1. Bring a hooded sweatshirt and long pants for the mornings and evenings, (not always needed but nice to have if you do need it) hat, waterproof sunblock. Sandals are allowed. Probably the biggest tip I can give when boarding is to leave any coolers and beer home. Coolers are not allowed. Most boats a full galley with food and beverages including beer, sodas water and coffee. I like having breakfast in the am and a burger after fishing myself.
2. When the boat is crowded on weekends and holidays be patient if a tangle occurs. The deckhands are there to help when you need it. At the end of the day if you are satisfied with the service you received and your trip a tip for the galley and deckhands is appreciated. The crew all works on tips and a small salary, so please help them out with a tip if they did a good job. Tip like you would in a restaurant or other service. Typically 15% or better if you feel it is justified.
3. Most boats will offer to clean your catch if you kept it at the end of the day. Generally it is 50 cents to a couple of dollars for cleaning. Yellowtail and Halibut may be more. The deckhands are experienced at filleting and you have no mess to deal with so I highly recommend fish cleaning.
4. Don't be overly concerned about getting a stern position. I rarely fish the stern. Instead pick a spot just behind the wheel house (usually this leaves room to cast) with the wind always blowing in your face. (this will keep the bait from going under the boat and live bait swimming away from the boat) Also if the boat is sliding on the anchor spots from the wheelhouse forward will usually get more action.
5. If you have some experience, pick a spot next to someone more experienced you as tangles will be less likely. Also, if they are catching fish when no one else is, watch their technique, rigging and bait.
6. Pick the liveliest bait you see in the bait well and do not fish a bait more than 2 minutes. If no bites in this time, reel in and change your bait. I can't emphasize enough how many times I see people soaking the same bait too long and never changing it.
7. If you get tangled with another person put your reel in free-spool and call the deckhand to help with the tangle if you are unable to get it free. Also when bringing fish on the deck, put you reel in frees pool if the deckhand is handling your fish.
8. When fishing live bait, keep your bait in front of you at all times. Follow the golden rule..."No angles, No tangles". If seals and sea lions are around avoid using sardines and bigger bait as this will only keep them around. Use you best judgment.
9. Bring plenty of live bait hooks, torpedo sinkers, sliding egg weights and split shots. By them at the landing as they know best what is biting and what is working best for rigging. Rob