Catalina Island News

Five Star Crew

Afishinados Charters

There has been a pretty good run of quality Yellowtail of late.  I remember the ‘good ol days’, when ‘Yellow Fever’ hit the docks and there was not a spot available on any of the charter boats operating out of San Diego.

We would wait until we started hearing the reports with high numbers of Yellowtail and then we would plan the best moon phase and call for reservations only to find that we were not fast enough.  The good boats were already sold out.

This left us with a big dilemma.  Take our chances on a lesser boat and hope that the bite was so good that it did not matter what the Captain did, or, go on another day.  We usually chose to go on another day and stick with our tried and true favorite boats.

People are funny this way.  I get calls all the time from people that went fishing with me years ago and they are certain that I am the only captain that can deliver the quality charter they dream of.

When I am booking them into a charter, they invariably ask, “Are you going to be our Captain?”  “No”, I answer, “I am upgrading you to one of our best.”  Nobody ever believes this, but it is probably true. 

I have never claimed to be the best fisherman in Avalon, in fact I have written before that there are a lot of good ‘sticks’ in this town.  I think I have two in my crew right now that are pretty good and getting better each day, Capt. Charlie and Taylor.

Capt. Charlie has been running most of our fishing charters so far this season.  And, due to the fact that we are still battling Cummins for a warranty replacement motor on Afishinados, he has been doing most of the charters on Catallac.  Nice upgrade.

Because Catallac is such a big boat, I have been putting Taylor on board as a deckhand to assist in making sure our customers learn about our local fishing and catch fish.  This duo has not missed yet this season.

In the last couple of days they have run three 6-pak charters and all three have exceeded our customers’ expectations by landing personal bests for each charter with big yellowtail to 36 pounds.  ‘Yellow Fever’ may not run as high as it did in the good old days, but this duo is getting it done and the customers are happy.

I could not be more thrilled.  It has been a challenging year with boats and engines, permits and licenses, etcetera, etcetera.

Thankfully Catallac has been a star performer.  Catallac is a great platform.  She can do a number of things really well, in addition to fishing.

We transported 41 people to Two Harbors for a wedding June 2nd, another 15 for the WineFest on the 3rd, about 30 more for the Harbor Sands Grand Opening on the 4th and another 22 today for a corporate outing.

All of these trips had great weather, visitors learned about our beautiful island, saw an abundance of sea life and had the bonus of seeing a swooping eagle over flying fish.

And that was in the day time.

At night we took groups of 24, 41 and 16 people (Catallac’s capacity is 49) to see incredible sunsets, some great flying fish shows with hundreds of flyers and sea lions on the chase.  Truly a national geographic sighting.

Being ‘Good Sticks’ is not enough when you are working in Afishinados Charters.  I hope that my Captains and crew are good anglers, but I expect so much more from each of them.

I want them to be good operators.  They have some big expensive machinery in their hands, and the cost to repair is simply ridiculous.

I want them to be trainers.  We do not yell at customers when they miss a nice fish, we try to help ensure that their next attempt will have a better outcome.

I want them to be safe.  Truthfully, I feel that my current crew, including our newest Capt. Doug, is the most safety conscious that I have known in this business.  Our mantra is…”Awareness!”

I want them to exceed customer expectations.  This can be tough when the fish do not cooperate, but that is when the stakes are the highest.

We got three TripAdvisor reviews this week, all of them 5 stars.  You cannot ask much more than that.

Capt. John runs Afishinados Charters and Catallac Tours 888-613-7770 –