Fish & Feathers: $10 isn't too much!

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>This pretty lady from Yelm, WA out dueled 14 other male family members to win the pot for biggest fish (57", 45 lbs.).

The generally accepted level of tipping for services rendered in the U.S. is 15 percent, if you are pleased with the service you have received.

The average charter boat price for a salmon or sturgeon trip amounts to $82 including tax. Fifteen percent of that amount would come out to about $12.50. Yet, day after day, I hear from experienced deckhands that people who fish on their boats, tip as little as $2 or nothing at all.

The cost of the trip does not include the deck hand's tip. The trip fee covers the overhead, promotional shows brochures, office overhead, bait, coffee, moorage, fuel, insurance, state tax, federal taxes, city tax, broken rods, lost equipment, fishing line and hooks, yearly charter boat license and Coast Guard inspection fees and a very small profit margin.

The success of your trip is very much dependent on the performance of the deckhand. Charter boats offer a fishing experience, they do not guarantee fish.

A good deckhand will provide you with the best opportunity to catch a fish by casting your rod, making sure the equipment is in working order, keeping your hook baited, netting your fish and in the case of salmon, cleaning it or hauling it up to the cannery. The deckhand, in most cases, woke up before you and will be working long after you leave the boat.

So before you leave the boat, put yourself in their place and think of what you would expect to receive for the effort.

No - $10 dollars isn't too much!

Penalty does not fit the crimeThe recent sentence handed down by the judge for the killing of a large endangered ocean turtle by an Ocean Park man was, in my opinion, a joke.

He broke a federal law by killing the animal and was sentenced to community work and home confinement? He gets to spend his time with his family, drink beer, watch TV, work on hobbies, eat home cooked meals - such a deal. You get caught for reckless driving or a DUI and you are in big trouble - fine, school, rehabilitation, lawyer expenses, insurance increase - big time.

The leniency displayed by the local prosecutor in charging unauthorized guide services and people tweaking the hunting and fishing laws is unhealthily. Why have a Fish & Wildlife enforcement system, which spends a ton of effort and money to catch offenders, when the courts let them off the hook?

Nautical OrigonsDoldrums, In the Doldrums - Between the tradewinds of the northern and southern hemisphere lies an area of calm winds, close to the equator, called the doldrums. Since sailing vessels relied upon the wind, a trip through the doldrums was often long, hot and boring.

Flotsam and Jetsam - These are legal terms in maritime law. Flotsam is any part of the wreckage of a ship or her cargo that is lost by accident and found floating on the surface of the water. Jetsam are goods or equipment deliberately thrown overboard (jettisoned) to make the sip stable in high winds or heavy seas. The term flotsam and jetsam shore-side means odds and ends of no great value.

Ron Malast is owner/operator of the charter boat BigDipper, operating out of Pacific Salmon Charters in Ilwaco.

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