July 2020

Meet the Captains: John Martin

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

John Martin
Outside Hilton Head

How long have you been a captain?
I’ve been a licensed captain for 16 years, but I’ve worked and mated on boats for a lot longer than that.

What is the most frequently asked question you get from your guests?
The number one question we get is, “What are we going to catch?” And I tell them the options are endless. We do the best we can to find SOMETHING to catch.

What is the hardest part of being a fishing charter captain?
Keeping everyone entertained. Fishing is generally not instant gratification. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to fulfill everyone’s requests.

What are you primarily fishing for right now?
In the summertime, we catch a lot of mackerel and do a lot of shark fishing.

How many charters do you do in one day?
Typically, three a day.

Do you have any tried-and-true seasick remedies?
Ginger ale or ginger cookies.

What is the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?
A 989-pound blue marlin

What is one thing you always tell your customers?
I try to give everyone the lay of the land while we are out on the boat—explain to them where we are and what they are seeing. I give them a little history lesson or life lesson from being out on the water.

Do you find that most people want to catch fish to eat or just for the sport of it?
I’d say it’s about 50/50. It’s fun to catch something you can eat, but a lot of people just want to feel something at the other end of the line.

What is your favorite thing about being a fishing captain?
I really enjoy all aspects of the job but meeting different people day-in and day-out is probably one of the biggest perks.

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