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!


Equipment:

Another big reason and probably the most common reason people hire guides, is the equipment needed to catch a particular fish. The definition of a boat is “a hole in the water you pour money into”. This is not far from the truth. Most people would not invest the money it takes to equip themselves unless they were truly “hooked” on fishing!

Also, most customers are shocked to learn what some of the equipment costs. The following is a small snapshot of what a typical guide has aboard his boat.

  • Downriggers – $275.00 each(manual) $450.00 each(electric) Usually 2 to 4 downriggers per boat
  • Rods and Reels – $150.00+ per each. Usually 8-12 rods per boat
  • G.P.S. – $350.00+
  • Depth Finder – $400.00+
  • Lures & terminal tackle $500.00 – $1000.00
  • Batteries – $80.00-$100.00 each usually 2-3 per boat
  • Trolling motor – $500.00-$1200.00
  • Misc. (life vests, first aid kit, coolers, safety equip.) – $500.00

Unfortunately, I had to replace both my G.P.S. and my Depth Finder this past year. As you can see, professional fishing does not come cheap! And the trouble is, none of this equipment lasts forever.

Find a guide that shares your interests and beliefs and you will find a friend forever. Remember, you are going to be stuck on a boat with a total stranger for up to 8 or more hours. It can be a very warm and fun time, or a strain on your patience. Find a guide you like and use him again and again.

We do it because we love it and it has always been our dream to share that perfect day, when the weather is perfect, the fish will bite anything you put in front of them, all the fish are monsters, and the clients truly love to catch fish and literally scream each time they catch a fish. That is why I guide. I would love for you to be a part of an upcoming trip. Call or E-mail me today.

Last but not least, your guide is not “Master of the Universe”. Unfortunately there are days when the “Fishing Gods” are not smiling, the fish have lockjaw, and you feel like you’re fishing in the Dead Sea. These days are few and far between, but unfortunately, they do happen. That’s why they call it fishing, not catching! Just remember, your guide is doing everything in his power to put fish in the boat for his customers.

Good Fishing!!

Tim Hudson