Home of the Westport Tuna Classic, held each summer here.
Booking a tuna trip is very similar to booking an airplane trip for a vacation. Here are some frequently asked questions to make your trip easier!
How do I book a trip?
Our website has a constantly updated list of our boats’ departure dates, and trip length. After taking a look at the schedule, give us a call and get your trip set up. If you don’t have a favorite boat, we’ll choose one for you.
We take a deposit when you make your reservation, equal to 1/2 the trip cost. For example, for a two-day trip, we take a $275 deposit when you book the trip. The residual is due when you show up for your trip on departure day. Just as for an airplane trip, we’ll send an email or USPS confirmation to you when we take your trip deposit.
How early do I need to make a reservation?
Many customers book for the following year the day they get off the boat. Peak season dates sell out fast. The earlier you book, the better, especially if you are booking a whole boat for a group.
Can we book a whole boat at once?
If you’re planning on fishing with a group of friends, make sure ahead of time that everyone can get the time off work. You can set a ‘group reservation name;’ for example, a group of people from work might book their trip under “Joe’s Excavating Group.”
If you are just fishing by yourself, or one other person, that’s okay too! Just as on an airplane, you will join other people on the boat for your trip.
After you’ve set your trip date, you have some options on how you do your payments. Most customers who book groups just tell their friends to “say you’re booking with the ‘Joe’s Excavating Group’ ” when they call. That way, each person pays separately and is only responsible for his or her trip fee.
Should I call your office before I leave for Westport?
The weather on the ocean is variable. The Captains are always monitoring incoming weather fronts; if we are looking at some possible bad weather the week of your trip, we will call you and put the trip on “Weather Watch” status. The Captain will make a final call the day prior to the trip. Always ensure you give us the best telephone number to reach you, when you book your trip.
What do I do on check-in day?
Just as at an airport, you will need your boarding pass before you can board the boat. Stop by the office and check in at the desk. At that time, we will ask your name or the group’s name, and what boat you were assigned to. You will then pay the residual trip fee and receive your boarding pass.
You can also get a fishing licence when you check in, and purchase a fishing derby (“big fish contest”) ticket for the trip.
Make sure and check on two important times when you check in for your trip: boarding time and departure time. Boarding time, usually around 5pm the day you check in, is the time that you may board the boat the first time, to select your bunk and store your gear. Departure time is the time that the boat departs for the fishing grounds.
Bringing all your gear to the boat for boarding will probably require more than one trip. For the first trip, just bring a few items; your boarding pass, boots and sleeping bag, for example. When you step aboard, hand your boarding pass to your deckhand. Walk into the cabin and select your bunk. After you’ve stored all your gear, take some time and enjoy the marina.
What clothes should I bring?
Bring comfortable clothes and apparel that allows for the varying temperatures of being out on the ocean. Remember that space is a premium on the boat: a small duffel bag of clothes is just about the right size to bring on board, stow next to your bunk at night and on top of your sleeping bag during the day when you’re out fishing. Your raingear can be folded atop your boots, stored next to the duffel at night. That way when you wake up in the morning, you can just slip into your boots “fireman style,” and you’re ready to fish!
Here’s a sample list of clothes to bring:
- raingear (tuna fishing is messy; raingear is a must)
- boots (see note above!)
- indoor shoes for evening wear in the cabin (tennis shoes or flip flops for example)
- changes of clothes according to trip length (tees, socks, etc.)
- layers for temperature variances (long-sleeved tees, fleece, hoodies)
- baseball cap or knit cap
What food should I bring on my trip?
You’ll be busy fishing, and tired from fishing at the end of your day. Bring food that’s easy to prepare and eat! You’ll stow your non-perishables (loaf of bread, chips) by your bunk inside the cabin; your cooler (sodas and water) will be stored outside the boat.
When planning what to bring, think of it in terms of how many meals you’ll need. For example, on a two-day tuna trip leaving on Friday, you’d need two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner. Sample meals we’ve seen a lot on the boats: pre-cooked, fried chicken; microwave dinners; sandwich fixings (bread, mayo, ham, cheese, etc.); bagels…and of course snacks, like peanuts, jerky, chips.
Alcohol is allowed on the vessels; the Captains request you not bring any glass containers.
What other items are useful to have?
We sleep “camping style” on our tuna trips. Here is a general list of what to bring
- lightweight sleeping bag and pillow
- hand towel and bar of soap to clean up with
- toothbrush and toothpaste; comb or brush
- plastic trash bag for used clothing
- camera, so you can show your friends back home what a fun trip you had!
- sun glasses
- magazine or book
- money to tip your deckhand (figure 20%, as you would in a restaurant)
Keep the large cooler for your tuna stowed in your vehicle.
When do we leave?
The office will let you know at check-in what time you may board the boat to stow your gear. You will be briefed as to specific departure time after boarding. Each trip is different.
Do you have provisions for a CPAP machine on the boat?
We know that some of our customers live with sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine. All our overnight boats have 110V power available. Please mention this when you book your trip and we will make accomodations for you.