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LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Recently used guide service out of venice also. Next time I will bring my own gear and my own tackle. I'll also bring extra fuel so I don't have to worry about the guide running out of gas. This was the fourth such service I've used in the past few years and I promise you Johnny Nunez with Fishing Magician charters will get my return business from here on out. Man, I could go on and on and on. Even the my nephew on the boat asked me on the way home why that guy was so mean. SAD!
Yup, all guides out of the Venice area are bad. Because you didn't do your homework and picked a bad guide go ahead and bash all of them. Just a question though. If your fishing magician was so great why did you ever go somewhere else anyways? I'm not knocking him by any means. BUT it looks to me like a thread for bashing. If you got a beef with a trip throw it out there and give the guide a chance to defend his side of the story or whatever but to come on here and generalize about Venice Guides is BS. And this is coming from a guide that burns MORE gas than anyone in the industry. JUST ASK
while i think its true that most guides arent bad there are quite a lot of bad ones out there so treat them like used car salesmen and assume nothing, check them out 3 ways till sunday and if you can actually talk to other customers it helps.
the trouble is if they provide contacts for you you have to assume these are cheerleaders for then and could be employees or friends so wether they are real customers being objective is suspect.
more often then not i think guides get used to customers who often may only make one trip and you dont see them again so they get complacent and this results in some bad customer experiences at times. like anything we all have good or bad days and lots of charter services use employee captains so they can be the ones who drop the ball while the guide service is top notch yet one hung over or disgruntled captain phoning it in can ruin a trip for people. this happened to me once.
i went on mike frenett charter and booked an inshore speck trip. we were told they dont leave until 7am but if we came early the captain might leave early so we got there at 5am being told they would be serving breakfast at 6 but at 7am the office was still locked up and closed, no breakfast served, no captain showed up, we had to wake spomeone up by ringing the phone for half an hour then she called and woke up the hung over captain who was still drunk from the night before, he got there finally at 730 and had tpo go fuel up the boat then had no clue what to do or where to go and didnt even know we were fishing inshore, he had all deep sea rigs for amberjack onboard. after 30 more minutes he can back with some smaller poles that looked like they were pulled from the trash bin and they had no more then 30 feet of string on each pole which was so rotten it kept popping on anything but small fish. he had no clue where to fish so he went find mike frenett and after 40 minutes he came back with 1 pound of shrimp in his hand and we finally left the dock just before 9am.
earlier we were all wondering if we wouldnt have been better to just go home but when we woke up the lady in the office we were told we were paying full price no matter what so we couldnt leave and figure at least we were finally on our way.
he took us to the rocks at the pass and droped anchor then said nothing but he started picking his toe nails then laid down on the seat and took a nap after his nap we moved to the other side of the rocks and started catching reds so we ran out of shrimp fast (1 lb shrimp x 6 people = not much) well he took the two largest reds we had and gave them away to another boat in exchange for 1 handfull of shrimp so we could catch the last 10 reds we needed for our limit and we did manage to do that or so we were told. we later found out at the dock he counted wrong (this after he took the fish out and counted them 3 times) then he gave us some bullshit story about the fish we gave away counts against our limit which is a lie because limits are possesion based not catching based.
we asked when we were going to go catch specks since that was the whole point of the trip, with a deer in headlights look he had no answer, niether he nor mike frenett knew the charter was for specks and after 30 minutes waiting for an answer mike called him on his cell phone and told him a spot to try.
well we finally were catching trout and when we had around 60 in the boat this guy cranks up the motor and pulls anchor??? we asked what was going on and he said just wait you'll see. he pulled us out into the pass where some big fish were rolling (looked like amberjack or tuna maybe) now remember we have medium light poles with 30 feet of string on them at the most, he puts a whole trout on a big hook and throws it out there to catch nothing but i can understand he might have wanted to give us a treat but we had nothing to hook on even fight a fish with of that size so this was a bonehead move but i will assume he had good intentions in doing it. (it did seam like HE was the one wanting to catch a big one since he didnt put the pole down or hand it to anyone)
after this farse we tried to go back to the trout but the time we wasted the tide slowed and along with the pulling anchor and cranking up the motor he had managed to chase off the trout we were catching. he then stated its time to go in (12:30) because he needs to be back at the dock by 1pm to clean up and get ready for the next day!
it was a bad experience from start to finish and when we got back to the launch we were told the gas was extra and we had to fill up the boat (when the trip was booked we were told that it was all inclusive and the breakfast (that we never got) and the gas was free since the price of the charter covered it and the only extra fee was the captains tip IF we wanted to leave one.
we decided the captain phoned it in so we would only give him a $20 tip then he gets pissed and goes in the office and 5 minutes later the lady comes out and says the tip is mandatory and it was going to be charged an extra 20% to our credit card if we didnt pay him right then and there.
in the end the 6 people ended up paying $200 each for a bad experience and 14 lbs of fish fillets.
i think this was one bad captain and the office manager was rude but i will assume he lied to her and she thought we had a normal and reasonable charter experience so i'll assume she thought we were just trying to stiff the captain. as to mike frenett well working a buisness can be tough so i will assume he just wasnt as hands on as he should have been in the day to day of what his employees were and werent doing.
so i have good reason to blame everyone but i dont, i realise it was most likely one bad captain who caused all this and the rest was simple communication errors and missunderstandings.
if someone asked me about using mike frenett charters i would say go for it, just make sure you get the terms in writing , our gas missunderstanding cost us an extra $200 and there was nothing but denials about the late starting time and no apology for the lack of preparedness or proper fishing tackle or even the slightest consideration of maybe staying out a little later to make up for it.
O.K.,When a guide is hired,not ALL guide services (fishing or hunting)are a guaranteed success.It seems to me that you are paying for a trip to be taken out and shown the style and techniques that can make you a better fisherman or hunter.I understand that there are variables,such as weather conditions,moon phases,water clarity,etc. that play an important part in your success.Terms between the guide and client(s) should be in writing,but most are verbal;after all,'A MAN IS ONLY AS GOOD AS HIS WORD' right? A buddy of mine recently went on a 'guided' fishing trip.They went out to some shallow water rigs and after a couple of lines getting broke off from the rocks or from being spooled by fish,the guide said 'Lets just try keeping 2 lines in the water until we find out if the fish are here'.The day went on and another reel got spooled(w/the drag set tighter)the guide said 'well that pole is done'. He said this happened to them three times and they were down to just three poles and had four people fishing.He said the guide complained numerous times about having to make another trip to the store to buy more tackle when he had plenty.He also said the guide fished just as much as they did (maybe in hopes of speeding up the process of a limit).Also made comments about not having enough fuel to 'Go find fish'.The funny thing about the whole story is that my buddy and three others had gone out the day before in their own boat and caught just as many fish.The guided trip was just an annual trip that they take every year.They always like to learn different areas to fish and I guess maybe this year was just a wrong choice on which guide to hire this time.I'm quite sure most people have more good trips than bad. Always remember,'If you can't go when you want to,Go when you can'.
I call BS on this post.Post up the guides name let him defend his self. Like Ron said if nunez is so good why where using another service anyway?? I am not at all putting nunez down it just don't make any sense.