July 2020

Meet the Captains: Brian Gale

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

Brian Gale
Captain Hook Party Fishing Boat
www.captainhookhiltonhead.com

How long have you been a captain?
This summer will be 17 years.

What is the most frequently asked question you get from your guests?
It pretty much goes in this order: “How far out are we going to go; what are we going to catch; why no bananas on a boat; and what’s the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?”

So, what is the is the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?
The biggest fish I’ve ever caught was not on this boat. It was a 350-pound blue marlin. Of course, everyone around here knows, the biggest thing in the waters around Hilton Head Island is the shark.

What is the hardest part of being a fishing charter captain?
Making the big decisions when it comes to weather. I’m sure most captains would agree. When you see a lightning storm coming with high winds, we have to make a call about where we are going to go, how are we going to get there, and how are we going to keep our people safe.

What are you primarily fishing for right now?
Captain Hook primarily fishes for black drum, whiting, redfish, bluefish and sharks.

What do you do in your free time? Do you spend a lot of it on the water?
In the summertime, our season, the last thing I want to do is be out on the water because I work 10 hours a day, six days a week. Sunday is my only day off, and I spend it with my family. Now in the off-season when we operate only two to three days a week, yes; my crew and I and the family love to get out on the water.

How many charters do you do in one day?
Maximum is two a day.

What is your biggest fear out on the water?
Fire!

What is one thing you always tell your customers?
Keep your thumb on the spool. If you’ve been out with us before, you know what I’m talking about—you know what I mean.

Do you find that most people want to catch fish to eat, or just for the sport of it?
On Saturdays, we tend to see more locals who want to catch and keep. During the week, we primarily host our island visitors who are just out there for the fun of it.

What is your favorite thing about being a fishing captain?
I love getting to see someone catch their very first fish.

Do you have a mate who helps out, and if so, what are their duties?
It depends on how many people are on board, but generally we have two to four crew members on each trip. Their duties include cutting up bait, taking care of the fish on board, seeing to all customer needs, answering basic questions, and making sure everyone is safe

Do you have a good luck charm on the boat?
Yes! Very rarely do we ever sail without a lady on board. We feel like a woman on board is good luck. And we see the women out fish their husbands most of the time. We call it lady luck. ;-)

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