It’s the height of the summer season, and the tourist influx is at its peak.

When it comes to outside activities, besides parking butts on the sand, there are two primary pursuits: crabbing and fishing.

We covered the crabbing dealio a couple of blogs ago, but let’s not forget the abundant rod bending opportunities available, whether a newbie, novice (as in “I’ve been fishing once, maybe twice), casual, experienced or expert rod ‘n reel visitor.

Or a local, for that matter.

This is about the former pair in particular, as these will, and with good reason, opt to board a bay-bound party boat for the best chance at catching a few fish, maybe even some to take back to the rental for dinner. Yeah, it’s what we in the industry refer to as a four-hour “sortie”, but it is still enough time to 1) introduce youngsters to the fun of fishing 2) re-kindle what might have been lost in years/decades away from the game and 3) repeat 1 and 2.

It’s all about fun, as in lots of “whatever fish” being caught, and that’s where the party boat mate(s) play a vital role. These non-stoppers “make your time a fun time” untangle lines, unhook fish, direct rail traffic and make timely suggestions, all for you to enjoy the bend in the rod.

Michael Ruble
Michael Ruble

Rules to follow?

“Yes,” advises Capt. Vic Hartley from the previous years of fishing service aboard the Sea Isle bound Capt. Robbins and now sailing from Keyport Marina under the “Keyport Princess” banner.

“The most important thing is to be at the boat on time, preferably a half hour earlier before departure time,” he says, noting that there is no waiting, as there is a boat full of paid customers who want to go fishing.


“Listen to the mates if you’re not catching fish. Tangles? They’re there. Bottom snagged? They’re there for you. Their advice is from experience, because, hey, they love to go fishing, too. They want you to catch fish and have a fun time. That means you’ll be back.”

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And with well-deserved tips. Hey, business is business!

As an addendum, he mentioned that the rental rod/reel combos on most party boats, such as his, are of the conventional type. This means dropping the bait(s) down with no casting involved. So...DO NOT attempt a swing! A backlash nightmare will ensue, and that’s a time-taker from the mates’ duties serving all.

All said, hop on and go fishing!

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