I'd say the Minerva fleet is easy #1 - all the boats in that fleet were loaded down with tag flags.. The woman who owns it, Minerva has a bad ass tackle shop in the middle of downtown. Go there and book it (or on the net in advance). I found my boatthrough a local guy. I got a good deal. I paid 450.00 fora full day on a 34 Blackfin by myself.Typical cost on a similar fleet boat would be maybe650-750.
The thing is, live bait is KEY. We ran out of live bait and in turn ran out of Marlin bites. We had a small livewell and in the precious few minutes we could catch bait (they disappear quickly), we could only keep about15 mackarel or they would die. Those big boats with big livewells kept pitching baits and getting triples and doubles later in the day while the same fish wouldn'tsniff our half dead baits or artificials. I can't complain..I paid 450 and went 3 for 7 (I was the only one fishing and the mate kept hooking up fish while I was already in battle), but If we had more baits - I could have caught a few more. One of those was 80" short length and I fought it for over an hour on 30#so I was pretty satisfied with the ones I caught.
Sorry to ramble. When I go back, I am booking Minerva - no doubt. A little more money, but top notch service and knowledge. If they are full, try Pisces fleet.
I was out there a few years ago during the summer. We saw several tailing fish on day one. The mate would throw a dead bait out and the fish would eat it straight away. Then he'd put a live one a spinning rod and fling it out in front of the fish. They'd look but never bite.When I got back in that evening I was telling my wife about it (yawns) and she says, "Why didn't he put a dead one on the hook, then?" :doh I believe every charter boat in the area does the same thing and there were I don't know how many boats fishing that area day in and day out. Maybe they were just leader shy but I always wondered what if...????