Dick Pinney's Guide Lines: Veteran angler ready for party boats

By DICK PINNEY May 06. 2018 1:25AM

To an avid outdoors person, May is the re-opening of the spring outdoor season, with the plans that were gone over in the dark months hopefully being put into action.

One of my plans is to put in more time fishing on the party boats that power out of the Rye, Hampton and Seabrook harbors, and an occasional trip when we can arrange it out of Newburyport, Mass.

For many years, the Dickster had a powerboat that would handle the rigors of one of those two-hour trips out to the Jeffrey's Ledges locations that always seemed to have a good amount of cod and haddock and other good-eating deep sea species that were so desirable.

But two factors, not having that offshore capability-boat any more and also the fact that my cohesiveness is not what it used to be, we don't tempt fate by taking those two- or three-hour trips just to get to the "promised lands"!

"Leave the driving to us" is now what we experience and there's nothing in my book that is more enjoyable than sitting back and enjoying the trip offshore on a party boat and having all that time (usually about two hours) to have great conversations with my fellow "party boaters," many of whom we've shared deck-time with for several trips over the many years we've been doing this.

Even if you have a boat with offshore capability, unless you have a group of information sharing offshore fishing buddies, the information that they can provide cannot compete with the combined information of the commercial party boats - their catching production is a matter of survival in a very tough and competitive business.

The $75 or whatever the fee is on any given day for a "full day" of offshore fishing is a very reasonable amount when you figure in what kind of investment of both money and time is required for having that kind of boat.

Given the weather and sea conditions, having a great weather forecast along with good information on where the offshore bite is going on is a pretty rare opportunity.

We've been both ways, and always enjoyed the fact that we had the freedom to use our own boat - but we've also made the mistake of being offshore in a boat that just barely provides the safety and comfort that the party boats offer. Also, you have to take into consideration that these commercial party boat owners and skippers share information where and when the fishing has recently been productive, something that most of these people are not happy about sharing with a a "do-it-yourselfer" angler.

One of my joys of party boat fishing is the trip back to port after a full day of offshore fishing. It's a great time to mingle with the other anglers onboard and, when the boat crew gathers at the stern to process and fillet the daily catch, there's a lot of time to chat with the fishermen that you've fished with over the years.

We've never been a fan of indulging in drinking strong beverages while out fishing in our own boat, but there's nothing better, in our estimation, than leaning back on the deck of a party boat heading back to port and having a few "pops" with your fellow anglers and sharing some tall stories - both current and ancient.

Drop us an email at DoDuckInn@aol.com, and if you see us onboard a party boat you are on, please come over and introduce yourself and have a chat. We love meeting people.

Dick Pinney's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email him at DoDuckInn@aol.com.


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