Extreme Fishing Outfitters

Extreme Fishing Outfitters

Fishing reels and gear


How to Find a Good Fishing Guide

Fly Fishing GuidesLet’s say that you haven’t fished in a certain area, or maybe you are new to fishing altogether. Whether you are a new or veteran angler you may want a fishing guide to take you out for that special catch. Wherever fishing is popular there are bound to be an abundance of guides and tour companies available. When you have found this list of potential guides, how do you know which one to hire? This can seem complicated and maybe even overwhelming. It is actually a fairly simple process that includes some easy steps to follow:

1. Know what kind of fishing experience that you would like to enjoy. Make sure you know the type of fish that you want to catch. Determine whether you are seeking fresh or saltwater fish. Many of the fishing guides have a specialized area that they work in. They usually have a particular type of area of water that they cover. You can usually make a determination of which guide will take you by deciding whether you want deep sea, near shore, back country, lake, or river fishing. Some even specialize in a particular variety of fish like largemouth bass, trout, cod, marlin or many other species.

2. Next, figure out your price range. This would also include how many people will be going. Most guides will charge you for the use of the boat for your party, as well as for the time of the crew and captain. Boat tours usually run from two to four people on a smaller boat or up to six on a larger vessel. A smaller tour, that would be on a small vessel will usually run $200-$400 for a four hour tour. For a tour in a larger vessel on the sea, it is usually $900-$1,200 for an eight hour fishing day.

3. Now to begin your search for the right guide. You can also go to bait shops, marinas, or docks to listen or even ask around. You can get a lot of information from locals and regulars about various guides.

4. Another way is to communicate with your travel agent to determine if there are hotels or resorts in the area you wish to travel that feature guide services in a package with their room rates. This is often times a great option, and can even help you to save money, if you want a great deal. If you are not planning on using a travel agent, you can always use the internet to narrow your search down. You simply enter the type of fishing and the area you want to fish into your search engine, this should bring up a list that includes your options.

Fishing Guides

5. The next thing to do would be to talk to potential guides. There is plenty of information needed to make a decision before you commit any amount of money to a particular guide. This process of questioning a potential guide is a great way to weed out the guides that are less than respectable. You can tell whether a guide likes their job and has love of fishing, or if they are interested in the one who pays. Here are some good strategies for finding the right guide for you:

  1. Make sure that you get a full listing of pricing and gratuities. You want to make sure that if any taxes apply they are also included.
  2. Find out what kind of deposit is necessary.
  3. Find out if the guide or captain has licensing through the Coast Guard. A Coast Guard license involves taking a detailed course and a passed examination. Make sure that they are properly licensed at their respective state and local levels as well. Getting proof is something you should not fear. If necessary have it sent to you so that you can see physical proof.
  4. Get references. Afterwords follow up. You should always be aware of their reputation. You can always check with the Better Business Bureau as well.
  5. Find out the guides specialty and make sure they accommodate what you are looking for in your fishing trip.
  6. Find out what the day’s schedule includes, and how long you will be on the water, and when you will return to the dock.
  7. If you are beginning as an angler, will there be lessons available? Find out if there is a preferred experience level for groups or individuals that charter a trip.
  8. Find out the type of boat you will be using.
  9. Find out if your fish will clean, fillet and wrap your fish. You should also determine if this service is included in your package.
  10. If there is bad weather, you need to know what the cancellation policy would happen to be.
  11. If you are not seeking to spend a lot of money, you can always do a party boat tour. You will be spending your time with strangers, but it will give you the opportunity to get your line wet and catch some fish. This also offers the chance to spend a lot less.

There are a few things to look out for when determining the guide you would like to go with. If the guide is going to fish also, this could be a potential problem. When a guide fishes with their clients, they can tend to lose focus on you. It is not advisable to book a tour with a guide who will not grant their full attention to you.

It is also important to find out if you are on a private or social tour. A social tour would mean that you may be sharing your guide with strangers. It is less expensive to go on a social tour, but it is well worth it to have a private tour. With a private tour you will get the guide, crew, and boat to yourself. If you bring a child or children, a private tour is definitely a necessity.

You will also want to find out if there will be a suitable replacement in the event of the guide’s absence. If the guide were to fall ill or be unable in some way to attend, they might not have a proper fill-in for them. If this is the case you would want to see if your deposit would be reimbursed. It would also be beneficial to find out if there is a plan in place in case the guide should become unavailable.

Hire a fishing guide

Some guides are catch and release guides. Be sure to find out what a guide’s policies are regarding your keeping the fish. If you wish to keep your fish, either for dinner or a trophy, you will want to consult with the guide regarding their philosophy regarding keeping fish. If you want more than a few photographs out of your fishing adventure, it is advised that you find a guide who does not require the fish being thrown back into the water. If you plan on having a fish taken to a taxidermist you may want to see if the guide has a referral, as some do.

There are a few things you will need to be prepared for your guided fishing tour. Be sure to bring along coolers that you can use to pack your fish home in. You can also find out if your guide has Styrofoam coolers available for your use and any cost associated with them. Make sure that you bring a seasickness medication with you. This applies, especially, if you are unsure of whether or not you will get seasick. Be sure to bring food and beverages. Some tours include food and beverages but they are few and far between. You will want to make sure you have food and snacks as well as a means to stay hydrated. Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the water. Include sun-block in your inventory so you avoid sunburn. Bring light soled footwear that is comfortable. Last, and most importantly, have a fun and safe trip.