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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How and what should you do to make sure you are hiring a reputable and a LEGAL charter?

There are guys out there that have Captains License but are not really legal. This puts innocent customers safety at risk.

What can you do to make sure your Captain that you are hiring is in compliance with the law.

Just because he has a Captain License and an advertisement in some local paper or media does not necessarily mean they are in compliance.

I've heard of instances actually last year where someone was taking out more than 6 passenger on a 6 passenger license and was caught when his vessel was taking on water and the coast guard came.

He just happen to have a 6 passenger license (OUPV) and was taking out 8 people.

These poor customers went out expecting to fish and have a great time unknown to them thier safety was at risk!!

I am sure ADDICTION CHARTER or LUCKY DOG could enlighten our readers here.
 

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Ken,
Besides the coast guard license we are required to have a state passenger boat and Lake Michigan trolling license. All Illinois passenger boats will have a sticker on the side glass closest to the helm for the year they are licensed. We are also required to be enrolled in a random drug testing program as well as having all the required safety equipment on board.

"Wet Nets"
Captain Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Jim

Hope you have a great year! My predictionis you should have the same inshore action again. We had a harsh winter so this should bring the bite in.

But I will be takin some R & R to come out to NP to fish for the spring action and in August for the king action.
Later guy,

Captain Ken
Molly Maru
30 Ft. Bayliner
Montrose Harbor
 

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Random drug testing program? Thats Un-American.....lol. I guess they are really getting strict with this huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not only the Captains have to have it also the Mates too.

I passed with flying color wonder what drug they will test on me next!... That must explain my personality! LOL

In all seriousness the Captain license is very serious. They do everything from FBI checks, fingerprinting, citizenship must be proven, you even have to pass a full physical exam which is actually the same requirement as to fly a plane, very thourogh. You even have to get a biometric homeland security ID.
Another requirement is CPR and First Aid certification which must be up to date.

Captain Ken
Molly Maru
30 Ft. Bayliner
Montrose Harbor
 

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We could have Vice President Cheney water board them to make sure they are ok :eek: :-D
 

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When I took my class, I went into it with the attitude that "hey, I've been around the water all my life (even first mated on a charter for several summers) so this should be easy...."

Well let me tell you, I was dead wrong. I was in no way prepared for what was in store and I was amazed at the effort it took to pass the course. You know a course is not easy when there are about 20 students in the program and something like 15 were there RE taking the course becuase they had already failed (some of them multiple times).

Now I'll admit alot of the knowledge needed to pass was quickly forgotten soon after passing (yes I forget which barge lights to display above the Arthur Murray bridge on the Mississippi or whatever the name of the dammed bridge was) but I still came away with a fair amount of knowledge that I didn't go in with.... As for the drug testing, I've yet to get called, but I think Little King has gone twice... (must be the pony tail :lol: )
 

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Two years ago I got called twice - the first time I went to a lab the was right next to UPS. I found out the hard way UPS also tests there drivers, and they had like 15 drivers in line. Next time I went later in the day.

In my class we had 15 or so people, most of which worked for the oddessy and had to pass the test as part of there job. Only 6 or 7 people passed the test, I was kinda suprized I passed on the first try, tests were not my strong point in school
 

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Lake Michigan Trolling License?

Captain Jim of Lucky Dog Charters mentioned that he needed a "Lake Michigan Trolling License". Can you please dxplain? I cannot find any reference to this at IDNR. Is this a commercial fishing license?

JGESox
 

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Another IMPORTANT point is cost, for insurance: Not your usual boating type thing. Taking out passengers on a UN-FORGIVING INLAND OCEAN.

What happen's when one falls into the Lake? Don't think it does'nt happen.

IT DOES!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

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The actual name of the trolling license is the "State of Illinois DNR Lake Michigan Charter Boat Operators Permit. It`s free if you`re an Illinois resident.
This is separate from the Illinois Passenger boat license which costs $50.
I have, for the majority of the past 8 years, also trolled North of the border where I needed the "Wisconsin Non Resident Sport Trolling Guide License" these cost us $400.
The prices are reciprocal between the states meaning a charter from Wisconsin, fishing Illinois waters, will have to come up with a check for $400 made out to the Illinois DNR.

"Wet Nets"
Captain Jim
 

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When I went for my license, I took a class with Paul McElroy. He was great in preparing us. Lots of guys in his class were on their 2nd or 3rd tries. Taking the test was a real surprise. The guy said if we pick our heads up and just glance left or right we were out. I kept my head down, and luckily only missed two, which I think was the max you could miss.
 

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Getting your captains license

Things aren't as difficult now that a class is offerred locally!! I teach classes for Nautical Academics-- see banner to left-- classes are Fri-Sun for three weekends and include the exams. I am in the middle of one now-- the next session will be Oct at COD in Glen Ellyn. I am taking deposits for that class now and expect to fill it.

Please e-mail or call with your questions.

Have a safe season!!
 

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Folks,

I just took Captian Mke's class, it was very good, The test was not that bad. But I will tell you I am used to testing as I am an electrical engineer.

Most of the questions were common sense though, some memorization about ship lighting at night.

First step to getting my license now, if a am lucky I might have a paying trip this year.

andyg
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Andyg, Just in case if you hav'nt already. Make sure you check with your area your fishing in. You will need a Business License, Charter Captain permit from DNR, Insurance, and possibly license or permit for running charters from the area your fishing in. Most of the new captains think that just because they have thier Captain License they can now charge people. You still need all the other permits and licenses to do business or you will be ticketed and most likely lose your Captains license for operating an illegal charter. Even if you work for a legal charter service you still have to register and get a Captains permit from DNR.
 
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