Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Mataura provide food and drinks? What happens to the fish we catch? Do we get to keep them or are they sold?
What conveniences are available in  and around Noank? What kind of fish will we catch?
What happens when the weather is inclement? What are the current fish regulations for the fish we might catch?
Where did the name Mataura come from? How many people can go fishing at once board the Mataura? Why not more?
What do I need to bring for a day of fishing on the Mataura? Can kids go fishing on the Mataura?
Do I need to clean my own fish? What types of payment are accepted?
Can I have my fish shipped? Where do you fish?
Where should I stay (hotels/motels) in Mystic? What kind of fishing equipment do you use?
What other activities are there in the Mystic area? Can I bring my own fishing equipment?
Are there any additional expenses on top of the cost of the trip? Can I go fly fishing on the Mataura?
Can I bring alcohol aboard the Mataura? What time of year is best for catching certain types of fish?
What time of day is best for fishing? How far ahead of time do I need to call in order to book a date?


Does the Mataura provide food and drinks?

The Mataura provides only coffee for morning trips and fresh water. All food and beverages must be brought with you. We do, however, have a refrigerator, ice, and a cooling box to store your food and drinks. If you plan to get your supplies en route to the boat, please note that nothing in Noank is open before 7am.

Back to Top

What conveniences are available in  and around Noank?

Noank is a nice, very small, peaceful port, and is far different than neighboring Mystic. Therefore, it does not offer quite as much for conveniences as Mystic. There is, however, a bakery, grocery store, coffee shop, liquor store and a few good restaurants. NONE OF THESE ARE OPEN BEFORE 7AM, SO FOOD, BEVERAGES, AND COFFEE MUST BE PURCHASED PRIOR TO ARRIVING IN NOANK FOR MORNING TRIPS. As for restaurants, we recommend the Seahorse Tavern, which is less than a mile away from our dock.  There are several Dunkin Donuts, Bess Eaton Donuts, and large grocery stores within ten minutes of Noank with earlier hours than the stores in Noank.

Back to Top

What happens when the weather is inclement?

Unfortunately, Captain Tom cannot control the weather on the day of your trip. So, unless there are extreme circumstances (Hurricane, Armageddon, etc.), the boat will leave the dock as planned. If the weather is poor, alternate plans are made on the day of the trip such as downgrading or rescheduling (if possible).

Back to Top

Where did the name Mataura come from?

Well before Captain Tom McLoughlin was a charter boat captain, he was a fly fisherman. So, when teaching marine biology in Australia in his late twenties, he traveled to New Zealand to explore and fly fish. In his time there, he stumbled upon the Mataura River on the southern end of the South Island, and fell in love with it and the large Brown Trout that inhabited its waters. Since then, he has been back nearly every winter just so he can fish the Mataura. Therefore, when it came time to name his boat back in 1980, it seemed only natural to pick the name of the river that had fueled his passion for fishing- MATAURA. 

Back to Top

What do I need to bring for a day of fishing on the Mataura?

Although the Mataura provides all of the necessary fishing and safety gear, there are a few things you need to bring to ensure you have a nice day on the water.  Please bring only what you need according to the time you will be on the water.

Back to Top

Do I need to clean my own fish?

No, you do not. The mates on the Mataura are skilled in cleaning and preparing any type of fish you might catch on your trip. They will fillet and skin or gut your fish according to your preference- and then put it all in plastic bags for you to take home with you.

Back to Top

Can I have my fish shipped?

You can do whatever you want with your fish, but the Mataura will not provide packaging or shipping. 

Back to Top

Where should I stay (hotels/motels) in Mystic?

There are many lodging options in and around Mystic, ranging from economy to luxury, and they fill up quickly in summer months due to Mystic's status as a popular tourist attraction. So, other options also exist in Groton, New London, Watch Hill and Stonington. Generally, the further you get from Mystic the cheaper prices will be in economy lodging. Please see our Local Information page.

Back to Top

What other activities are there in the Mystic area?

Mystic has many activities for young and old alike- it is a quaint New England town with great restaurants and shops, and its streets are packed with tourists from all over the world. The Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum and Mystic Aquarium are very popular for people of all ages. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos are also less than 20 minutes away and are frequented by many of our customers. Other activities within minutes include golf courses, movie theaters, and shopping.  Please see our Local Information page.

Back to Top

Are there any additional expenses on top of the cost of the trip?

The cost of the trip does not include a tip for the mate. This is usually 15%, and is given to the mate upon the completion of your trip. 

Back to Top

Can I bring alcohol aboard the Mataura?

Alcohol is allowed aboard the Mataura, but customers are encouraged to use their heads when drinking on the ocean. There are inherent risks of being on the water and those risks are multiplied when individuals are intoxicated. Furthermore, people tend to have a higher propensity towards seasickness when intoxicated.  Customers must also monitor their own drinking and factor in that someone must be sober and capable of driving when the trip is over. In conclusion, the Mataura and its crew do not participate in the consumption of alcohol during charters and will not be held responsible for any accidents that are associated with it. The captain has the power to cancel a trip if he thinks that the intoxication level of a passenger(s) threatens the safety of other passengers or the crew.

Back to Top

What time of day is best for fishing?

Fish generally feed according to certain tides, not time of day, and the tides vary over the course of the season.  There is often, however, a bite at first light- particularly on the surface.  For this reason, fishing in the morning often is better than the afternoon.  Captain Tom often tells customers "If you want to have a nice day on the water, come in the afternoon.  If you want to catch fish, come in the morning".  So, depending upon your priorities (sleep vs. fishing, for example), you may want to take this advice when booking a trip.

Back to Top

What happens to the fish we catch? Do we get to keep them or are they sold?

 In almost every circumstance, customers keep all of their fish, and they are cleaned/filleted and packaged at the end of the day to take home. We demand the release of all fish that do not fall into the legal size and number limit, and encourage people to keep and kill only fish that will be eaten.

Back to Top

What kind of fish will we catch? 

Inshore Trips will most likely produce Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Fluke.  Offshore Trips target all different types of Tuna and Sharks, with many other possibilities such as Marlin and Mahi-Mahi.  Check out Inshore Types of Fish and Offshore Types of Fish for more details and descriptions.

Back to Top

What are the current fish regulations for the fish we might catch?

Fish regulations are in constant flux, and are regulated on both a state and national level. Most fish regulations stay the same for an entire season, but the Bluefin tuna changes constantly. The current daily regulations for common fish caught on charter boats in Connecticut waters are as follows:

Back to Top

How many people can go fishing at once aboard the Mataura? Why not more?

The Captain, Crew, and boat can legally only take 6 passengers. Please do not show up with more- it is awkward and aggravating for everyone when someone has to stay at the dock because more than six passengers show up for a trip. 

Back to Top

Can kids go fishing on the Mataura?

Kids are more than welcome as long as they are supervised at all times.  The Mataura has several small life preservers for toddlers, and has taken children as young as two years old.  The mates are fully capable of handling children- but they aren't babysitters, so please do not expect them to be.

Back to Top

What types of payment are accepted?

Only cash and checks are allowed- NO CREDIT CARDS.

Back to Top

Where do you fish?

The Mataura fishes from the waters of Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Fishers Island Sound south through the deep offshore waters all the way to the Continental Shelf (Canyon).

Back to Top

What kind of fishing equipment do you use?

The Mataura has the best fishing equipment available- from bait and tackle to electronics.  Please see our Fishing Equipment page for more details.

Back to Top

Can I bring my own fishing equipment?

Although the finest fishing equipment available is provided aboard the Mataura, you are welcome to bring your own gear if you have it. Whether it is a fly rod, spinning rod, or your favorite lure; bring it aboard and the first mate will help you rig it up. 

Back to Top

Can I go fly fishing on the Mataura?

Captain Tom and his crew- being fly fishermen themselves- have soft spots for fly fishermen; so if you are equipped for salt-water fly-fishing, bring your gear with you. If conditions are right, we would love to help you hook a fish on the fly. Furthermore, we are fully equipped with fly-fishing gear ourselves and are happy to bring it out for your trip. However, we do not keep our fly-fishing gear aboard the Mataura, so if you want us to bring it please let us know ahead of time. 

Back to Top

What time of year is best for catching certain types of fish? 

Back to Top

How far ahead of time do I need to call in order to book a date?

The further ahead of time you can call to book your trip, the better. Dates go fast, and some times of the year book up extremely quickly, so call as soon as possible for best availability.

Back to Top

Copyright 2000 Mataura Sportfishing Charters Contact Us NavBar Image Terms of Use