Frequently Asked Questions

When hiring a charter captain, below are a few questions you should always ask before you book a charter! The answers to these questions can translate to significant differences in boats, captains and experiences you will have on your trip, while spending your hard earned money.  We have included answers to these questions, but we can’t stress enough about discussing these questions with any potential charter you may hire!  On the Hooked Up II, our goal is to give you the best experience possible through our experience, expertise, honesty and integrity.

Click on the Questions below to see answers.

How many years have you actually been charter fishing in the waters we will be fishing on my trip?
This question is an important question to ask.  There are many captain’s out there who are “part-time” captains these days.  These captain’s generally fish on the weekends or holidays due to the fact they are working a regular job in addition to charter fishing.

I have been fishing the South Jersey waters and the canyons for 25+ years now as a full time captain.  My knowledge of of the local waters, sea conditions, winds, fish trends, etc. are second to none.  I have fish logs that date back to when I first started fishing and I can check my notes to aide in making the most informed decisions possible.  I have over 1000 trips offshore from the 30 fathom line out to our local canyons and have caught over a thousand various tuna species in my time offshore fishing.

Another advantage of paying to charter a boat who has a full time captain is the time spent on the water.  Fishing nearly every day on the water has its advantages over a part-time captain because it allows us first hand knowledge where the fish are located and what baits they are eating.  Another advantage to a captain who has been full time for several years is the network of other captains available to talk to and discuss fish locations and techniques.

In addition to the hundreds of trips I have run in New Jersey, I also fished commercially for Giant Bluefin Tuna out of Morehead City, North Carolina for about 15 years.  With the knowledge gained during these years of catching hundreds of Giant Bluefin Tuna, fishing on the Hooked Up II provides one of the best opportunities to catch tuna, especially Big Eye Tuna and large class tuna’s anywhere on the east coast.  We have some proven techniques we use up our sleeves that we have developed and use aboard the Hooked Up II along with and custom tackle, which can help reduce fish fighting time on large tuna and increase your fishing time on our boat.

Can you guarantee I will catch fish on my trip?
Anyone who can guarantee that you will catch a fish on your trip seems that they may just want to win your business with no merit to the statements they make.  It’s the ocean, they call it “fishing”, not “catching”.   Every captain I know has had slow trips sometime in their career!

On the Hooked Up II, I can’t guarantee a fish, but I personally feel that fishing on my boat will give you one of the best opportunities around to catch the fish you are looking for!

See the next question below for more information.

Will you take me fishing even if you know there are no fish to be caught during the time of my trip?
This question is important for me to answer and for you to discuss with any potential charter captain you may hire.

I have cancelled a fair number of trips due to lack of fish being caught.  I do not like to take my customers out for a nice boat ride.  That is not what you are paying me to do!  Not all captain’s will follow this policy, so this is something to consider discussing with any potential captain.

When it gets closer to your trip, if the fish are not around, I will inform you of this.  We can discuss the options and decide what works best for you, the customer.  That is what’s most important.  It’s your hard earned money and you should be able to spend it how you want to.  If we cancel a trip due to lack of fish, we usually try to reschedule it for a future date when the fish are around.

Some customers just want to fish no matter what, I understand that.  If you are someone who wants to fish no matter what, we can arrange that, but I try to be as upfront and honest as possible with my clients in regards to how the fishing is and has been recently.

It does happen sometimes where we will be out one day and have catches of epic numbers and the very next day we will go out and catch very little or nothing at all.  This is nothing we can control; it’s the nature of the game.  What I can promise you is this:  In all cases, we will do the best we can and fish as hard as we can to try and put a catch together.

What happens if the fishing just starts to heat up but the time I paid for is near it's end and we have to head back to dock?
This can be a touchy subject.  On the Hooked Up II, we don’t fish by the clock.

If you paid for the 12 hour offshore charter and right around hour 12 the tuna just started biting, guess what…..WE ARE STAYING OUT!  We won’t leave a fishing spot just because your “time is up”.  This isn’t a video game at an arcade where time expires and you’re done.  As a part of doing our best to catch some fish, we feel going the extra mile and spending extra time if necessary is a part of the job.

We do not charge extra for time spend above what your trip was supposed to be.  This does not mean that every trip gets extra time and therefore you should book the cheapest trip figuring it will last longer.  We only stay if the fish start biting right at the end, or we are in a frenzy where the fish are still biting after your “time is up”.

How do you determine the length of a trip and why is this important?
Every captain will look at trip length’s differently.  Generally, the length of a trip on the Hooked Up II is from the time we depart the dock to the time we return to dock.  We are not always perfect, sometimes we are a little long, sometimes it’s a little short, but it’s usually close to the estimated duration of the trip.

Why is this important?

This is important because not all boats are created equal.  The Hooked Up II is capable of cruising higher speeds than many boats of it’s size.  What does this mean to you?  More fishing time!  Since we are capable of getting the fishing grounds faster, it allows us to have more fishing time than much of the competition.

Since you are paying your hard earned money to fish, we feel that this is important to consider when choosing your next charter.

What kind of safety gear do you carry?
We take safety very seriously on the Hooked Up II.  In addition to the list below, we are also voluntarily a part of the United States Coast Guard’s Un-Inspected Passenger Vessel Program.  To see our documentation and a checklist on what this includes, see our UIPV page.

Safety Gear Includes:

  • Satellite Phone
  • 8 man Offshore Viking raft that is inspected every 2 years and includes full survival gear
  • 2 Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon’s (EPIRB)
  • Hand Held 5watt waterproof VHF radio to contact other boats and the Coast Guard while in the raft
  • Cold weather survival suits
  • Two water proof ditch bags with full emergency kits for offshore survival including over 40 flares and 2 flare guns
  • Life Jackets for all on board
What amenities does your boat have?
The short answer is, lots.  The Hooked Up II is equipped to make your fishing experience one of the best possible whether you are fishing in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter.  We have plenty of bunks for sleeping, a full head (bathroom) that is plenty large and nice comfy couches for relaxing on your trip.

For the long answer and to learn more about the boat, please check out our “about the boat” page.  We take pride in our boat and I think you will see that on this page as well as while you are on the boat as it is always maintained to the highest standard.  I purchased this boat new so I know everything about it.

How many people can come on my trip?
Six.  We are considered a 6-pack charter, therefore we are allowed 6 customers on a trip.  For longer trips.
What do you provide on a trip?
On all of our trips, we provide all the bait, ice and tackle you will need for the trip.  There is no reason to bring your own rods, unless you really want to.  All of our rods are custom built and are maintained throughout the season to minimize the amount of failures we see on our trips.

We supply between 600-800 lbs. of crushed ice on all offshore trips. We have an large insulated Carolina style fish box in the transom plus a large 6×4 foot insulated slush box built into the floor of the Hooked Up II where we mix ice and salt water to keep your catch the freshest possible!  We can keep up to 25 large tuna stored perfectly to guarantee their absolute freshest condition until we arrive back at the dock even in 90 plus degree temperatures. We also have on board two extra-large Canyon insulated fish bags for on board for keeping Big Eye tuna fresh if they should be too large for our slush box.

What should I bring?
Every person is different in their needs.  Below is a list of things I can recommend, but it is not all inclusive.  Please bring all things you think are important to making your trip as enjoyable as possible.  If you have questions, ask, we are always here to help!

  • A cooler for your catch (we’ll supply the ice)
  • All food and drinks (especially water) you think you want to eat on your trip (We have plenty of fresh brewed coffee)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain gear (in the event it rains…ocean weather is not always predictable and you may see some rain from time to time even if they don’t call for it)
  • Any medications you regularly take and will need to take while on the trip
  • Seasickness medication (if you are prone to being motion sick)
  • Camera
Why is your boat so expensive compared to others?
There are several reason that this is the case, however I will focus on our biggest expense.  Fuel.  Fuel is our single largest expense when operating a charter business, and we spare no expense operating our vessel to get you to the fishing locations, thus giving you more time on the water fishing and less time taking a boat ride.

Our boat is 55′ which is larger and 20-30 thousand pounds heavier than most sport fish style charter boats in the South Jersey fleet.  We burn a significant amount of fuel running our twin diesel engines that are over 700 horsepower each to get you to the fish faster than most other boats are capable of, especially boats with only one engine.

I realize most people think we are just making more money than the others, but I can assure you this is not necessarily the case.  We do feel that the experience you get from our captain(s) and the knowledge of local waters and fishing is second to none in South Jersey and you will not be disappointed.  Sometimes a little extra money goes a long way.

How far are you willing to go to fish?
On the Hooked Up II, we have a range that most boats in South Jersey simply can not reach.  We will travel, if necessary, and conditions permitting up to 110 miles away from our home port of Cape May on offshore trips.

For striper trips, we try to stay more local, but we have run as far as 30 miles from our home port to catch the fish for our customers.

It should be noted that many captain’s won’t run as far as we do on offshore trips for several reasons, but if that’s where the fish are, that’s where we are.  You should really discuss with a potential captain you are looking to hire what the range of his boat is and what he is actually willing to travel.  You might be surprised at the answer.

Where are you located?
We are located at South Jersey Marina.  Please see our “directions” page for location and how to get there!
How many actual Yellowfins, Bluefins and Big Eyes have you caught the last couple of years?
We totaled over 500 tuna comprising of yellowfins, bluefins along with 20 Big Eye tuna in the last couple of seasons.  In the 2014 season the majority of the yellowfins were in the 70-90 pound class during the day chunking.  We did not run any fall overnight trips after late August due to lousy weather.  In past years, we used to catch 200 or more tuna at night in our local canyons in September and October, but last season the best of the tuna fishing was in June, July and August.