Can I ask a serious question please?

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Can I ask a serious question please?
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July 26, 2014 10:20 am EDT
Location: 34.207N 76.949W
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Wind Gust: 2 knots
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Air Temperature: 81°F (27.1°C)
Dew Point: 74°F (23.2°C)
Water Temperature: 82°F (27.6°C)

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Can I ask a serious question please?
 
 
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Can I ask a serious question please? Reply with quote

MAD has taken over 5000 troops and their dependents out for a day at many events in NC over the past 7 years. We have had as many as 92 volunteer boats and as few as 35 at the first Oak Island event during a border line monsoon.

What would it take to get someone who has never volunteered, interested in doing so?

I know this economy sucks and gas is wicked expensive. I am trailering my boat from Charlotte and that will cost me over $200 alone.

If you have never volunteered, what would it take to get you to do so?

Serious question. We need to refine our message and find new ways to attract new volunteers.

We currently have about 30 boats signed up for the Morehead City event on June 2 and are already looking at the possibility of 500 troops looking to fish.


Thanks for your HONEST feedback.
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eric0731
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squid, I'm volunteering for the Morehead event so I'm not speaking for me personally. I don't think there is a way to MAKE people volunteer. If you offer them an incentive then it really isn't volunteering. Are there sponsers for the event? What are they providing? Are there flyers one could print to post around town and in some of the pro shops? I can see where some people may be reluctant to volunteer when they have to provide gear, tackle, bait, fuel, etc etc. But......I also know there are some hard core fisherman on this site that just enjoy being on the water. I think the rediculous winds are deterring folks as well. Look forward to being a part of this.
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wavescrash
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggest thing is visibility. You need to get flyers out to al the tackle shops. I never see any in Brunswick county.  
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback! Here is our current flyer. If anyone is willing to post some at local businesses, that would be tremendously helpful!

Any other ideas??
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MRGOODHANDS
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to volunteer our boat MR. GOODHANDS to the Oak Island event.
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speckhunter80
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich,
I believe that many folks don't volunteer as a boat captain because they have never or seldom ever fishied out of Morehead. I know the one year I was a boat volunteer I felt guilty that I did not know the area better and did not put my guy on any reds or specks. Even though he was ecstatic to catch the blues under the bridge, I still felt bad. Even though his first words upon seeing his wife when we got back to shore were "We are buying a boat", I still felt like I had not done my job. But that is just me and I struggled with it every time I took a Wounded Warrior out.

I encourage everyone to please volunteer, especially if you fish offshore. The local guys are very willing and happy to provide you with multiple waypoints for fishing spots.
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Rich and that is why we have the volunteer meeting the night before and also the MAD chart we developed that is stock full of GPS coordinates to good fishing spots although we changed the names so only MAD boats will know what is being communicated across the radio

If you fish offshore, nearshore or inshore there is plenty of help available.

You bring up an interesting point about the bluefish. Do you know what the MOST popular fish that the troops catch is? The one they want to catch the most?

Not a marlin, king or tuna... Shark. Yep, shark.

Between the flyer and fishing, I am starting to see that we do not really communicate that well about what we do. I know we talk about WHO we do it for, but it seems we don't effectively talk about HOW we do it.

Is that a fair assessment?

Thanks again everyone for your feedback. We are working hard to restore MAD and deliver a great day on the water for our troops and our volunteers
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speckhunter80
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich,
I actually think you have done a pretty good job of publicity. Yes, it could always be better; apparently in the Wilmington area is one example. Many a time I have talked to someone about donating to F.I.S.H. and they say that they have heard about us I quickly realize they are talking about MAD.
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BoutTime2fish
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My view is that even if it cost me a couple of hundred dollars that is a cheap price to pay to say THANKS to the guys and gals that ensure our freedom.

Now to those that are not familiar with the waters around Morehead City then get in touch with David Lucas (Amandagailfishingteam) or myself and we would be happy to have you tag along with us. I'm not saying that we will put on the biggest and most fish but we sure will show you the area.
David is planning on going offshore while I wll be staying nearshore or inshore depending on weather.

So not knowing the area is NOT an excuse, now.

Come on guys we pay hundreds of dollars to entry a tournament, this is chump change...
  
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TandT
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as a complete amateur, i guess my reason has been what yall have been talking about. Not being able to put them on the fish, lack of experience myself. I realize everytime i go out, how much i don't know. Probly a terrible excuse since the reports of the troops have been positive no matter what they caught. Will do my best when it comes back to Oak Island. Will be posting a flyer at my business in Cary.
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captaingorges
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would offer up both my boats if the event was out of Wilmington.
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speckhunter80
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

captaingorges wrote:
I would offer up both my boats if the event was out of Wilmington.


Sept. 15th out of Southport Marina they will be doing an event.
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BoutTime2fish
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TandT wrote:
Speaking as a complete amateur, i guess my reason has been what yall have been talking about. Not being able to put them on the fish, lack of experience myself. I realize everytime i go out, how much i don't know. Probly a terrible excuse since the reports of the troops have been positive no matter what they caught. Will do my best when it comes back to Oak Island. Will be posting a flyer at my business in Cary.


I use to think the same thing. UNTIL I did my first trip taking our HEROS fishing several years ago. EVERY ONE of them has had a blast regardless of whether we caught fish or not.

IT IS NOT ABOUT HOW MANY FISH THEY CATCH BUT ABOUT SOMEONE SHOWING APPRECIATION FOR WHAT THEY DO... This has been told to me by many of the troops I have taken fishing.. and believe me I have gotten WAY more out of it than just a day on the water..
  
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eric0731
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This will be my first experience with MAD and I can't tell you how stoked I am. Just curious, being this is volunteer work, is there anyway to pass out receipts to participants for tax purposes? Just a thought.
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can provide a receipt for donations.

For your expenses you can deduct that off your taxes (fuel, bait etc) but you have to keep your receipts

Our EIN is 20-8191619
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vaughnford
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is a good thing to know and pass on. Being able to deduct it from your taxes would help to offset the costs and may entice more people to do it. I'm not doing it for the tax write off, but you can bet i'll still take the tax write off.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll share my experience for what it's worth:

My first MAD event was #2. I had only been saltwater fishing for a couple of years at that point & really didn't know much. I took my troops out to AR 315 & they had a ball catching ........ you guessed it, sharks! They thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was disappointed & annoyed by all the sharks but they loved it. Taught me a valuable lesson that day - they have a blast catching ANYTHING. You don't have to be a seasoned captain, you don't need to know all the "secret spots", you don't have to bring back the biggest fish at the end of the day. All of those things make US feel good but really don't matter at all to the troops. I've fished every MAD event since then, some days we've filled the box, others we didn't do so good. The guys & gals didn't care -- they just enjoyed being out on the water.

PLEASE, come join us in MHC on June 2. I know gas prices are outrageous & will probably be higher then. You don't have to run 40 miles offshore. You can hit the nearshore ARs, run down to the Cape, stay in the inlet & troll for blues & spanish, whatever. There will be plenty of captains available to give recommendations on where to go. Many, including myself, are happy to buddy-up with folks who don't know the area. You can follow me out or I'll be happy to give you coordinates. As Rich said, we'll pass out a sheet at the capt's meeting on Friday night with literally hundreds of coordinates to plug into your GPS.

Thanks for listening. If you decide to participate, I guarantee it will be one of the best days you will ever have on the water!
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jaxjag
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw y'alls post for MAD and was really excited to be a part of it. I called my Pops down in FL and told him about it (recently retired from Army) and called my buddy who just got out and back from the box and invited him up....then I realized that was my wedding weekend..Doh!

If there is another one somewhere on the coast after the MHC one I would like to be a part of it..But I am new to NC and have only fished out of MHC twice....this weekend will be my 3rd time splitting the inlet.

I suppose even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while cuz first time out to the rock we put a 45 lb wahoo in the boat.

If you all are gonna do one in Wilmington or Oak Island I am game. just give me the info link. thanks.
  
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southport September 15
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gcmiller72
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My issue has always been that I'm just not that great of a fisherman and I was scared I'd be wasting someone's time taking them out and not catching a lot of fish or big fish. After reading the above I will be volunteering at MHC this year.

Gary
  
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fishntime
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like some of the others on here, I am not that great a fisherman and have less experience than I would like. My concern has always been that maybe I was not qualified to do this, that maybe you had to have a captains license. I assume from the comments so far that this would not be considered a charter and that there would be no liability issues other than a normal standard of care. Is that correct?
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Squid Row
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. You do not have to be a licensed Captain. Actually, almost all of our volunteers are not licensed Captains

2. All guests and volunteers sign a liability release waiver on our site before they can register

3. MAD buys a huge liability policy for the day of the event, although it only covers land based activities

4. You basically treat this day the same you would when taking friends out EXCEPT the troops are not allowed to contribute anything financially. Not one penny

5. You do not have to be a great fisherman, heck not even a really good one. We really have a LOT of great fishermen willing to help out. Buddy boating is the standard and information sharing is constantly happening

I really appreciate the questions and discussions!
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Christopher
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done ever Oak Island event and one MHC event. I live in Atlanta, so to say the least it takes alot of logistics to pull off volunteering. I am by no means a great fisherman, heck I probably don't even qualify for good. But my experience has taught me this 1) the troops can care less how good a fisherman you are, they enjoy being on the boat and out on the water just like the rest of us, catching fish is icing on the cake. 2). you will have plenty of reward when the day is done and you receive a heartfelt thanks for trying to say thanks to them. So I encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to go ahead and make the commitment, at the end of the day you will be glad that you did.  
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MidnightWind
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been in every MAD since day one.
Enjoyed every one of them, and feel good about seeing some happy folks on my boat. Have met some great folks and still keep up with some.

Guys, you don't have to be a great fisherman to particapate. I've had banner days and slow days. I guess the most fun my guys have had was a day it was too rough to get offshore, so stayed inshore and caught bluefish.

you will find the other boat captains very willing to help. Heck, if anyone wants to follow me, be glad to have ya.

Think it over, and please try and help make this day special for some very deserving people. you wont regret it.

Thanks,
Midnight
  
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Eric6708
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been a "troop" that went fishing with a MAD member prior to deploying on a non MAD event, fishing with a captain durring an MAD oak island event, a volunteer boat captain and a volunteer that helped out on Capt Daves boat (ended up fishing most of the time). I have to say the best time was volunteering, and Im still active duty. If I could, I would sign up again this year for MHC, and will hopefully be able to for Oak Island. I am blessed to have a boat and have a good friend with an offshore boat so we can fish most of the year. A lof of these guy and girls dont have boats but woud love to be fishing as much as we love it. From someone thats been on both sides of the fence so to speak, please volunteer and help out, trust me, its worth it!  
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i54sierra
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squid,
I run with Capt John L out of OKI, He works for the same company as you do. I initially heard of MAD through him when he asked me to mate for him in 2010 on his Blackfin. He initially heard of the event(s) here on FPT.

After reading the posts and thinking about your question, I have come to the conclusion that marketing is the fundamental problem. Like others mentioned here, after 2 season in South Port and OKI neither my wife or I saw any marketing/flyers. Sure the tackle shops are on board which is beyond awesome, but even in those locations there was limited to no exposure.

On a side note, I did an informal study here in the FT Bragg ER (MD's, RN's and Medic's) about MAD's exposure to the troops. The Officer's are basically clueless which is to be expected, except for the HOT nurses who would look phenomenal on the bow of my boat. The medic's are being informed at the company level and at Sergeant's time on a weekly basis. So the word is out there, kudos to the MAD staff for getting it down to junior enlisted.

I don't market or sell for a living, but there are plenty of smart people here that do. Maybe the 10 pound brains here can get together and come up with a plan.
  
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