one of the least pricey fishing charters in the New Smyrna Beach area. People had arrived extra early to “stake” their spot by tying a rag on the rail where they wanted to fish.
What kind of people were on the boat? A lot of non-Floridians. Mainly men- dads with their high school-or college aged sons, some couples and a lot of first time anglers. Also, surprisingly enough, there were families with children on this trip, though the non-angling kids hung out on the top deck for a view of the dolphins. So kids ARE welcome on this adventure!
The boat had a casual atmosphere, music blaring out of the speakers (don’t get stuck near a speaker, my son cautioned, it gets too loud) And although a captive audience, the simple hamburger/hotdog type food offered on board stayed in a decent budget range (they have a full menu on their website). Soda, water and beer was available too. You were allowed to bring your own food and drinks too, which my husband and son did, some water and sandwiches grabbed from a Subway the night before.
The crew was friendly and helpful, and spent a lot of the time untangling people’s lines. My son suspects because there were too many people on the boat fishing. (He mentioned that- a lot!) Also everyone fishing caught at least one fish. The crew were on hand to help people pull in their catches too. He said they were very good about that. Sixteen people caught sharks. One lady at the end of the day caught a rather large nurse shark. He was disappointed that he didn’t catch one though. My husband, however, thought they should have been catching bigger fish. (I know not the angling ways, but no one fishing at Canaveral National Seashore, where my daughter and I spent the day, pulled in a big one either.)
“Would you do it again?” I asked my son.
He shook his head. “Nah.”
“Because I already did that. I want to try something different now.”
But we did enjoy the “catch of the day,” as my daughter cooked it up last night (she lost a bet- never try and out-dance a mom, kids, we will win every time!)
Bottom line: My son would recommend this trip if you are new to angling or introducing kids to it, it is a less expensive option than the hard core deep sea fishing charters. They provide the poles, bait and necessary fishing licenses.
You can check out The Pastime Princess charter fishing trip at their website: http://www.pastimeprincess.com/
Things to Know Before You Go:
1. You must call ahead the night before to make sure the boat is going out (weather issues).
2. Arrive earlier than they tell you to get that good spot staked off. My angler husband recommends the back of the boat as the best fishing spot.
3. Bring a cooler with drinks and snacks (8am-4pm is a long time). Though they do serve food and drinks (including beer) on the boat.
4. Bring sunscreen. Don’t be macho on this one. A sunburn just plain hurts. Also bring sunglasses- sun reflecting off the water is blinding! And a hat if you use one.
5. The folks at the adjacent Dolphin restaurant (they own the charter boat too) will cook up your catch at the end of the day, but if you are bringing it home, have a cooler with ice on stand-by. Nothing smells worse than a dead fish in a hot car- except maybe a starfish….
6. Bring a camera to capture those catch- moments.
7. Oh yeah, check around for discounts on this trip. I found it offered on Groupon!