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How To Hire A Fishing Guide

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What to know before you fork out your hard-earned cash! Let me know your thoughts.



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Having been a guide for 15 years, I could write a book.  LOL!!  If I were to take off my guide hat and put on my client hat, here are some things I would either ask or pay attention to.  Of course, hiring a saltwater guide or hiring a guide for different species may change my answers.  For relevance, I guided for Largemouth, Crappie, Striper on a freshwater lake.  I also tried to incorporate a lot of different situations.  


1. Choosing which Guide.  The lake I guide on has a large number of guides.  I suggest calling the marinas and inquiring on which guides they recommend.  The marina I am sponsored by has a "brag book" that has pictures of my notable catches and when they were caught.  

2. Other pertinant questions for the guide are,  What year and model of boat do you run? Do you provide all gear?  Amount of time that will be spent on the water?  Cancellation policy? Live bait or artificials? Items I need to bring? How many people can I bring?  Cost options?  What time do I need to be dockside?  Catch and release or catch and keep?  Do you accommodate children, if so what ages? Can I bring my own gear?  Can you guide from my boat?  Can we have a tag along boat? Do you provide baits/lures? Do you have insurance?  Are you a USCG certified Captain? Are you a tournament fisherman on the lake? 


Now there are things that I as a guide will ask you.


What type of fishing do you like to do?  What species do you want to target?  Do you want numbers or a trophy?  What is your fishing experience?  Do you want to learn the lake, fish movement, structure, technique or how to use specific gear?  Do you want to keep your catch?  Do you have any boating experience?  Age and skill level of your party?  How long will you want to be on the water?  What is your goal for this trip?


These are just off the top of my head and there are some very involved answers and reasons why I picked these questions.  Feel free to ask me about any one and I will be more than happy to elaborate.  

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