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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Central ohio

    Default Charter boat captains...

    Curious to see what charter boat first mates are making on average. A buddy of mine is looking to take on a new profession and loves fishing. Curious how much on average a first mate could expect to make from April-November. I get there are a ton a variables to factor in so he is just looking for a ballpark idea. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Mansfield Ohio


    Most first mates are paid by tips, so it does very greatly. Had trips where i gotten 200 in tips, had trips where I was left 0. The total number of trips run will also effect the total earned. Some boats are out almost every day, some only a couple times a week. Some capt do have a min guaranteed pay, some don't. Just too many variables to answer your question.

    I can honestly say I don't do it for the money, I could make more at my auto shop than as first mate. I do it cause I love fishing, love being out on the water and helping others fish. The only draw back I have seen is after a full day out there, there isn't much time in the summer to get my own freezer full. But I guess that's what Nov is for.
    First mate for Eyehunter Charters

    Eyehunter Charters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016


    Speaking of first mates, I have my sea test and drug card if anyone is looking for a good first mate for next season. Feel free to contact me about arrangements! Thanks

  4. #4


    Ben pretty well covered it in his post - it is tough to predict. Every charter is going to be different. Some charters charge different rates and that will also be a factor in the tip calculation. Some days you get great tips, and some days you will work your ass off (cold weather, rough lake, hot weather, tangles, throwbacks, junk fish, more tangles) and the crew will hand you $20 - times like that it almost seems like an insult. There are great days and rough days. I've made some really great memories as a first mate, and made great friends as well. I fished with an 87 year old Korean war vet, on an 18F April morning, in 4-6 footers., but it was warmed us both up netting his >8lb walleyes.

    Also, and I know the walleye fishing is hot lately, but when it's not.. it can make for some long days. The first mate is there well before the crew arrives, to prep the boat. After a day of fishing, you'll display the fish for pictures and socialize, before scrubbing/cleaning/organizing the boat, cooler, etc. By the time you get that stuff done it can easily be a 10-12 hour day, and you need to shower, call your lady, sleep, wake up, pack your lunch and do it over again. It can be a grind. Then again, just as easily, you can be back at the dock at 9:30am with all of the boat clean up done, and nothing to do for the rest of the day.

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