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Charter Fishing Horror Story

This horror story about a fly fishing vacation was posted on our forums las spring and serves as fair warning to those hiring a charter without references. Although this angler had references it just goes to show how things that you would never consider can wreck your charter fishing vacation.

Hello fellow travelers, and flyfishermen,

I wanted to share my unpleasant experience with xxxxxx Sportfishing Chartrers and one of the owners in particular Stan Lushinsky, the contact I had there to book my flyfishing trip in Ixtapa for Inshore Flyfishing for Roosterfish, Dorado, Tuna, and other types of sportfish.

I've flyfished all over the world for various species of fish to try and take them on a fly. It's not that I don't appreciate what it takes to catch fish while trolling, or jigging. I've done all that before, and I just prefer the experience and the feeling of accomplishment when flyfishing.

So, when my wife and I decided to go to Ixtapa for a friend's wedding this past May, 2005, we wanted to book a flyfishing trip in the area to see what opportuniities were available. I started searching on the web as you are doing now, to see about species of fish at that time of year and what lodges or guides are best suited to giving us a great flyfishing experience. I stumbled on a site that sounded like they did more flyfishing trips than others I'd contacted. So, I decided to contact Stan at xxxxxx Sportfishing Charters, to reserve the Captain who's name kept coming up with various people I've read about in web related articles. "Captain Adolpho Espinosa" and his boat the Dos Hermanos II. He sounded like he knew the waters and especially how to position the boat to make the flyfishing opportunities the most optimal for success. Also, Captain Espinosa speaks very good English. As anyone who has gone out with a non-english speaking guide can tell you, it can be very frustrating, to say the least.

Stan Lushinsky assured us everything would be great and even offered to let me use his 10 weight rod, since my heaviest was only a 9. He said he would have it on the boat w/ Captain Adolpho.

We arrived in Ixtapa at our hotel and confirmed with Stan's contact “Abel” to make sure we were confirmed for the next days trip. He said we were confirmed and told us to be at the pier at 6:30am.

The next morning our cab picked us up at 5:45am to get us to the pier on time. We asked around if anyone knew of the Captain and boat we were looking for. With the language barrier it was difficult, but eventually we were directed to an area where he would meet us.

The boat pulled up and we were told to get on board although no English was spoken.
As we slowly left the dock and the Captain headed offshore, we finally understood that Adolpho had suddenly taken ill and couldn't be there. This was another Captain. Although we were extremely frustrated after searching for just the right guide for flyfishing, to wake up that early, pay for the cab to come all the way out to the pier, we just decided to give it a try w/ the new captain.

Since everything was stored away at this point, and I didn't know where we were going or really how to communicate w/ the new Captain, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt that all would be fine. But after him continuing out to deeper water we kept pointing to the coast as we were here to flyfish, not troll in deep water. The Capt. just pointed out to the deep blue and said troll. At this point we knew we had few options since, we were already there, and had paid Stan in full a month ago, as he directed.

No one spoke english and we just felt we'd been had. My wife and I talked about what to do and decided all we could do was make the best of it and hope the owners would do the right thing and refund our money when we got back. We finished out the day coming back a little early because there really wasn't any point in staying. We ended up catching a sailfish trolling, and unfortunately had to keep it because it swallowed the bait too deep. This was very disappointing to my wife and I, and another reason why we prefer flyfishing...Catch & Release!

When we got to the dock we tipped him and told him he was a good Captain. We knew it wasn't his fault and therefore didn't want to penalize him for being a trolling guide, and not a flyfishing guide. We were however very disappointed on how the trip was handled and not seen through by management of the company.

When I got home, I e-mailed Stan and was originally going to ask for an entire refund of $210.00 but decided that since we did go out even though it wasn't what we were told we would get, we should only ask for $100.00 back. Later I received a nasty e-mail from Stan saying that he would give us the partial refund, but didn't want us to book through him again, and wanted to blame us for the mishap for not refusing to get on the boat to begin with, even though we didn't know there was a problem till we were under way. I wrote back and told him how disappointed we were with the whole experience and especially how he decided to handle it. After waiting a month for our promised refund, I wrote back to Stan and asked where the $100.00 he promised was. He decided not to send it afterall.

We will just have to write this off to being unlucky that we ended up contacting Stan Lushinsky at Sportfishing Charters. Although our trip is over, I'm planning other trips in the future and hope to have more honest and reliable people to deal with than this dishonest business man.

If anyone has other questions about this incident, I'd be happy to share with you any of the e-mails I have from him showing his complete lack of sincerity, and outright lies.

If you are planning a trip to Ixtapa, I sincerely hope you don't have to go through what I did with this company.

Michael Stillman

**NOTE - FinTalk has removed the actual website name as we have not investigated the actual complaint or disagreement between the two parties. If you would like to see the original text with the website name you must view it in the Fintalk fishing forum as it was orginially posted.

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