2017 Top Charter Captains of the Year | Sport Fishing

2017 Top Charter Captains of the Year

The six top U.S. skippers, chosen by the fans of Sport Fishing magazine

Top saltwater fishing charter captains/guides 2017

Sport Fishing fans have named these six skippers the Charter Captains of the Year for 2017.

Courtesy of the captains

Once again this fall, we asked those Sport Fishing fans who know of great charter captains to nominate them for Sport Fishing’s annual contest, Charter Captains of the Year. They responded and, in short order, we had dozens of names. Then a period of open voting followed. When the dust settled, and thousands of votes were counted, the six skippers in this gallery came out on top as Sport Fishing’s 2017 Charter Captains of the Year.

2017 Charter Captains of the Year from Sport Fishing Magazine-black marlin mount from King Sailfish

Besides tremendous recognition from the honor of being one of Sport Fishing's Charter Captains of the Year, each skipper will receive a miniature replica mount (such as this black marlin) with an engraved plaque from King Sailfish Mounts.

Courtesy King Sailfish Mounts

Dozens of captains nominated this year comprised an impressive group. If “your” skipper didn’t make the top five, there’s always next year; be ready to throw his/her name in the ring when we issue a call for nominations next fall.

The 2017 top captains are listed below alphabetically.

Also see the 2016 Charter Captains of the Year and 2015 Charter Captains of the Year named by SF fans.

The Bacon Brothers, Capt. Brian and Capt. Peter

Capt. Brian Bacon with bluefin tuna

Capt. Brian Bacon

Courtesy of the captain

Capt. Peter Bacon with two trophy cod

Capt. Peter Bacon

Courtesy of the captain

Big Game Sport Fishing
Home port: Snug Harbor, Rhode Island
Website: biggamefishingri.com
Phone number: 401-243-7046
Years as fishing guides: 11


Boats
The Bacon brothers run a 36-foot Dawson Express with twin 450-hp Cummins (shown below); a 36-foot Carman with a single 600-hp Cummins; and a 50-foot Post with twin 800-hp Caterpillars.

Bacon brothers 36-foot Dawson Express charter boat

36 Dawson Express

Courtesy of the captains


Brian and Peter Bacon's — Favorite Fishing Grounds
The southwest corner of Block Island for striped bass, fluke, sea bass, blackfish; and canyons 30 miles offshore for tuna, sharks, marlin, mahi, swords and wahoo.

Favorite Species to Target
Tuna. Troll, chunk, or jig, "When the line comes tight it's sick every time! Incredible power with long explosive runs." Then stripers and fluke.

Specialties
Light-tackle, live-bait fishing for striped bass and light-tackle tuna and shark fishing with spinning gear.

Capt. Brian Bacon, a Sport Fishing Charter Captain of the Year 2017, with bluefin tuna

Top target for Brian (shown here) and Peter Bacon: Bluefin tuna.

Courtesy of the captain

A great catch of striped bass with Capt. Peter Bacon, a Sport Fishing Charter Captain of the Year 2017

A group of happy striped bass anglers return from a day fishing with Peter.

Courtesy of the captain


Most Important Lesson Learned as a Guide/Charter Captain
"Where do we begin? LOL! Not to take anything for granted, for one thing. It's a constantly evolving learning process of changing migration patterns, fish behavior and the difference in skill levels among anglers."

Capt. Peter Bacon, a Sport Fishing Charter Captain of the Year 2017, releases a billfish

Billfish are among the species regularly targeted in season by the Bacon brothers. Here, Peter releases a white marlin.

Courtesy of the captain

Capt. Rob Crocitto

Capt. Rob Crocitto, a Sport Fishing Charter Captain of the Year 2017, with a striped bass

Capt. Rob Crocitto

Courtesy of the captain

Bunker Box Fishing Charters
Home port: Staten Island, New York
Website: bunkerboxfishing.com
Phone number: 917-747-7541
Years as a fishing guide: 5


Boat
World Cat 33TE with twin Yamaha 300s

Capt. Rob Crocitto's 33-foot World Cat charter boat

World Cat 33TE

Courtesy of the captain


Rob Crocitto's Favorite Fishing Grounds
Raritan Bay and the Atlantic between Sandy Hook and Manasquan Inlet.

Favorite Species to Target
Striped bass, blackfish (tautog) and mako/thresher sharks.

Specialties
Live-bait fishing for striped bass, bottom fishing for blackfish (tautog), and light-tackle mahi in late summer and early fall.

Anglers with tautog affter a day fishing with Capt. Rob Crocitto, a Sport Fishing Charter Captain of the Year 2017

A brace of big tautog for Rob Crocitto's anglers.

Courtesy of the captain

Most Important Lesson Learned as a Guide/Charter Captain
"Align yourself with a good network of other captains who are as passionate as you are and work together. That and giving back." One example: Bunker Box Fishing Charters donates at least one charter a month to charity.

An angler struggles to land a big one, fishing with Capt. Rob Crocitto, one of Sport Fishing's Charter Captains of the Year 2017

By working with other charter skipper, Crocitto puts lucky anglers — like this one struggling with a large fish — into consistent action.

Courtesy of the captain



Capt. Adam Peeples

Capt. Adam Peeples, a 2017 Sport Fishing magazine Charter Captain of the Year, with a large yellowedge grouper

Capt. Adam Peeples

Courtesy of the captain

One Shot Fishing Charters
Home port: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Website: oneshotcharters.com
Phone number: 850-585-9436
Years as a fishing guide: 5


Boat
Cape Horn 240S with twin Yamaha 200s

Cape Horn charter boat of Capt. Adam Peeples, 2017 Charter Captains of the Year from Sport Fishing Magazine fans- Capt Adam Peeples

Cape Horn 240S

Courtesy of the captain

Adam Peeples' Favorite Fishing Grounds
"Gulf of Mexico"

Favorite Species to Target
Swordfish, billfish, king mackerel

Specialty
Daytime swordfishing

Victorious anglers with a big swordfish, on a charter with Capt. Adam Peeples, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

Nothing gets Adam Peeples' pulse racing like a big daytime Gulf of Mexico swordfish on the line.

Courtesy of the captain


Most Important Lesson Learned as a Guide/Charter Captain
"Always listen to my clients to get a good understanding of what they want to accomplish on a charter. Everyone has different goals and expectations when they go on a charter with me, and making it a top priority to understand their needs allows me to ensure they have a great day on the water."

Nice catch of red snapper and king mackerel for Capt. Adam Peeples, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

A nice catch of red snapper and king mackerel helped Peeples give these anglers a great day on the water.

Courtesy of the captain



Capt. Jay Sconyers

Wahoo held up by Capt. Jay Sconyers, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

Capt. Jay Sconyers

Courtesy of the captain

Ace Up Fishing Charters
Home port: Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina
Website: acesupfishing.com
Phone number: 843-997-3270
Years as a fishing guide: 15


Boat
33-foot Hydra-Sports center console with triple Yamahas, and a 28-foot Scout center console with twin Yamahas

33-foot Hydra-Sports of Capt. Jay Sconyers, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

33-foot Hydra-Sports

Courtesy of the captain

Jay Sconyers' Favorite Fishing Grounds
"Anywhere from right off the beach and nearshore reefs to the Gulf Stream"

Favorite Species to Target
Wahoo

Specialty
None (fishes all methods for all species)

A big red snapper caught by an angler with Capt. Jay Sconyers, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

The re-opening, briefly, of red snapper to harvest means Sconyers guided a few lucky anglers like this one to big sows.

Courtesy of the captain


Most Important Lesson Learned as a Guide/Charter Captain
"I think the most important lesson I've learned from 15 years of charter-boat fishing is that it's all about the people.. Everyone loves to catch fish, but you have to make sure that everyone's having a good time."

A nice catch of groupers for anglers with Capt. Jay Sconyers, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

"It's all about people," says Sconyers, describing what makes a successful charter experience.

Courtesy of the captain



Capt. Jason Stock

Permit released by Capt. Jason Stock, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

Capt. Jason Stock

Courtesy of the captain

JM Snooky Charters

Home port: Anna Maria Island, Florida

Website: jmsnookykayakcharters.com

Phone number: 727-459-5899

Years as a fishing guide: 12


Boat
23-foot Hanson tower boat with Suzuki 200

Center console with spotting tower, Capt. Jason Stock, named a Top Charter Captain of the Year 2017 by Sport Fishing magazine fans

23-foot Hanson

Courtesy of the captain

Jason Stock's Favorite Fishing Grounds
Both inshore and offshore from Anna Maria Island.

Favorite Species to Target
Permit, tarpon, cobia

Specialty
Fishing offshore reefs and wrecks for big permit

A big trophy permit caught on the boat of Capt. Jason Stock, named a 2017 Top Charter Captain by the fans of Sport Fishing magazine

Stock loves nothing better than guiding anglers young and older, as here, to trophy permit releases.

Courtesy of the captain


Most Important Lesson Learned as a Guide/Charter Captain
The most important lesson learned as a guide/charter captain: Not to take what I do for granted. Some people spend their whole year looking forward to doing what i get to do everyday.

Releasing a tarpon, Capt. Jason Stock, named as a Top Charter Captain for 2017 by the fans of Sport Fishing magazine

Knowing that moments like releasing a tarpon are special for anglers makes them special for Jason Stock as well, he says.

Courtesy of the captain



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