Local fishing charters optimistic about summer season despite pandemic

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla (WFLA) – Although fishing charters have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic, charter captains in Tampa Bay are looking ahead to the summer season, hoping to book trips.

Captain Nick Ress of Salt Cracker Charters tells 8 On Your Side that all of their scheduled trips were cancelled from mid-March thru the entire month of April.

“People have been cancelling as far into as June and July,” said Capt. Nick Ress.

Ress said a majority of charter boats make their money during Spring Break, but that did not happen this year thanks to the pandemic.

“All these boats should be running every single day during spring break. That’s close to 60 full day trips that each one of these boats missed out on,” Ress said.

Ress is now looking ahead to the summer, hoping hotels will fill up and visitors will start booking trips again.

“At least now we are opening up just in time for red snapper season, which is out our other busy time of year,” said Ress.

The captain tells 8 On Your Side that during their off-time, his crew worked to fix up boats in their fleet to make sure they run better during future trips.

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