Start catching fish faster by finding a good fishing guide
Finding the right guide can make or break your next fishing trip
If you are planning a fishing trip to an unfamiliar spot, or are simply struggling to catch a particular species in your local fishing hole, hiring a fishing guide can be a great way to take your fishing enjoyment (and your number of bites) to the next level. But finding the right fishing guide can be a challenge, especially if you are fishing in an unfamiliar location.
If you are planning your fishing trip ahead of time, remember to include finding a fishing guide if you feel that you need or want one. A guide can make your fishing vacation much easier and more enjoyable by getting you on top of the fish quicker. The internet is a great resource for finding good local guides that specialize in the species of fish and the tyep of fishing experience you want to have, whether it be a comfortable afternoon in a trout stream or a full day of deep-sea sport fishing. Call and talk to guides and book them before you depart for your trip, since good local guides often get booked quickly, and you could easily be left looking for another guide.
Consider whether you will need to charter a boat along with your fishing guide. Most guides will either accompany you on your boat or (often for a more expensive fee) take you out on their own boat. This is especially important if you will be pursuing large sport fish or going far off-shore, as the boats and equipment needed for this type of fishing is very specific.
Always ask what the guides rates are, as most guides will charge either by the hour or a set fee per trip. Remember to inquire about refunds or exchanges in the case of bad weather or rough seas. Check with your prospective guide to see if he or she has the proper insurance coverage if you will be using their boat, and whether or not your guide will be providing the proper fishing equipment, or if you are responsible to bring your own rod, reel, and bait.
Ask Around at Marinas and Hotels
Marinas are a great place to get the local scoop on who the best guides are that find the most fish. Talk to marina owners or employees to get the names and numbers of good, well respected local guides to take you out and get you to the fish quickly. You can even talk to other fishermen who are returning from their own excursions about how the performance of their guide affected their fishing trip. This is a great way to find a guide if you have not found one already by the time you arrive at your destination.
Hotels are another great resource for finding good local guides. Simply ask your hotel's concierge to recommend a good guide. Most hotels, especially in destinations frequented by many fishermen, will keep lists of local fishing guides that service local lakes, rivers, and oceans. Many concierge desks will even call the guide and schedule your fishing voyage on your behalf.
Check the Phone Book
Closer to home, your local phone book can help you find guides that can help you improve your fishing in the waters in your own city or town. Many of these local guides have spent years fishing the lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams in your area, and can easily point you to the best fishing spots. They can also give valuable advice about how local weather patterns, seasons, and boater activity will affect your catch. Many people assume that a guide isn't necessary when fishing local waters, but even the best fishermen can be made better by spending a few hours with a guide who knows a specific body of water extremely well.
Remember that a finding and hiring a good fishing guide can be one of the best investments that you make to improve your own fishing, or to help you get the most out of your next big fishing trip with your family and friends.