Tips For Picking Your Crew This Fishing Season

Posted on May 11, 2017

With spring fever in the air and anticipation of the season there’s ZERO shortage of people willing to come on fishing trips with you for the upcoming year.

With all these willing souls eager to participate on your fishing trips, the next natural step for the captain is to begin envisioning who, realistically, will actually come.

But here’s the catch.

With only 5 spots available after the captain. Who gets the invite?

Below are some tips questions to ask yourself when picking your crew and assessing the value they bring to the trip.

1). Reliability

Does the person do what they say they’re going to do?

Seems reasonable enough but this is tricky. Are they flaky? Indecisive on being able to go or not go? Not able to make the push-off time?

If they make it in anyway, shape, or form MORE difficult of a process to get off the dock than it already is then the answer is plain writing.

2). $$$

I don’t care how much of your catch you sell or keep for yourselves after you’ve finished a trip but it costs money to front the operation.

Every offshore trip we go on starts with about $2,000 of overhead.

If the people coming aren’t helping to pay then they better be a stud when it comes to rigging, running the cockpit and helping the captain run the boat. That’s the only condition of bringing someone who just walks on.

Can they offset the cost of their trip with the value of their skill set?

3). Skill Set

What can each person bring to the table?

If you have two very talented individuals that know each other working the pit and you have the captain running the boat you should be in GREAT shape and it won’t matter who else you bring.

However, this is a labor of ego’s, make sure the guys calling decisions in the cockpit don’t clash on philosophies and can work well together

4). Mechanically Inclined

It’s almost worth bringing a guy a long who knows absolutely nothing about fishing just so he can help in the engine room.

It’s not a matter of if something goes wrong it’s a matter of when.

The captain needs to have a plan in place for who will be shouldering the responsibility (if not himself). Unless you want to be the guy getting towed back in 85 miles it is critical to have this area covered..

5). Co-Captain

Who is capable of sharing wheel watch and running the boat should something happen to the captain?

On our boat at all times we have two capable captains at minimum while we consistently share wheel time with newer crew.

It’s a great way to show trust for the newer guys in a very low risk environment (ie. running the boat while trolling)

6). Is There One Guy In Charge Of Food/Drink?

Another simple enough concept.

Divide the supplies to buy list in these three categories one person does DRINKS, one person does FOOD, one person does BAIT.

If you have 4 guys bringing their own stuff based on their idea of what the crew wants to eat you’ll end up with three extra bags of chips, not enough drinks and 4 lbs of sandwich meats that don’t get eaten.

7). The ‘Cooler’ Or Morale Guy

Normally this is never the issue as we are lucky to fish with guys who get it and generally have positive attitudes and are funny as hell.

There is always a place on our boat for a guy the captain loves to have around.

Whether it’s keeping him laughing, cooking the right food etc.. -this guy always has a good attitude and brings good karma.

8). Eager To Leave

When you come on a trip with us and you’re not a regular crew member an you have a deadline of “need to be home by 3pm,”  and it wasn’t clarified before the trip then you won’t be invited again.

Plan on staying out until the crew plans on coming home.

Simply put, you’re a guest and you should have had this figured out well before you decided to go on the trip.

9). Cleaning The Boat

Can the guy clean the hell out of your boat? Does he stay and do extra? Is the shammy his friend?

Another invite will be coming his way!



It’s always nice to be a good guy to your friends but at the end of the day there is no shortage of financial and mental strain when trying to find fish and then successfully catch them all while keeping things running properly.

Do yourself a favor and apply some of these screening tips when allotting the limited space you have on the boat.


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