Florida Fishing Charters
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Bounty Hunter Florida fishing charters offers light tackle and flyfishing trips on the premiere saltwater flats and backcountry waters of the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Boca Grande, Bradenton, Sarasota and Tarpon Springs area of Florida. Enjoy a Florida fishing charter stalking GIANT tarpon, snook, redfish, trout and 20 other Florida tropical and sub-tropical fish, with IGFA world record breaker and tournament champion fishing guide, Capt. Robert McCue. From novice to expert, individual to family and groups, our Florida fishing charters offer enjoyment for all.
Choosing a Florida fishing guide or charter captain is a big decision and should not be based on advertising alone. This original site is designed to make your choice a little easier. We've kept all the bells and whistles off this FAQ page to make down loading and answering the questions people most often have fast and easy. For a more in depth look at our services simply follow the links starting at home.
What We Are Not
We are not a virtual company doing business as a brokerage or a booking agent for any and all people claiming to be/posing as a full time fishing guide in state of Florida for a commission, finders fee, or other similar "kick back". I do not work for hotels, resorts, marinas or other well established or long time fishing guide "services".
While I am a closely held corporation, there is only one major stockholder and employee-Capt. Robert McCue (that is me!). When you hire my company, or myself, I am what you get. I do not play the game of "bait and switch" (attract your attention on my credentials and then pass you off to "someone" else).
On the occasions that I cannot personally accommodate you, I will offer you information on where else to inquire for other guides I have worked with or have known for decades. In many instances in the past 20 years, I have personally started some of the guides found on the Net or in some cases, even built their websites. However, there can only be one original. References are of similar fishing caliber, equipment, and persona. If I cannot help you with the services of these few individuals, I will simply state that I can not, unfortunately, help you per your request. In those cases, we invite you to try us again in the future.
My business is built on one thing. Reputation. I will not risk it for a commission, finder's fees, or "kick backs" with a "fly by night" or a "wanna be" guide. Whether the fish bite or not, it is my mission to give you what you pay for. That includes an honest attempt to make your expectations become reality with state of the art equipment, a pleasant personality and atmosphere for your enjoyment, and near two decades of full-time expert satisfaction.
How do I contact you?
We utilize call forwarding from our office to the captain's cell phone making us virtually and personally available to you even while we are on the water. As to be courteous and focused in our undivided attention to our guest while on a trip, we attempt to keep business brief while under hire. During periods of high call volume, your call will be forwarded to our voicemail system. You will not spend a day fishing with us with cell phone or "Nextel" call interruptions. We will treat you equally as well and with the same respect. Naturally, there are times when we can not personally answer your call. We offer fully functional and reliable voice mail. We request that if you do not reach us personally, to please leave us a message that includes your daytime and evening phone numbers. All messages are promptly and personally returned. We are on United States Eastern Time or minus 5 hours Greenwich Mean Time. The country code for international calls to the United States is (01). We do not have a 'dedicated' fax line. However, we are able to send and recieve faxes, by request, immediatly follow a request made by phone or email.
We have tworedundant phone numbers to best serve you: (727) 597-0957 (941) 404-6566
check our mail on a daily basis,However, we too use modern day 'apps'
to recieve emails in real time from virtually any location.We strive to
reply personally per your
request in 'real time'. Please keep in mind that the Internet is
variables including downed servers, software bugs, or possible "in
house" situations. Our site is one of the oldest Florida fishing
on the Net. That has given "spammers" plenty of time to acquire our
electronic mailing address. We now use a "spam blocker" filter/software
legitimate mail from spam. Please put words relating to fishing in your
subject line to be certain we do not accidentally overpass your
message. If you
have not received a reply on the same day, it is likely we are
of these type of pitfalls. In such cases, we apologize in advance for
and request you give us a call.
Where are you located?
True to our claim to find our clients the best in west central and southwest Florida inshore fishing...we are centrally located in-between Florida's largest natural estuary (Tampa Bay Estuary) and Florida's largest undeveloped estuary (Charlotte Harbor Estuary). We act as a "fish nomad" and travel from Homosassa to the north and Sanibel to the south, depending on where fishing is best for the species in quest. As of 2015, we have 28 years of continuous full time guiding experience in Homosassa, New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Boca Grande, Port Charlotte, Captiva, Sanibel and Ft. Myers. We feel our central location and vast professional experience in these areas offers a uniqueness not truly found by any other guide on the gulf coast. This luxury also allows us to travel within that range for our guests who are under restricted time constraints and to run our fishing charters where we feel the fishing will be best. Bottom line is---minimum running time... we do all the traveling on our time and before your fishing charter begins. Please see "Our Locations" here.
What is Florida flats, backcountry and near shore fishing?
kind of boat do you have?
We feature a high performance 2008 Dorado 23 Limited Edition*, rigged with a 2014 Suzuki 250hp 4_stroke. The "Bounty Hunter" is specially designed to fish the Florida backcountry terrain flats, and nearshore waters featured on the Gulf coast. The boat is the most hi tech, largest and versatile guide boat on the coast. In the world of Florida Gulf Coast fishing, the Dorado is the Cadillac of guide boats. She has a very shallow draft, a semi "v" hull, hydraulic jack plate and trim tabs. These features allow for a safe, dry, and fast access to/in the fishing grounds. The boat is about 1500 pounds and features a wide transom gunnel that serves as a platform we use to push the boat (via a push pole) to stalk spooky fish in shallow water. The boat offers over 74 feet of uncluttered casting deck and is" snag" free... offering a very enjoyable light tackle and flyfishing environment. An elevated forward casting platform and dual 111# thrust trolling motors are added for tarpon fishing. The "Bounty Hunter" meets all Coast Guard requirements, in addition, we employ DUAL AND REDUNDANT: GPS, high powered sonars, side scan sonars, plotters and cellular telephones. Sorry.......no air conditioning or cable TV. We do have a fish box, top of the line equipment, and a knowledgeable/ professional guide who does this as his ONLY source of income.
The 2008 Dorado 23 is the professional's creme de la creme of Florida
guide boats. Like top professional full time fishing guides, Dorado
reputation over decades of honing their products to virtual perfection.
The Dorado 23 is the original hybrd boat that started the entire 'bay
Success in catching many
species is obtained by the use of live-scaled sardines. The bait itself
once the secret of commercial fisherman and guides, but not any longer.
is so effective! It has essentially created an entire new fishery; a
community of "new" fishing guides, boats and tackle.
The only way to properly
fish the "crickets" is to secure them fresh on a daily basis (seasonal
availability) and in massive quantities.
They cannot be bought. We start
to collect them in the pre dawn darkness throwing a 12-foot cast net.
bait is included in the trips and artificial baits can be stocked on
prior to departure, we must personally catch these live sardines and we
as a service to our clients that is part of your trip.
Scaled sardines are premium baits and a fishery unto itself. Due in part to the length of time we have been fishing them, acquiring them in quality and quantity has earned us a reputation of excellence in this area. On the rare occasion where excessive time is spent acquiring them (i.e. over an hour) that time will be split evenly between us (the captain and the clients). Inside of that time allotment, we absorb the time catching your staple sardines. We are not and never have been "clock watchers". I do not believe fish (to include the baitfish) bite on a time clock. Our goal is to get the job done to your complete satisfaction within the scheduled amount of time. The sardines are a part of that equation in all aspects. Your guide is confident on fish locations and the sardines are your insurance policy to capture them. Sardines are "white magic" to our elite gamefishes, and we hope you will understand and appreciate how "making premium bait" is "made" for your fishing trip. Good things come to those with great bait!
For those who are interested, I can usually accommodate you if you wish to see how this is done and what exactly is involved during this daily ritual. This is often an advantage as we can start fishing directly from the bait location on the water. For the not so hardcore, in cases of larger parties or in unfavorable sea conditions in the area of bait, we will arrange a time to meet. This arranged time will allow me time for obtaining the minnows and/or according to your availability/ schedule.DEPOSITS & TERMS
"Acts of God":
Being that I am one person, with one boat and with fully booked seasons, events outside my control happen on rare occasion that prevent my personal availability. These events are rare but often without warning (just as in any small business or in life). In such events the following professional protocol will be followed as Bounty Hunter Sport Fishing Guide Service Inc. policy for "Acts of God".
Florida Fishing Charter
Do we need to be expert fishing people to fish with you?
While we do specialize in the elite species and sometimes use advance
techniques...we fish many novices. Families, kids and women are more
than welcome. We are pleased to offer kind and friendly instruction. An
open mind and the ability
to follow a little advice is all that is needed. We use a mild mannered
approach, and I am one who doesn't use the "barking" program. We are
very well established. You catching each and every fish is not as
important to us as you having a good time. We do appreciate being
recognized for the opportunities we provide. Remember that no matter
who or where you choose a fishing charter...nobody wants you to catch
fish more than your fishing guide. Some of the elite species are
difficult in that they
are very temperamental or very strong. We suggest that when inquiring
about a specific target, ask particular questions on what to expect in
hunting and catching
I get sea sick easy...are your waters often rough?
No. In fact the majority of our fishing is done in less than six feet of water and as shallow as a foot. Our fishing is nearly "weather proof" as we fish mostly protected water. We are rarely out of sight of land.
On our coast you need not go miles and miles offshore to catch big fish. Here, big fish live in skinny water.
I bring my own tackle?
Sure. We suggest that you express your intentions in advance so we can advise you if it is adequate. We provide and feature all top of the line tackle for your use. We take all responsibility for it during its proper use. We are not responsible for neglect and/ or abuse. All baits, lures and flies are too included.
What do we need to bring on our Florida fishing . charter?
Do we need a Florida fishing
No. We purchase an annual umbrella fishing license that covers your party at no additional fee. Everything is covered in the charter fee, except food and drink.
we keep our catch?
You are welcome to keep whatever you wish under the state of Florida's strict guidelines. The guide's limit is not to be counted in the charters "bag limit". Most often...I release the fish that exceed the passenger limit. All tarpon are released except under special circumstances. In 2013, Florida made tarpon a 'catch and release only' species. the new Florida regulations may be viewed here.
many people can you accommodate?
We can fish a maximum of four adults on one vessel and can accommodate a party of any size. We are very comfortable with two per vessel. When fly fishing we allow only one person to wave the wand at a time, unless we are fishing outside the boat wading (optional). Groups and large parties are accommodated by the means of multiple boats. Over the past few years this has become a favorite of those engaged in business meetings. We utilize a few hand picked fishing guides as partners. We work very closely together( via vhf radio/cellular phone) to insure equality of guest satisfaction. However, some like to put all the marbles on the table and compete in mini tournaments between the boats. This makes group charters a great time, just remember to take it easy on the boss.
There are so many Florida fishing guides listed on the NET, what should I look for?
Unfortunately, there are many ads on the Net that are in direct violation of the Federal Trade Commission's laws of "truth-in-advertising". The best advise is to use common sense. Beware of claims like these top favorites:1. "Giant Tarpon" and other advertising deception/content rip-off
2. Full time fishing guide
and/or "fishing 250 days a year" (or similar number roughly equating
to 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year)
...sometime during your trip you will find the truth to this claim, whether the fish are biting or not . Look for credentials, achievements, fresh website content and several quality fish photos throughout websites....if they got em' they will tell/show you. Trust me. Unfortunately, I can personally attest to several guides on the Net advertising "full time" who are actually policemen, land surveyors, fireman, software operators, painters, boat builders etc. If a cloaked individual has another career, how can they possibly be on the water 250 days (5 days a week) a year? Would you retain Sherlock Holmes as your neurosurgeon? A full time guide is looking to satisfy you so that you return and or spread the word to others. This is his true secret of success. A part time guide is looking for you to make his boat or mortgage payment this month and for someone else to do it for him next month.
3. "Winner of several fishing
...really, which ones? Pro division or amateur? From a boat or a kayak? Adult World Records or "open" junior world records? Mom and pop events or accredited/sanctioned events? Elite species such as tarpon and snook are specialist. If that is what you are looking for, then a long tarpon tourney history is what you are looking for. Redfish/red drum are NOT tarpon! Verified specific tournament wins and IGFA World Records are important. A 'proven track record' gives you an idea on what to expect from a professional fishing guide. Fishing under tight rules, regulations and the same (and often difficult) fishing conditions is not easy, nor is any professional fishing..
4. "Born and raised here, native"
...great! How long have you been a full time fishing guide? How old are you? what other "careers" have you had or are you currently working? Even better yet, how long have you been fishing professionally? What year were you born? There is no substitution for experience!
6. While researching, beware of
fees below the "going rate"
This is often or a a dead giveaway of a part time newbee guide that is not confident in competiting with long time pros, or his/her overhead is low due to them still "roommating" with thier parents. In the end...you may regret spending a few extra dollars (which is often the "going rate") on someone who knows what it costs to run a legal, full time & first class operation. As in other aspects of life...you get what you pay for. True full time guides are not receiving pensions from previous employment, are not stock brokers, police men, firemen,beneficiaries of million dollar trusts....looking to kill spare time, or have a full time jobs on land. Pro fishing guides are nothing more than glorified fish farmers that do not receive federal aid. Often these "services" seek "instant gratification" on your dream and dollar. They are quick to buy "sponsored links" or webpage mirroring software to copy code and get listed with the long time/well established guides who enjoy the "fruits of their labor" such as top search engine rankings achieved through their longevity in business and the Internet. As always, we see them come and we see them go.
7. You get the idea. There are
some hoax fishing guides spamming the NET
get their credentials and ask questions. While none of these points should exclude a charter guide, hiring based on these spam merits is not suggested. Hiring a guide should not be based on advertisement alone, look for extensive photo catalogs and credentials that all point to long time Career Fishing Guide. We will put our guide services up against any of them. Whether you decide to fish with us or not.......please protect your hard earned money, your valued leisure time, our families and our trade. Our livelihood and being on your fish day in and day out depends on it. Thank You!
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