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Low_Budget_Hooker

guides==please educate

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Could some of the guides here(acstech,etc) please explain how being a guide is not like getting paid to fish.  I think some folks see it as just that.  THey don't see the pressure, the sales aspect, etc.  Could you enlighten us as to how tough it is to be a successful, sustaining guide?

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Could some of the guides here(acstech,etc) please explain how being a guide is not like getting paid to fish. I think some folks see it as just that. THey don't see the pressure, the sales aspect, etc. Could you enlighten us as to how tough it is to be a successful, sustaining guide?

The way you worded these questions is probably the best way I have ever seen it asked. The question is so good that I think it justifies a complete response so without writing a book this is still going to get lengthy.

If one enters this profession with the intent of getting paid to fish they will only be around for a brief period of time. Intrinsic to the reasons for becoming a guide has to be the love of fishing, the desire to share knowledge, and the true enjoyment of meeting and interacting with people. The money, although absolutely needed to sustain ourselves, is secondary to the profession.

The second part of the question is directed to requirements needed to keep the people coming back.

I answered a post on another page that asked the question: "what does it mean when someone says that to be successful you need to have paid your dues?" Suffice it to say that most people that try this profession fail because they simply have not learned to fish yet or as stated, "Paid their dues".

People hire a guide with every expectation of catching more and bigger fish then if they were to go it alone. In order to produce the guide needs to excel in all areas of expertise required to come in first place in the catching of their chosen quarry. It is not sufficient to own a boat and to have fished the lake a few times. Being intimate with the lake is but a small part of the equation and of far less importance than simply truly knowing how to fish. For edification purposes I am enclosing my response to the "dues" question.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you have learned all the mechanical skills with the tackle of your choice. Most people settle for learning only a few.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say you understand all the mechanical skills of the operation of your boat and its associated equipment.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you can look at your electronic equipment and with a glance can tell exactly what it is telling you.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you understand and can use all of the various bait presentation techniques and the proper baits associated with them.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you are completely aware of the happenings that are taking place around you at all times.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you ask, (where, how, why, when) on each and every fish that you catch.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you know what member of fish the bass belongs to, and based on that you have an understanding of its probable actions throughout the various seasons that you fish in.

You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say at the end of a fishing day that you put forth your absolute best effort all the time that you were on the water, prior to going on the water with preparation, and after you have left the water with review.

What's the most difficult single item in any of the above? You know you have paid your dues when you can honestly say that you have been completely honest with yourself in your evaluation of your fishing skills.

You know you have paid your dues when your mindset is such that you never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day that you begin to fail.

Without meeting the above criteria you cannot and will not succeed in this business, or in the business of tournament fishing. It is foremost and the most critical of all aspects of making a living in the fishing industry.

In addition to meeting the fishing skills criteria, a successful guide needs to have an understanding of the business world and how it rotates. A guide needs to do far more than cast baits to the water. The day starts well before the actual launch of the boat and well after the boat has been trailered and the customer has gone home.

As with any day of fishing for anyone, preparation is essential to a successful day. Obviously the mechanical preparations must be filled: ice, gas, and so on, but in addition weather, the day's techniques, and baits to be used must all be paid attention to. Typically, we start at about 3:00 AM for a 6:00 AM launch to take care of these items.

Once home at fishing times close, we now have to attend to the business end of this endeavor, and boat cleanup for the next trip. On the business end there is accounting, (the tax man wants his share). Communication needs such as answering e-mail has to be attended to, fishing reports filed, fishing logs completed. We file fishing reports on many pages and this alone takes as much as 1-2 hours almost daily. My day typically ends upon the completion of all this at about 7:00 PM.

In between all the above is the attending to maintaining your name in front of the public. Again this is a constant chore and includes participating in forums such as this, writing of articles for various media, and so on.

Last but not least is attending to family needs and obligations. It takes an understanding spouse and family to allow one to pursue a path such as this. Both my wife, (all our children are grown and have given us 7 grand-kids), and Scott's family understand our love for what we are doing and our dedication.

This is a simple overview of all that is involved. The involvement is intense, but the enjoyment and satisfaction far outweighs any aspect of guiding that could be considered work.

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Great answer George, thanks alot.  This would be a great topic for the articles above.  Thanks again.

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I almost didn't post anything, because my response would take away from this thread. however, this is for all those who will agree.....

I had no idea of all the aspects that go into being a guide. and after reading your post, I felt I had nothing less than a detailed picture of what goes into this sort of job. great response george!

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acstech,

Excellent!

I fish with a guide like that. I hope to fish with you one day.

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acstech's phrase..."the  desire to share knowledge " is one that he not only preaches but he also puts it into practice.I got a PM today out of the blue.It was from acstech.He sent me an article on c-rig fishing.It's a technique that I've been asking around about.As a matter of fact,I'm printing the article as i'm writing this post.He took the time to help a fellow basser not for money,but out of a"desire to share knowledge".I also hope to share a boat withan ethical committed guide like that some day,maybe even acstech.

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I really like this thread too. I've had some absolutely horrible guides before and I can tell this guy knows his stuff.

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thanks for the great response, and i hope to have guides as good as u some day

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WOW, what a good article acstech that's in depth I have a cousin living in Florida when ever I get down there I may have to look you up.

Chow

Pa Angler

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 My friend and I booked a small mouth river guide last month.  I am an expereinced fisherman, but didnt know much about small mouth's and not a whole lot about the river.  Salmon and steelhead fished it a few times but that was about it.  

 Anyway we booked the trip about two months in advance.  I checke din with the guide periodically for fishing reports.  I asked what section of the river we would fish.  What kind of tackle.  Some other things.  The guide wasnt real specific and didnt answer alot of my questions.  Made me raise my eye brows some.  Then we get to the part about which section to fish.  The guide was taking us on the lower section of river and about half the run ended up in tide water.  I didnt think the bass would be in tide water.  Asked him about it and never would answer my question.  The before the trip the guide calls and says fishing had been terrible all week and the wind and a low pressure front had killed the fishing.  He said he wanted to reschedule.  So we said fine and we'd figure out a date later.  I called a few guides, they were of course booked.  I told them what our guide had done and said.  They all told me the guy was full of crap and that fishing had been great and that the run we would have gone on would have sucked because of the tide water section....

 I called one last guide.  It was 7PM by the time I got ahold of him.  I explained what had happened.  He told me how many fish his boat had got that day.  Said he was sorry that he and his wife had plans the next day, other wise he would take us.  I said I understood, and suggested some great bank fishing places for us.  I said thanks.  About an hour later the guide calls back and said his wife told him to go fishing and he would take my friend and I.  We went with him.  He was great!  I was nervous about going with someone new and all that.  But he made us feel like we had known him for years and all of a sudden we were fishing buddies.  I felt really weird about using his tackle, kind alike screwing your buddies sister ;D, but he always encouraged me to try new lures and showed me some different techniques.  The guy was great.  My friend and I each boated 100 fish, most 70% of them were well over 1lb and a good number in the 2lb + range.  All through the trip I encouraged the guide to fish, a couple of times he would throw out a line.  then he'd find a big one and tell me where to cast etc....He'd pull in his line and say "that big one is for you" ;D

I thought guides were there just to get paid to fish.  But that def. was not the case here.  At the end of the trip I had no problems handing over that $150.00.  I have alot better understanding now of guides and what the good ones actually do.

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I have fished with George and he is a no bs. guy and  a great person to spend a day on the water with. Whatever he says, you can " take it to the bank" Not only did I have a great fish catching day , but I learned things to  improve my own fishing.   T. M.

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