BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) -The COVID-19 pandemic is causing headaches for small businesses everywhere and that includes our local charter boat industry.
Capt. Frank Becker with Skipper Charters says fishing is a great idea, but even clear skies and calm waters can’t make up for the fact that these trips require people. And right now, people aren’t coming or going anywhere thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“March was looking good. April was looking good, then this happened," said Becker. "The phone calls started going the other way and we were getting cancellations left and right. So me and the rest of the association are sitting dead in the water.”
He and other charter boat captains are used to the challenges that come from life on the water s, for now, they’re cutting bait and working to lure in passengers a different way.
“I’d be willing to do anything as long as it’s safe for everybody but I’ll go,” he said. “I’d take anybody out who wants to go fishing or on sunset cruises. I know some of the other guys would do the same thing. We just want to make a paycheck. Groups come down, and basically, they know everybody in their group. It’s families.”
Becker added that the current predicament gets muddier as talk of a future opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway continues.
“A double whammy,” he said. “By the time this clears out, we’ll be facing that situation again, and it’s even a longer, drawn out process for us.”