Guide to Hiring the Right Fishing Guide
Hiring a fishing guide may be an easy decision, but by doing a little research the outcome of your fishing experience will more likely meet expectations. This guide will break down the essence of how to find a credible fishing charter that meets our standards.
A qualified fishing guide can provide a great time on the water and have the rods bent and drags screaming. As a tourist to an out of town area, it could be more important to be catching fish than actually learning the tactics of the area. However, as a local you may want to learn from the guide and become a better fisherman when you venture off on your own time. Whatever your objective may be, it is important to ensure that the guide you hire will cater to your trip of choice.
Question to ask before hiring a guide:
- Is the Guide Qualified?
When shopping for a fishing guide, we like to see full time guides that have been fishing the area for several years. Guides that are typically on the water daily know the fishing well and can better plan a good day of fishing for the date you choose based on previous days experience. A good reputation and/or referral from friend are usually great indicators of a credible guide.
- Does the Guide have the Boat and Gear you Desire?
There are many types of charter boats and fishing available. When searching for a guide, you want to be sure that the boat and gear available is what you are looking for.
- What Does The Guide Provide?
Make sure the guide provides all the licenses, bait, ice and gear you need when fishing. Items such as sunscreen, food and water may not be provided as expected.
- What Should I Bring?
Be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and food. If you are in an area that typically has a high probability of bad weather, you may want to bring rain gear and a change of clothes.
- Can I Bring My Own Tackle?
Yes. Having the guide put you on fish with your own tackle can be exciting. Make sure you discuss the guide the type of tackle you will be bringing. You can have the guide rig you up when you arrive at the boat.
- Is the price right?
Although price is usually the first consideration when hiring a guide, it shouldn’t be. Be weary of guides that charge considerably less than other local businesses. You pay for what you get and chartering out a fishing guide is affordable considering all you get. The expenses incurred such as fuel, fishing gear, licenses, ice, etc all make up quite a bit of overhead for the guides, so take that into consideration when window shopping by price.
- How Many People Can I Bring?
The size of your party is a consideration that should be brought to the attention of the guide right away. Some guides may have bigger boats to accommodate or guides may split up the charter into two boats if needed.
- Can I Mount The Fish I Catch?
Yes. By getting the measurements (Length, Width, and Girth) of the fish, the guide can direct you to a local taxidermist or you can find your own and have a fiberglass replica made. You DO NOT need to kill the fish to get the mount done. It is advised you take several pictures of the fish too, just incase the fish has anything unique about it that you would like to capture in the mount.
- Can I Keep The Fish I Catch?
Most charter guides will filet your catch and provide you with every fish in a nice zip lock back for you to take home and cook any way you like (Tip your mate/guide). Be sure to inquire with your guide to be sure you get to keep your catch as some boats are known to keep and sell your portion of the fish you catch without asking.
- Is There A Guarantee To Catch Fish?
Even the best of the best will have days of bad fishing, so asking for a guarantee on to catch fish can seem far fetched. Some guides will guarantee fish, but from our experience we don’t see the better guides doing this. The elite and credible guides simply don’t have to offer this type of guarantee to gain your business.
- Is It Appropriate to Tip The Guide and/or Mate?
Absolutely, the credible guides that we refer to this article work hard to put you on fish and most of the times the rates do not include gratuity. After a day of rod bending action, a dirty boat, filleting fish, etc. it is only appropriate to give the guide a tip for the unforgettable day.