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Guest avid

Should guides fish?

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Guest avid

The recent thread about guides got me thinking.  Do you think your guide should fish or devote all his attention to the customer?

Personally, I don't want my guide to fish unless I invite him to do so.  I have never had a bad experience with this but I ask them their policy.  I have heard horror stories of guides catching fish while their clients were getting skunked.  I have heard this from several friends so I believe it can be a real problem.  It is why I ask before booking.  How do you feel about it?  Any stories to share?

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Hey Avid,

I could see a guide fishing if a the pattern they put me on wasn't working to see if I may not be presenting the lure right in order to offer suggestions or maybe to see if another pattern may be working better. At that time I would want them to focus their attention on me catching (since I'm paying them for the outing!). If I'd get skunked while the guide was catching, I wouldn't be a satisfied customer and they wouldn't get any more of my business! Just my thoughts.

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IMO, a true professional guide will put you on to the fish and "test the waters" just to stay ahead of the game and make it the most enjoyable experience possible for you.  A hack will sit and fish like you're out fishing with your buddy and probably not offer much advice, or put you on to anything you might be missing.

So I guess, yes a guide should fish, but not in the same way that you're fishing.  They have to know whats going on under the water, and thats ever-changing, so theres only one way to find out what needs to be done to catch the fish.

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As a guide myself I normally ask the client first about me fishing.  Most prefer that I do fish.  But when I do fish I'm always talking and I am leaving the sweet spots for the client.  Also when things get tough sometimes the clients skill level is not up to par and I will have to catch a few to show them that the fish are there and teach them what they might be doing wrong in their presentation.  Sometimes showing them that the fish are there gives them that added confidence to catch them themselves and pay more attention to details.  

T Mike

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I would expect my guide to "be like Mike"

Put perfectly.  I almost EXPECT them to fish.  It's part of teaching which is what I'm paying him for.  There is a point  though,....I don't expect him to back door me on key areas.

Also, with this take on the whole thing, I am the customer, If I ask the guide to put the rods down, I'm sure he will.  Not rudely of course, just saying that if we come to a new cove, similar to the ones we've been catching in, I may say,.."could you do me a favor and just coach me through this cove?"  I expect him to jump right into coach mode.

In short, the guide should be what you need him to be, but communication with your guide prior to the trip will set these points straight before gameday.

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As a guide one of the things I want to make sure of at the beginning of the trip before any fishing is done is the type of trip the customer wants. Some of my clients just want to catch fish and dont want to learn the lake or a new technique. These are the clients that I want to fish with as little as possible and have to comunicate my reason for fishing if I feel I must fish to improve the experience of the trip. Sometimes fishing can change or get tough and by fishing I can figure out the fish faster and somtimes figure out what my client needs to do to catch fish. Sometimes it helps if I fish an area where I know there are fish and the client hasnt caught any just to show them how to catch them and that they are there.  This usually helps their confidence in the lure or proper technique that will catch the fish. The other type of trip is the one where the client wants to learn the lake or a new technique. Most of these clients will want the guide to fish so they can learn from the guide so usually there is no problem with the guide fishing. Most of these clients will tell me they want me to fish if I stop fishing. Now even though I am fishing I still keep in mind that I want my client to catch the most fish if possible so they get all the sweet spots and the first casts into areas where I think there is a a good chance of them catching a fish. If we are wearing them out on a spot in most cases I stop fishing. The most important thing with both types of clients is for the guide and the client to comunicate both before and during the trip so the clients needs are met for the trip.

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Generally, no.

I usually fish with a friend, sometimes two. That usually keeps a "new" guide pretty busy. So, if it's a new lake or river and we are a group, no.

However, most of the time I fish with guides I have known for years and they always fish, unless I'm taking the "old men", then the guide is too busy.  

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If I hired a guide it would probably be to learn a particular lake. If that was the case I'd expect them to fish.  Sometimes certain lakes have particular seasonal patterns that require particular lure presentations which are different than presentations made on another lake, that's what I'm paying to find out.  I'd also ask a guide to mark my lake map, not specific spots mind you but area's I'll want to key on the remaining days I'm there. I may ask him about seasonal patterns throughout the year. As for the main question,  sure, I'd like him to fish.

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While searching to book a guide, those questions need to be discussed before booking if that is a problem to you.   Its that simple and easy, communicate.

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I'm not a guide. But often I feel like one when I take newbies fishing. Especially in the salt-water - Tying hooks. Untying knotts. Baiting hooks. Positioning and anchoring.  Advising.... etc.

When I finally get a break, I get to cast one out myself.

But if I hired a guide to help me catch say, a tarpon, I'd definately not want him fishing.

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Yes, especially if he is cooking the shore lunch with his fish!

As long as he puts me on fish I don't mind and if he will share his experience on fishing the lake then I want him to fish. Hey, actions speak louder than words so sharing the wealth of knowledge should be part of his job and encourages more fishermen to fish more often. Today sportsman who study and try to understand the wonders of nature are a dying breed compared to the radical people who do not believe in using it and are demanding no one else be allowed to either.

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Guest avid
I'm not a guide. But often I feel like one when I take newbies fishing. Especially in the salt-water - Tying hooks. Untying knotts. Baiting hooks. Positioning and anchoring. Advising.... etc.

When I finally get a break, I get to cast one out myself.

.

This is exactly how I take newbies out, especially kids.  I tell myself that I'm not here to fish, I'm here to teach someone to fish, or to put someone into fish.  That involves alot of work and attention to the boat and conditions.  I enjoy doing it.

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i dont think a guide should fish enless he is invited. the guide is not getting paid to fish, he is geting paid to help you catch fish. if he dose fish it should be only to find what is working if his frist plan has failed.

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Every guided trip I've been on, the guide has fished. I never saw anything wrong with it. The main reason I booked a guide was to familiarize myself with the lake and any local tactics. Ive learned something from every guide I've been with. It's much easier to learn by watching. And yes, most of the time I was outfished by the guide. Again, I have no problem with that.

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I've tried to say out of this but:

"It's much easier to learn by watching."

That just hit the nail on the head! Demonstration with explanation is far better than explanation alone. Of course, there are those that think a guide is hired for the boat ride, not because they think the guide might know a bit more than them.

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