Earlier this month, about a month ahead of the next Rules Meeting, the JOSFC Board sent out a survey to get some feedback about the Offshore and Inshore Captain Of The Year tournament series. Each year we try to improve each series in ways that get people more excited about the competitions and to get more people participating. We wanted to gather feedback ahead of the annual Rules Meeting (which is 9/10 at 9am and open to all active club members!) to ensure that we are taking the voice of the club into account.
This year we made one of the most significant changes to the series that I have seen. We changed it from a list of scheduled dates to a declare-your-day format. This change came after a series of years where weather was a big issue and caused numerous tournament cancellations. Weather for the first three months was spotty, but we did not need to cancel any tournaments!
Below are the survey results. The total number of responses was 53. Many questions allowed write-in answers to maximize the information that we gathered in the fewest questions possible. Summaries have been provided to capture the gist of those write in responses, which often restated the provided options but in different words.
Thanks to everybody who submitted survey responses!
How many Captain Of The Year tournaments have you participated in this year?
How many Captain Of The Year tournaments did you participate in last year?
If you participate, do you participate as captain, crew or both?
Why did people participate?
- Like the competition – 10
- Like learning – 1
- Like being crew – 1
Why did people not participate?
- Conflicts, boat issues – 14
- Did not understand how to participate or were unclear on the rules – 7
- Health issues – 6
- Moved, no longer a member – 3
- Weather, can’t catch up – 2
- Not interested – 2
- Dislike online submissions – 1
- Declaring a day is hard to remember – 1
- Would like to be crew – 1
- Just fish for fun – 1
- Diver – 1
- Wants to declare multiple days – 1
And, the most helpful response was from “a big ole Red bass” who said “it ain’t what it used to be 20 -30 yrs ago.”
Do you prefer the published schedule or declare-your-day?
- Declare your day – 24
- Published Schedule – 14
- I don’t fish tournaments – 10
- Did not answer – 2
- Either – 1
- “Change to month long format so I have more time to catch weighable fish” – 1
- “have the ability to enter fish when I do fish with restrictions to reduce cheating” – 1
Do you think the declare-your-day format should be modified to make it more fair for working members?
- It’s fine without any limits – 22
- I don’t care – 21
- Weekends only – 6
- 3 day weekends – 4
How do you feel about the photograph requirement for submitting fish (one photo of each fish and weight, one photo of each fish length)?
- I like the rule – it keeps people honest – 42
- I do not like the rule – I trust people – 4
- Generally dislike the rule – 3
- Did not answer – 3
- Would like a live weigh-in – 1
And “a big ole Red bass” responded that he “don’t like any of it.”
Would you participate more in club tournaments if there were fewer?
Would you be interested in fewer tournaments with a modest entry fee and winner-take-all prize?
Do you think the funds spent on the Captains Of The Year tournaments would be better spent on other things (like guest speakers)?
- No – 25 (includes many of the write-ins)
- Yes – 23
- Did not answer – 5
- Get the dolphin tournament 60 day pick your two days
- I feel like fishing the tournament should get you points whether you catch fish or not. Maybe 3 points or so for a skunk. I also would like to see a difference in points between everyone that placed on a percentage scale. Total weight 1st place would equal 10 points. Let’s say 1st place weighed 10 pounds total and second place weighed 7. Instead of second place getting 9 points he should get 7 points because he weighed 30% less weight than first. All percentages are measured behind the leader.(if 3rd place weighed only 5 pounds they get 5 points based on the 1st place boat weighing 10)
- Just an idea to help keep things competitive and will keep those that have one bad day still in the game. Or…. Everyone gets one Bye tournament a year (like a mulligan). If it’s hard to catch up then many lose interest.
- I work, but take time off during the week to fish, I will not go out on weekends because ramps are too crazy and I have too many family and church obligations on weekends. Moving to weekend only tournaments will mean I will never do one.
- Great idea to do the survey.
- The tournaments are fun. The down economy and high fuel cost might be contributing to the lack of participation.
- More emphasis on boards and big fish caught during the year rather than single day catches
- Sometimes when I’m planning on fishing the next day I forget to declare before the 8pm deadline.
- If I understand it, the new tournament format gave us less than what we had.. I do applaud the outside the box thinking but I hope we leave this format
- I really REALLY enjoy fishing these tournaments and really hope they continue to go on! The old format seemed more fun to me seeing what everyone caught and all of us weighing in at the same spot with the anticipation of seeing what the next person caught until 5 o’clock is fun. But if everyone likes the new format I’m completely fine with it I just wanna fish the tournaments EVERY MONTH!
- I think with all of the increased cost to fish these days… The club could still do 3-4 tournaments a year with a nominal prize structure for 1st-5th place for inshore and offshore even if a small entry fee is charged. Have scheduled days and rain dates so we can plan in advance , keep the photo length and weight for weigh in. Maybe for the offshore guys a cold water tournament for 1st quarter, trolling tournament 2nd quarter , weight tournament (trolling and bottom allowed) 3rd quarter and a bottom only tournament 4th quarter. Fishing from Fernandina South to Matanzas Inlet out to the ledge
- How much does a Captain spend fishing the tournaments? Suspect this past year was pricey compared to previous years?
- I quit entering fish for the boards because you couldn’t win angler of the year for those boards if you didn’t fish the tourneys. It discourages participation that way. It definitely did so for me.
- The captain of the year is fine if some bylaws are put back in place. participation is down this year due to terrible weather and fuel prices. In the future gas will be expensive.
- Yeah, I need articles for the Newsletter!
- I think the club needs some fresh faces. Old faces are great, but you guys should be more aggressive finding new folks! Working the boat show is ok, but you need to sell the club’s benefits better! And ask your members to too! Great raffles, free dinner at meetings, good people, good speakers, and the fact that club members never leave other club members stranded at sea… is alone worth the dues!
- Leave the BS at the door and focus on fishing! 😜
- No one cares about guest speakers and the club spends way to much money on free food at the meetings
- Last meeting I attended the food was worse than normal and some of us got sick.
- No, but love guest speakers to learn from.
- it just isn’t the same as 20-30 yrs ago. don’t know why.
- Great club, just don’t have time to participate more
- Do more social media publications. Promote the club
- Happy with the way it is run. You can’t make people go fishing
- I miss being able to participate and the meetings. Wish you guys the best
- I prefer tournaments on the same day for everyone. The participants have the same conditions and variables while fishing.
- I believe the commerotary and morale was higher when everyone got together those days. It was fun
- Once in the new facility and after ALL Covid risk is gone then I will participate more in club activities and attend meetings. Can’t risk Covid at my age and wife’s medical condition.
- I really enjoy the club although I have not participated over the last two years due to covid but planning on returning soon. I also enjoy the club’s newsletters and the info provided especially when it comes to fishing, also info on what is biting is great. Having a place for members to post real time feedback on their fishing trips success or failures would be great. It is very hard to get reliable current fishing reports. Thanks for all the hard work that you all do in reference to the club.
- Again, maybe quarterly tournaments would get more people to participate??? I do go to the meetings and am open to coming up with a new schedule or stick to ten.. I just need to fish more. Next year!!!
- being homeless this past year has hurt the participation
- Not really.. I haven’t participated in club activities since the beginning of the pandemic. I’m still very careful of being around people in close proximity who are not vaccinated. However, I would participate in fishing activities including tournaments if my partner of 15 years gets more interested. But thanks for asking even though my input really shouldn’t count.
- I never really did understand captain of the year, is it because he can put people on the fish? He’s not doing the fishing so where is the skill?
- Eliminate the requirement to fish so many tournaments to win a fishing board. have speakers at each meeting.
- Go back to the old format there’s no comradery in the current format and the statement in the rules is “Fishing is Fun, follow the rules” is what the club is based on. Use a registered or verified scale and take a picture but the ruler thing is garbage if you have the other 2.
- Yes . I strongly believe you should have the ability to change regarding inshore or offshore Captain of the year mid season. Not being able to do so, really handicaps your ability to fully compete. Why can’t you have to select?