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“Not what we expected...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Lady Pamela 3 Dritfishing

Lady Pamela 3 Dritfishing
5400 N Ocean Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33019
(888) 761-8045
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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not what we expected...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

My wife and I went out on the "all day dolphin" fishing trip with these guys on Thursday feb. 21. I was a little bothered right off the bat since we didn't leave the dock until 8:15am because some of the passengers were late and we were waiting for them. This despite the fact that on the phone I had been sternly advised that the boat would leave the dock at 8:00 sharp whether we were on it or not and that we would be charged for the trip either way. "Not a big deal" I thought, I would appreciate them waiting for me were I in that position. I was further disappointed to find that once we left the dock we were not headed out fishing but instead to get fuel and food at the marina store! We finally motored out of the harbor at about 8:45.
When we did start fishing everything seemed good initially. We got offshore about 2-3 miles (not as far as I expected but whatever- I'm used to fishing Lake Michigan this is the Atlantic...) and the mate started setting lines to troll for Mahi-Mahi. Within 10-15 min we had our first Mahi in the boat and things seemed to be going well. Then came 30 min of nothing after which the captain decided we should try kite fishing. This was alright and within 40 min or so produced a couple bites and one nice king. We then proceeded to continue with the kites for a total of about 4.5 hours the last hour of which time produced no activity at all (probably should have tried something else a little sooner- but that's hindsight). My chief complaint with the kite fishing is that we were getting plenty of bites and such but not catching anything most of the time. All told the kites yielded the one king mentioned earlier. Part of the reason for this was that we didn't initially have wire leaders attached. That in and of itself is understandable, what bothered me was that when the mate started swapping out for wire he ran out of pre-rigged leaders (I believe he found a total of 3). Even in my rather modest freshwater tackle bag, you can bet I've got more than 3 wire leaders ready to go at any given point in time.
Then the captain decided we would try fishing for sharks, which got us a few more bites and no more fish boated. After the sharks the captain finally brought us to what I presume was a wreck or reef where we hauled in several vermillion snapper and a couple almaco jacks, one of which was a keeper.
All in all I would not call it a very successful day of fishing, but that's ok sometimes the fish don't cooperate. What was unacceptable in my view was the disorganization that I saw in the operation- everything from not having the boat fueled up prior to leaving the dock to the lack of wire rigs to not paying any attention to who was going to "fish" next. Also, the word fish is in quotes because what really went on is the mate did the fishing and hooking then the paying customer did the reeling- which makes our extremely poor bite:catch ratio while kite fishing even more disappointing (the bite catch ratio on the kites as I figured it was 10:1). Also extremely disappointing were some of the captains judgement calls. I know that both my wife and I and two other people on the charter were more interested in catching good numbers of fish and bringing something home for the table than with catching trophy fish. Now, it is not impossible that we were simply out voted as there were 9 customers on our trip, but the techniques that were employed for the vast majority of the day (the kites and shark fishing- which together comprised 5-5.5 hours of an 8 hour trip) are not very well suited to our objectives (and yes the captain was well aware of what we would like to get out of the trip- he asked us as we finalized our payment at the dock).
Both the captain and the mate were generally quite friendly and pleasant, although the mate did smoke almost constantly and threw all of the butts into the ocean. The boat was also relatively well equipped and reasonably comfortable. Neither the boat nor the equipment is brand new but both seemed to work perfectly well on our trip.
To summarize, I was most upset by the lack of organization, followed closely by the fact that the captain never reevaluated the desires of his customers during the trip when there was going to be a change of location or technique. Then there was the fact that two members of the party (myself included) never had our hands on a rod that held a fish on the other end of the line (which may or may not be understandable depending on fishing conditions).
I would also like to note that while the 9 paying customers on our trip was tolerable, 6 would have been better. They say they can have 22 people fishing from that boat (Lady Pamela III) and while it may be true that you could fit 22 people aboard I find it completely inconceivable that it would be in any way comfortable or that much fishing would get done.
However, the boat ride was very pleasant and relaxing and seeing Miami from the water was cool, unfortunately that's not what I paid for...

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

the thursday offshore trip offered is worthless. the smallish vessel may be licensed for 22 people, but for effective fishing i would say no more than 6 would be appropriate. The vessel is clearly not built to fish so many. Gear is all old and maintained very poorly. After leaving the slip late we stopped at a local fuel dock along the way to take on fuel and were given an option to buy live bait. I feel this should be provided, but whatever. After taking on fuel and cigarettes for the mate, we made our way offshore and caught nothing. This is not the fault of the crew, as fishing is difficult sometimes, and they did try several different methods, but all in all it was a pretty sour affair. Only after returning to the dock (with out any fish) did we learn that one of our engines had been broken the entire time, showing great skill on the captain's part, but not making me feel very safe at all. Mate seemed quite inexperienced. The owner who dealt with us on the phone is about as personable as a potato and obviously has quite a bit to learn about customer relations. Im sure they go out and get lucky once in a while, but I have fished on many operations throughout the game fishing world, and trust me when I tell you, this operation is weak.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, New York
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worst fishing boat ever”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I booked an all day wanting to FISH all day. I also booked for Wednesdday. I called on Tuesday evening to go out on an evening trip so I could check them out before Thursday I was told they were not going out so my son and I went with a different company that night my son and I caught like 30 fish including a 19.5 inch mangrove snapper. I got a phone call on Tuesday evening asking if we were planning on going Wednesday I said yes I was infoermed they were not going Wednesday morning due to engine problems. I verified on Wednesday that we were going out on Thursdsy and was told there were either 6 or 7 people going I asked are we still going and I was assured we were. My 19 year old son and I showed up at the boat at 7:45 at that time there was 2 other people a grandpa and grandson the captain and mate were working on the boats engine, we were told we were waiting on 4 other people but if we wanted to buy out their seats we could go now or if we wanted to go with the 4 of us we could only go for 4 hours, we waited 2 more people showed up again we were told if we wanted to buy out the other 2 seats we could or go out for 6 hours, we waited again no one showed up, we finally left at about 8:40 then stopped at the marina so the captain and mate could get drink and food we also got google eyes so we could catch big fish (don't waste the money we never caught anything on them). Finally we left at about 9:00 to go fishing or boat riding.
We stopped to catch some blue runners to use as bait, we already spent $45.00 on bait they gave 6 people 2 poles to share.
We went out further and trolled we were told when a pole showed a fish on grab it, well you can grab it but they will take it away and give it to someone else, if you know NOTHING about fising it is a great place to go with because they give you a pole with a fish on to reel it in if you loss the fish they just keep giving you the pole until you finally get a fish.
In the 6 1/2 hours I held the pole once and reeled in a 8" tuna my son held the pole once and got a 38" dolphin (mahi-mahi) that was all we got to fish. If you want to pay $90.00 for a boat ride go ahead I will NEVER go with these guys again.
If you look at the report from 12/20/12 they claim the Lady Pamela III caught 8 dolphin that is a big fat lie we caught 3 and the one was not 35# it was big but maybe 20# so I guess they do fish stories.
I have been on many fishing trips from Cape Cod to the Florida gulf this by far was the worst fishing company I have every gone with.
If you know anything about Dolphin fishing you always leave one in the water as a ploy for the other dolphin, they are a schooling fish if you keep one in the water they stay around, you pull them all out the school takes off, well this company pulls them in all at once. We stopped at one spot pulled in 2 then had to move again for 1/2 hour then we caught the biggest one but pulling in the big bull the others all took off we never found them again, that was at 11:45 we did not see or catch anything after that. Don't waste time kite fishing it takes 20 minutes - 30 minutes to set up and no bites at all.
I am a women I live near Buffalo New York we do not have dolphin here but I know more about the dolphin then this company does. At this point when we caught the dolphin if we would have left them in the water we could have just thrown lines down and caught more dolphin.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, Vermont, United States
1 review
“A wonderful first fishing trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

We went out on a 4 hour drifting trip. My two children had a great time. Captain david and shipmate goose were great. My daughter caught a shark and my son a king fish. The very friendly and knowledgeable staff told us of a restaurant where we could take our sons fish and they would cook it for us. It was a wonderful end to an amazing day. I would highly recommend this group to anyone looking to have a great family time.

Visited December 2012
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Pittsford, New York
1 review
“Awesome time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We took a 4 hour drift boat trip on The Lady Pamela 3 on December 21, 2012 in the AM. It was a very cool and windy day which apparently helped the fishing. We lucked out with having only 4 fisherman and 2 crew members(Captain Joe and First Mate Goose). My 8 year old had the time of his life and caught 12 good size fish including Trigger Fish, Lane Snappers and the endangered Unicorn Fole Fish(thrown right back). Myself and my father-in-law caught an additional 14 fish. Goose was very helpful especially with my son and quickly baited and untangled our lines. Captain Joe gladly filleted our fish which we enjoyed for lunch a few hours later. The only minimal negative was that we caught no trophy fish but the abundance of other fish we caught more than made up for it. We look forward to going on another trip with The Lady Pamela crew on our next trip to Florida(visiting from Rochester,NY). Jeff L.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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