Charter boat captain knows where the fish are biting
Islander Jason Rittenhouse started as a deckhand for charter boat tours. After Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008, he jumped at the opportunity to get his captain’s license. Now a charter boat captain for Rod Bending Charters in Galveston, Rittenhouse shares what it’s like fishing on a charter boat and being a captain.
What kind of boat do you have?
We run a 24-foot Tidewater and a 30-foot Sea Hunt, both center console boats.
Is it better fishing from a boat than from the land?
Oh, yes. Well, you know people on land cast their line out to a fish. If you have a boat, you can park on the fish and just drop your line.
What’s the biggest fish you or a client have caught?
As far as clients, we’ve had some big fish. The biggest fish was a 300-pound bull shark. My biggest fish is a 700-pound tiger shark — that took a while to reel in.
Where do you fish?
Mostly the jetties — there are two: the South Jetty starts at East Beach in Galveston, and the other comes off Bolivar. Both run east into the Gulf and are a couple of miles long. If the weather doesn’t allow us to fish out of the jetties, we’ll move farther back into the bay. Our offshore boat can get out to the Flower Gardens and back, (about 120 miles) as far as fuel capacity is concerned.
Seasoned anglers are sometimes secretive about their favorite fishing spots. Are you?
As far as inshore fishing, all of us guys, even though they’re competition, we all work together and help each other out. People call me when they’re not catching anything and I am. I’ll let them know where I’m at, what I’m catching, how I’m catching, and what bait I’m using to catch them. We all pretty much work together out there. Offshore is a little more secretive. There are wrecks and reefs out there that not everybody knows about, and if you let word get out, everybody can go to that spot and deplete the fish. So, when we get back to dock, people will ask, “Where’d you go?” We might mention another spot.