Check out this recap of our talk with TJ and Cody Ryan Greaney of The Outdoor Zone on 104.9 The Horn, Austin's #1 Sports Radio. We cover the story behind Captain Experiences and some of great Texas fishing trips!
Tune in here as we talk Texas fishing, the story of Captain Experiences, and much more!
TJ Greaney (TJ): This is the Outdoor Zone with TJ and Cody Ryan live from the bunkhouse. Welcome back Regulators. You're tuned in to The Outdoor Zone, the Number One Outdoor Radio.
All right, so, we want to make sure that you are up to date on the most current and cutting-edge opportunities to get out into the Great Outdoors, and we got in touch with captainexperiences.com.
Jonathan is the owner of Captain Experiences and we wanted to get him on the show to talk a little bit about what is this new website, what does it do, and how can it help me catch bigger fish, better fish.
Beefsteak: Well, we're talk about resources earlier right and here’s another great resource.
TJ: And yeah so Jonathan, are you there?
Jonathan Near (JN): Yeah, I'm here- how's it going guys?
TJ: Beautiful. So where's Jonathan today?
JN: So I'm in Austin, Texas right now. Born and raised in Houston and moved to Austin to start the company.
TJ: Well hey, sounds like that’s real similar to what I did.
JN: Yeah, there you go!
TJ: Well hey, so Jonathan, thank you very much. Did you fish a lot down when you were living in Houston? Did you fish a lot down on the coast?
JN: Yeah, I actually grew up in a house that kind of backed onto the bayou, so I was grabbing whatever was the oldest and smelled the worst in the fridge and using it to catch Catfish, on a bobber and hook in the bayou, and then also took some trips to Galveston and things like that that I think a lot of people did growing up in Houston.
TJ: And boy, every boy’s just drawn to the water with the fishing pole man. You give a kid a chance to go fishing and I've rarely met a little boy who didn't want to fish if given the chance and I think that goes- it goes into the heart of every guy every man, and I think what you've done with your website captainexperiences.com is that you've kind of collected up some opportunities for people, so talk to us about this site and what it has to offer Outdoors men and women.
JN: Yeah, exactly. So the websites called captainexperiences.com. But yeah, it's a booking platform for outdoor sports. It can be a time-consuming and intimidating project for people to try to find these guides that they want. You have to call them up one by one the end up playing phone tag all week.
The guide that you called might not want to take out beginners and then both people just end up wasting time and so with our site Captain Experiences, you can go on their, search for the exact trip you're looking for. So let's say the three of us want to go fishing in Galveston so we can say three people fishing on this date for four hours, no more than this much money, want to catch Redfish and Speckled Trout, want to kid friendly guide that's willing to take out beginners, and you search from there.
We have YouTube embedded videos so you can watch the interviews that we've done professionally with the guides to get a feel for that guide's personality and see if that would be a good fit for you and watch footage of them catching fish, that sort of thing. And then we have 100% verified reviews as well through this QR Code system.
So other sites and even Google have a tendency for a lot of fake reviews to be out there. Well on our site we protect against that so it's really just authenticity and transparency that we're providing to the guides and also to the people that are looking to book these trips.
TJ: I like that. I like having all that information on somebody because there are so often- you're right. You want to hire a guide, you want to go out, you want to go do something in an area or do something new and man, like where do I go? How do I how do I start finding those people?
And so tell us about some of the cool trips that you have on there? What are what some of the variety and some of the things that guys and gals can do?
JN: Yeah definitely. So we're trying to focus specifically on Texas, but the cool thing is that, people outside of Texas guides have gotten word of what we're doing and they're jumping on board as well.
So within Texas, we have everything, from your in short day trips, you know Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder that sort of thing all along the coast from Galveston to South Padre, Port Mansfield area, Rockport, Corpus Christi, and everything in between.
We have some cool freshwater trips for bass up here in the Hill Country. We've got some cool fly fishing trips, on the Guadalupe for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout, some saltwater fly fishing trip as well, some really cool Alligator Gar fishing trips up there on the Trinity River just south of Dallas.
So we pretty much run the gamut in terms of fishing and then we're looking to expand into some hunting trips and stuff too. But really trying to hammer down fishing right now, but, you know pretty much everything. Oh, and then some pretty awesome offshore trips too like 24-hour tuna fishing trips with the rigs lit up offshore.
So yeah, pretty much anything that you could you could ever dream up. And if we don't have it on the site we’ll also go out and find the right guide for you and put a trip together.
TJ: So tell us about the process. So I want to go on a 24-hour tuna trip. I like what I find online. So tell me how does the process work from there?
JN: Right. So what you would do is, you'd find that trip on our site and you would just click ‘book’ and you'd put in your credit card information, but you wouldn't be charged until that guide accepts the trip.
So the guide on their end would receive an automatic email. They can check their calendar, get back to you within 24 hours and either say hey, we're open that day, all systems go, let's do it. Or, ‘hey, I'm booked that week but how about next week or how about the next day’ that sort of thing. And then they give you a call and talk through any specifics and yeah just go from there.
TJ: And so then they just go down there? Tell me about the QR code- do they you tip your guides and stuff when you're down there through cash or is there is the app open? Does it stay open where you can still operate through the app or- what about things like that?
JN: Yeah, that's a great question. So right now it's just a cash tip- a lot of our guides just want to receive that tip in cash. And so that's all you would need cash for but other than that, the actual trip value- you'd be charged a deposit when that guide accepts the trip.
And then when you meet them, we have this QR Code system that would charge you for the remainder of the value. So the way that QR Code system is- let's say you're going on a family trip to Cancun or a bachelor / bachelorette party. You have to withdraw, you know, let's just say $1,000 cash to pay that person on a foreign dock. Well with Captain, a week before your trip we email you a QR code like a mobile boarding pass.
You just show up to the dock, your guide takes a picture of your QR code and payment transfers automatically right there. So you don't need to bring cash other than tipping your guide. And that's how we ensure that all of our reviews are 100% verified because if your guide doesn't take a picture of that QR code, you don't receive a link to leave a review which means that every single review on captainexperiences.com was left by someone who met their guide on the dock and actually had that virtual handshake. TJ: And I like that very much.
Beefsteak: So what inspired you, Jonathan, to make this come about? Was there a moment? Did you have a bad experience? Did you sit around talking like we do sometimes daydreaming?
JN: Yeah, I mean that's pretty much what happened. So this time last year I was actually in oil and gas finance in Houston- the company I was working for sold and to celebrate the deal I go ‘guys, we always talk about how we love to go fishing, why don’t we book a trip to celebrate the deal?’
From there, they were like, ‘all right, go for it!’ And I realized it's an absolute mess to book one of these trips- you're playing phone tag, I made a big, list of all these guides and called them one by one and I was like, ‘I'm wasting a lot of time doing this, there's got to be a better way’.
I did some research and there wasn't much out there and then we started thinking, ‘hey, this this could apply to a lot of different sports’. Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Skydiving- you name it.
The opportunities are pretty much endless, so we're just kind of getting started right now with fishing in Texas, but the vision is to put all these trips together and get more people involved in the outdoors however that be.
TJ: Man, well, we're a big fan Jonathan- captainexperiences.com. We're going to put a link up on the Outdoor Zone Facebook page and we want to stay in touch with you as you come up with some cool trips and some cool ideas.
Make sure you swing back by and come back in and visit with us here in the bunkhouse. This is the kind of stuff that we love because we love giving our folks, our listeners, opportunities to go out and experience the outdoors and you're hitting it out of the park. I really like how you're doing this. Thank you very much for taking time and sharing it with everybody.
JN: Yeah, definitely. Thank you guys for having me and if there's time I just really want to add quickly that the first five thousand dollars we make as a business is going to the Sergeant James Johnston Family Fund. Sergeant James Johnston made the ultimate sacrifice this summer in Afghanistan.
So those five thousand dollars are going to a family fund for his soon-to-be daughter Jamie.
TJ: Man, we like that. Alright, you’ve got all the right boxes checked from us over here Jonathan. So thank you and yes, we want to support that so you can go fishing and support that fund and that support for that family.
All right, brother. Thank you very much. It's Jonathan at captainexperiences.com. Thank you, buddy.
JN: Thank you guys!
TJ: We'll put that up on our Facebook page so you can track it down. What a great idea for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift or something like that. Go find some really cool gift for me and just go book it and send me the QR code.
Beefsteak: Did you hear that? He's already thrown his down hints for Christmas. Alright. Hey, we're going to take a break on the flip side when we come back we've got your PETA Report coming up next. You don't want to miss it. Only one place live in the bunkhouse! Seven to Nine 24/7 365 at theoutdoorzone.com.