WHAT DOES A GUIDED KAYAK FISHING TRIP COST?
I'll put my guided kayak trips up against anyone in terms of quality of trip vs. cost, or length of trip vs. cost, or quality of equipment. I give you more time on the water for your charter dollar, and I give you more options to tailor your trip. A 4-hour trip is a standard half-day for most guides, and an 8 hour trip is a standard full day. My standard 3/4 day trip is minimum 6 hours on the water, and a full day is a MINIMUM of 8 hours fishing. I generally encourage the 3/4 day 6 hour kayak trip, and discourage the longer trips because our tides run in 6 hour cycles. When possible, I like to schedule the trip to optimize the tide movement each day. The rates are as follows and are subject to change without notice.
Backcountry Kayak Trips (Snook, Reds, Trout, etc.)
6 Hour 3/4 day -- $240.00
8 Hour Full day -- $290.00
Watersnake or MinnKota trolling motors are included at no extra charge!
Note: Customer must pay any launch fee that is required, which is rare, except on Sanibel.
Additional Angler/Boat Rate Each - Currently a Maximum of 2 boats/anglers.
6 Hour 3/4 day -- $90.00
8 Hour Full day -- $110.00
Weekend Kayak Trips
Saturday/Sunday -- 1.5 times the weekday rate
If the weekend trip falls on a holiday or holiday weekend, the rate is 2 times the weekday rate.
Trips run in customers' flats boats are currently $300.00
Believe me, I would rather not have to worry about deposits, but the thoughtless, inconsiderate, selfish actions of the few who leave us guides standing at the ramp, or otherwise don't fulfill their obligation to show up after booking a trip in advance, dictates that I require a deposit from each customer, and enforce the cancellation policy below. NO EXCEPTIONS! The minimum deposit amount is $100.00, or 50% of your total trip fare, which ever is greater. It may be paid by check or money order. If you are booking on short notice, within two weeks of your reserved date, you must prepay the trip in full. The mailing address for deposits is: Capt. Butch Rickey, 11520 E. Palm Drive, Ft. Myers, FL 33908. The balance due on the day we fish should, of course, be cash or travelers checks. I sincerely appreciate your understanding in this matter. I regret having to institute such policies, but I assure you they are necessary.
If circumstances dictate that you cancel your trip 30 or more days before your reservation date, your deposit will be cheerfully refunded in full. If you cancel your trip 15 to 29 days before your reservation date, your deposit will be cheerfully forfeited in full. If you cancel your trip within the last 14 days before your reservation date, you are also responsible to pay the balance of the full trip without question by the original reservation date. And, of course, if I am able to rebook the day you canceled, your deposit will be cheerfully refunded in full, and you will be "off the hook" for any other charges that may have applied. Believe me, I'm not in business to collect forfeited deposits!
A Word About Tipping
Fishing guides live and die by the tip. Judge the quality of your trip, whether with me, or another guide, by how hard your guide works for you. Most of the time, we can work our magic. Yet, sometimes no matter how hard we work, we can't get the fish to cooperate. If your guide worked hard, is courteous, took the time to teach you, and you had a good time, then by all means it is proper to leave him a gratuity of 10 to 15%. Some folks don't tip simply because they don't know it is accepted practice in the charter industry to tip the Captain, or in some cases the Mate. That's why I chose to mention tipping etiquette here.
One Last Thing!
There is a certain amount of risk in everything we do. You are much more likely to be injured in your car coming to fish with me, than you ever will be fishing with me. However, having said that, you are in your own boat, and you bear the final responsibility for your own safety by not doing something dangerous or stupid that I can't prevent because I'm not in the boat with you. For that reason, you are required to sign a "Liability Release Form", or we can't fish together. It's a short, uncomplicated form. Please sign and print it here, and send it with your deposit. Please do one form for each angler in your party.
To help you become familiar with the kayak systems you'll need to know how to use on your trip, I have added a new page of short video clips that will hopefully familiarize you with them. Please watch each short video, and certify that you have watched the videos by checking the box next to each one on your "Liability Release Form". I will be adding more clips as I have time, and refining and improving the present ones. Thanks!
And, for the reasons sited above, and my experience with children under 16 years old, they are not allowed to participate until they are 16 or older. I know you love them and think they're perfect, and they probably are. But, younger kids just don't have the strength or body weight to do things like anchoring with the stakeout pole. They also don't have the judgment, attention span, or decision making ability of an older child. The difference in a 12 year old and a 16 year old is significant. A 16 year old is a young man or woman. A 14 year old is still a kid. Younger kids are far more likely to do something that gets them into trouble, and then panic. So, please wait to take them kayak fishing until they are physically and mentally ready. Thanks!