Went with a big group this weekend on Captain John Williams 75' catamaran 10hrs offshore. Overall, a good operation.
I haven't done a party boat in a very long time, and with these boats come good and bad things.The Good:
Price, can't beat a 10hr trip for $65. You are almost guaranteed to catch fish (quality of fish is questionable), I don't see how you could get skunked. It's a great way for beginners to learn if they like offshore fishing.
The deckhands were great and they have to have lots of patience to deal with people.The bad:
The boat was 75' feet long, and there were some people on that boat I would rather be farther away from than 75'. The low price also brings some very interesting people out of the woodwork. There were some very nice people on there, then there are some people there that make you want to cringe.
The boat wasn't at max capacity and we still had issues getting our lines tangled up with other groups, some people just don't have any sense at all, it's amazing.
Also, the fish quality is iffy. If you love catching spadefish, and what looked like a smaller cousin of the hammerhead you'll be happy. Everyone caught at least one shark, and the boat must've caught a hundred of spade fish.
Some nice bull reds were caught and released due to federal regulations. A lady fought and released what must've been at least a 5.5' to 6' black tip.I caught 3 good sized black drum in a row.
Conclusion: A fun time if you have a big group of people. Some of the clientele is suspect, but since the trip is readily available to just about anyone, I shouldn't be surprised. For what it is, it's great and I would do it again with a group of friends, as long as the boat isn't at max capacity. We did have some 40' private sport fisher boats fishing around us and it made me jealous to be on one.