Pollock fishing officially started Sunday September 17th with the Yankee Fleet Marathon from 5A-5P. This fleet has professional Mates, Captains and Staff that helps make for the perfect fishing experience for all new comers, family excursions and all avid, hard core fishermen/fisherwomen. If you want to get hooked on fishing, try Pollock fishing in the Fall aboard the Yankee Clipper with Captain Rob. My husband and I fish every 2 weeks so we bring our own gear but there are rental rods and jigs if you're just starting out. I watched newcomers, men, women and children, catch their first Pollock after learning the art of jigging by listening to the Mates and Captain's instructions. A mate's job is tremendously demanding and physically tough. The Yankee Fleet Mates were constantly on the go looking for who needed help. They constantly gaffed fish, straightened out everyones tangles and set everone back up to jig again, all the while displaying a friendly and professional attitude. They helped maximize everyone's time spent fishing while performing their other countless duties of tending to the ship but their work didn't end there. When it was time for the 2-3 hour ride back to shore, they quickly cleared the boat of excess equipment and obstacles, then proceeded to fillet fish, all the way home. Despite the long ride back to shore, there were so many fish caught that we ended up waiting outside the breakwater so the Mates could finish skinning the last few bags of fish. Normally, you would see 2 Mates cleaning the fish while the third Mate would be scrubbing and hosing down the boat on the journey back but instead, these Mates did their best to minimize a late return by having all 3 Mates working on the fish. That meant the Mates would be staying late to clean the boat after the patrons left. That comes at a cost of their own time that they aren't getting paid for. This level of professional service is not found on every partyboat. The Mates and the services they provide are one of the main reasons why I come back to the Yankee Fleet. Another reason is due to the Captain being very serious about finding fish and he knows how to put us on the fish! Are there days we don't catch a cooler full? Of course, that's why they call it fishing and not catching. Regardless, I have never been skunked yet and have always brought home enough to share. Third reason I fish exclusively with the Yankee Fleet is again, due to the knowledge and professional Mates and Captain. I havent seen a situation that they haven't handled well. I feel safe with them when we journey over 20 miles out to sea. 4th reason I fish with them, the owner of the business, Tommy Orrell. He's paid his dues as a Mate, Captain and now the owner. He knows what the industry is all about and is always inventing new fishing trips to try. He listens to his crew and works hard to keep operations manageable for all. No matter how much he has to balance, he's always wearing a smile and makes time for a brief visit to listen to the public. The only time I haven't seen him on the docks is when he's performing Captain's duties on an offshore overnight excursion. I cannot bash this fleet as they've never given me a reason. I look forward to my trips to Gloucester. It's like visiting longtime friends. Fifth reason I fish with the Yankee Fleet is their years of experience. They'll guide you as long as you're willing to listen. Lastly, I get a lot of questions regarding tipping the Mates. Even if I contribute my fish to somebody that tried but didnt seem to land a fish for themselves, I still tip the Mates for their endless efforts to keep us all safe and have a great time while we play at sea. So what's a decent tip? I pay the customary charge of $1 per fish fileted but then tip the Mates $20 per person in my party. Fish cleaning is just a service you can choose to use or you can take your catch home and filet it on your own time. Fish cleaning has nothing to do with tipping your Mates who endlessly tend to tangles, gaff fish and rig everyone back up to maximize your fishing time. Even though I tie all of my own rigs, I know from experience that if the Mates weren't great at tending to everyone else's tangles, it would only be a matter of time before my line gets pulled into one massive tangle. So to those who say they didn't use the Mates services, bologna! We ALL benefit from their services. Tangles are inevitable but the speed in which those tangles are resolved separates the Professional Mates from someone wearing the logo of Mate on their shirt. There are Mates that work for the Yankee Fleet that are 3rd generation, namely the Cabrals! These Mates are the real deal so take care of the Mates and they'll take care of you. Come aboard to have fun!
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