Excerpts taken from Reason to hire a guide, by James Allen, Bluewater Striper Guide Service
Of the hundreds of reasons to hire a guide, the main reason should be to have a pleasant day on the water catching fish, and LEARNING how to catch fish. If you leave your guide without taking away some memories and techniques that you can use later, you’ve really missed out on what a good guide can offer, and didn’t really get your money’s worth.
Guiding is hard work and only the truly dedicated that love the outdoors and interacting with total strangers can make a living at it. It is demanding work that requires a lot of work behind the scenes to insure a productive day on the water. Anyone can get into a boat and throw out a lure, but difference is having the knowledge of that particular body of water and the species of fish that are being targeted. Only experience and hands on knowledge will give you the confidence that only years of fishing can produce.
A good guide lives to fish. They want to share their experiences with their customers. There is nothing more gratifying to me than watching someone catch that first “trophy” fish. The excitement they have is contagious and should never “get old” or routine for the guide.
A good guide will cherish new fisherman and will encourage you to bring your kids and spouses. A good guide will be patient and a good teacher. There is nothing like a child catching their first big fish on your boat. As a guide, you are part of that moment in their lives that they will remember forever. How many jobs can boast that comment?
Let your guide know what you like and don’t like. Not all guides fish the same. Some fish only with live bait, some only with artificial lures, and some do both. Find one that fits the type of fishing you will be doing on your own later.
Let your guide do the dirty work: Let him pay for the boat, insurance, gas, tackle and equipment. Let him get up at 2 in the morning and catch bait. Let him untangle the backlashes, and get the fish off the hooks. Let him worry about what the fish are biting on and where they are at today. Let him take your picture and best of all…. let him clean your fish!
Some people have the misconception that guides “make a fortune” for what they charge for a fishing trip. Nothing could be further from the truth. The costs of maintaining a boat, fishing equipment, batteries, electronics, insurance, fuel and guide licenses can be staggering. Most guides do what they do because they love it, not to get rich!