Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
vincedia

Fishing Guides worth it?

Recommended Posts

Do fishing guides teach as well as show you the location and put you in a good place to catch?

Is it worth the money to have a guide if you are just starting?

I found a guide in my area and his site has some good info on it.

He even linked to bassresource.com - anyone ever hear of him or use him?

http://www.backwoodsangler.com/index.htm

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that is Pa Angler.  

I don't know about for fishing your "home" water but if you are going to a world class fishery like rayburn, fork, stick marsh, okie,Mexico etc,...they are invaluable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently live in Allentown and checked out this guys site. He fishes the major rivers in the area and seems to do it for a very reasonable price. I think sometime in the future I will contact him for a trip. However, I would suggest that if you do a guide service, you fish the waters that you will be fishing on before going out with him. This will allow you to become more familiar with the river, and will also lead to a more productive day on the water.

Come to think of it, I think that I may have seen this guy on ther water before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most are worth it.    Do some research before hiring.    

Ask your self, what do you want from a guide?   Are you looking for general fishing knowledge, to learn electronics, learn a new technique, or improve on a current technique you are trying to master, or, are you looking to catch that personal best? looking to learn a lake better?

Tell the guide what you want and ask him if thats a problem.  

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish a tributary to the DE River and it is much further south than this guy's area. I was going to try to find someone that knew my area. The sad part is that for now I am restricted to bank fishing. So unless a guide wants to give up the boat...using them to learn my fishing spot may be a waste.

I did like his rates, and I liked what I saw on his site.

I was pretty much looking to get basic strategy and skills enhanced. I can read and read but unless I see it or get it taught to me I have a hard time learning it.

Thanks for all the input so far!

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would highly recommend fishing with a guide. I grew up fishing the New River here in Va. and my brother and I decided to hire a guide for a float trip. I'd been fishing this river all my life so I didn't expect to be dazzled with the guides knowledge. Boy was I in for a treat. This particular guide was as excited about fishing as we were and answered all our questions throughout the trip. He talked about tactics for every season, gave us night fishing tips and shared techniques for high and low water conditions. That guy was a wealth of knowledge and that one trip really opened my eyes to a river that I only thought I knew.

Well, that all happened about 20yrs. ago and ever since I've been trying to expand on what we learned that day. For me personally, it was a great experience and I would recommend it for anyone regardless of their skill level. One piece of advice I would give is to talk personally with the guide and size him up by his enthusiasm. If he seems eager to make it the best fishing experience of your life then that's a good sign. Good Luck!        Craw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found most guides "teach" as well as guide but it's better to ask them before hand so they know what your expectations are. If you tell him that you're more interested in learning a specific technique even if that means fewer fish most will work with you but they have to know what you want. You're paying them for a service and most guides live and die by word of mouth so if they provide you the service you want, you'll tell your buddies what a great job the guide did; they'll hire the guide (or tell somebody else).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ouachitabassangler

For about the last 20 years I've had to fly all over the country, mostly for training, so found myself in great fishing areas with no boat or gear. I learned quickly to hopefully find an unbooked guide for an afternoon following a meeting, usually ending around noon to 2 pm., if the guide was willing to pick me up at the hotel. Almost always I could find enough per-diem travel money for a half day (or even two half day trips) and still manage to eat. Out of maybe 60 guides I drew mostly good ones, some becoming  tournament winners, and a few with sour personality, bad teachers, impatient, or otherwise not really very experienced. Some hang out a sign with only a couple years of fair fishing experience, some waiting until retiring after 40 years of fantastic fishing. We had one retiree locally that set up a guide service here who was mostly experienced in deep sea fishing, a S. Carolina transplant. He washed out, clueless about bass. If you can, research your guide. I prefer one who can list some tournament activity and winnings. But screening out a guy with "only" 3 years experience might mean missing a trip with the next KVD, for there are some naturally expert anglers waiting for their big chance. By natural I mean like showing a 16 year old how to hold a rifle, aim it, and a week later is the only one to bag his limit in the club, and the next year is featured as an almost mythical bow hunter stalking monster bucks and turkeys down. A guy like that just has a 7th sense, can smell fish, feel schools under the boat, and observe animals on land to figure out how to catch bass.

I guided part-time on the Ar River, learning what makes customers happy. The advice written above about visiting a fishery first before hiring a guide is good. But most folks needing a guide can't do that, having to meet them at the airport then take them to their motel. I already knew Lake Ouachita from my childhood, but upon moving back here I hired several guides just to see how they do things, and learn their fishing holes. If it's the first time on the water it would be tough to remember those spots. The biggest advantage of getting on the water first alone is to find places and scenarios you can ask questions about. Get all the mysteries solved by asking. After trying your best guess lures you will pick up quickly on a better general knowledge of lure selection with the guide. You'll find out why it isn't worth time fishing certain "obvious" spots.

If I was beginning to bass fish I'd go with a good guide at least once for a quick orientation. They can save you years of learning in half a day, IF you communicate with them. But most often folks with experience get up on the bow and fish the way they always have, never looking back, not a question, and not improving a bit. Sometimes the customer wants to play guide. Those are the toughest customers who are most likely to be convinced either there are no bass or you didn't do a good job locating them.  Want the most for your money? Say "Teach me to bass (or whatever species) fish your way."

Contact them. Find out exactly what they will do for you and what you need to bring along. Ask questions like "Is fuel included?"  These days many charge extra for boat fuel. Some customers want a full tour of a lake, costing in fuel alone what the guide charges, as many run large powerful boats. If you love to ride a lot a $300 basic trip could run to $500 easily. Ask "What happens price-wise if right at the end of the half day we finally get into a big bite and stay over an hour to enjoy it?" He might tell you right then the afternoon is already booked. If it happens at the end of his day he might let the clock run with no extra charge, but might want to stop "guiding' and do some serious fishing himself.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I fish big water I usually have a guide. Actually, my partner is a guide so I guess you could say I fish with one most of the time, but that doesn't count. A good guide should be able to put you on fish and that is really all I personally care about. However, I do have a couple of suggestions for hiring a guide you don't know:

#1 Get a referral if possible. This eliminates about 90% of the risk.

#2 Call the guide and POLITELY interview him. I start by briefly telling him exactly what I'm looking for and how I usually fish. Then we go from there.

#3 Specifically address costs and time on the water. What's included and what's not: Gas, equipment, bait, food. refreshments, etc. DON'T GET SURPRISED.

#4 Before you agree to the deal, have a clear understanding of what is being offered. For example, if I don't know the guide and I am fishing with other guys, I don't want the guide fishing. Decide that issue up front or you may have a miserable day. Most guides I fish with don't fish with clients in general and me in particular. On the otherhand, if you're there to "learn to fish", by all means, the guide should be fishing.

#5 Drinking and smoking are big issues and if it's important to you, find out what HIS rules are.

#6 Whether the guide specifically brings it up or not, you are EXPECTED to tip 10-20%, just like going to a restaurant, whether you catch fish or not.

#7  Go to George Welcome's website and print it out. He has just about everything I want to know posted, so go through his material and design your own questions.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another bunch of great tips!

I didn't even think about tipping. I always make sure smoking is not a problem...that is a big issue for me especially with longer outings. I hate to bother people with my habbit.

I will also be checking if they are catch and release or keeper guides. I am a 100% catch and release, and I read stories of guides keeping the fish caught and either selling or eating the catch. Most people were complaining that they were not permitted to keep the fish they caught, but I want a guide that will release the fish to catch another day ;)

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good suggestions, but an important consideration if any of the suggestions are to have value is the location that you will be fishing. Location and type of fishing can change almost everything suggested. In every case, get references: any guide that is a "guide" will have references aplenty.

As to your particular situation: The first criteria to being a good guide is have above normal fishing ability. The second criteria is to know the area you are fishing intimately. I fill criteria one no matter where I fish. I could not fill criteria two for your area. That makes me a poor choice for what you are seeking, and I think that would make the individual you mentioned a poor choice also.

I think you are "jumping the gun" on this one, unless you are looking for basic mechanical instruction. On the water instruction in mechanical skills will apply to both boat or shore fishing. However, as you have already indicated, it's not going to do much for location instruction.

Just an afterthought since we hit enter together: Keeping of fish in the manner you described is more a saltwater thing than a freshwater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George,

I think I need to clear something up.

My first and main goal is to fish with someone of "above normal fishing ability" I want to watch them fish and have them give me pointers of how it should be done. I am a watch and learn type of person, especially on the basics.

A big bonus would be to have someone who knowsmy area. First my area includes the North East region. I would not want to learn from an angler who fishes primarily in Florida (although that would be a fun trip sometime) because that style might be different than what would need to be used in PA. Next would be my specific locations (rivers, lakes, streams) I fish in rivers and lakes in Southeast Pennsylvania. So that would be an even better option if the guide knew my specific fishin holes. If not I can live with the next best thing...region...and the main goal being ability.

Again,

Thanks for all the tips...you all really got me thinking about fishing guides!

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never not enjoyed a guided trip, even one where I was skunked! Further, it's rare to hear of anyone else not enjoying a guide's time.

Guides are, as a general rule, going to price their services by their level of confidence in providing satisfaction. Me, I don't worry about references, just make sure I find them, not them me, capice?

Go out looking to have fun, not to worry about getting a head full of great ideas for his fishing type and style. You'll still know more about Bass than when you left the ramp/dock.

The tipping is where the business end of things really comes to the front. His fee takes care of the expenses, your tip is what he will live on til the next tip, so to speak. Did you enjoy yourself to the extent of 15% or was it so good you want to throw in the second grand?  ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been guiding in Florida for 20 years and a good guide needs to do only 3 things.

1) Find the fish.

2) Get the folks with you catching the fish.

3) Always come back to the dock with the same number of people you left with.

And all my trips are , No fish No pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And all my trips are , No fish No pay.

Excellent motto!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to take a guided trip on one of my area lakes, one lake in particular that is about 1000 acres and really spread out (river impoundment).  But I don't know of anyone that offers guide service on that lake.  I think there are guides on the northeast TN lakes, but I have no idea how to find out (other than ask around at a couple of tackle shops).

I've taken one guided fishing trip and it was a trip to the Gulf Stream out of Manteo NC.  It was a make-up charter and I didn't know a single person onboard.  I enjoyed the experience of being 40 miles from land, but that was about it.

If I did take a guided freshwater trip, I would go in order to learn more about bass fishing.  I'm not the most adept at any one technique.  I would gladly pay $200 or so for a day of teaching.

The only problem with that is that the lakes in this area are quite unique (deep, clear water, very little in the way of vegetation, etc.).  That doesn't translate well to the lakes in NE TN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. " I would gladly pay $200 or so for a day of teaching."

2. "And all my trips are , No fish No pay."

3. "My first and main goal is to fish with someone of "above normal fishing ability"

1. The cost of fuel, insurance, licenses, maintenance, equipment, boat, and tow vehicle preclude all but scabs from guiding for $200.

2. "no fish no pay" Bass fishing is bass fishing, whether it be in Penn., Texas, Florida, or Maine. There is the possibility that you can fish all day and not catch a bass during that period. Do you feel that it is the guides fault if this occurs? If you work all day and your goals aren't met, do you expect to not get paid for that day?

My guarantee: There are times that no matter how hard we work, and how much we know, the fish just won't cooperate. We make no promises that we can't keep, so we do not offer you any phony guarantee of numbers of fish that you will catch, or size of fish. We do guarantee our best effort on your behalf. Our previous customers will verify that and we can supply a vast list of references.

3. By all means fishing with a "guide" will be beneficial regardless of where you fish. Assuming a qualified "guide" you will be able to pick of a lot in both mechanical and theory skills during the course of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guides can be invaluable on waters you have never fished. They can save you time on locations, paterns, and lures being used a certain time of year. Just be sure your getting a reputable guide and check there refrences and ask lots of questions before hiring one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can weigh in on this subject. I have a site dedicated exactly for this purpose. However, it is not completed yet so sorry for not promoting it here....Yet ;)

Anyway, so I will mention my own personal experiences with guides. But to answer the question is YES and NO. The reason I said NO is because the Question was "Fishing guides worth it? Most are absolutely YES. However, some are NO.

I agree with asking lots of questions upfront as this will help. Here is a question you should ask: Will you be fishing in the front of the boat with me? If so, how long?

The reason I ask this is because this happened to me. A friend of mine and myself hired a well known guide at Lake Fork a while back. It was July and hotter then hades out. He took us to spot after spot and "We" caught a 8lb bass and one that was maybe 6lbs that was lost at the boat. Unfortunetly the guide is the one who caught the 8lber. The reason I say unfortunetly because he basically front ended us for most of the day. For instance, we came to a tree row. For those who fish lakes with timber you know how productive tree rows can be. There was only 6 or 7 big stumps and trees in a line. So knowing in advance that this is a likely spot to get bit as all good fishermen should, the guide pulls out his rod and flips a jig into the trees ahead of me. On his second cast he pulls out the 8lber.  :o

Now, some may not care about a guide competing against you all day like a buddy might do for a fun day of fishing. However, I do. So for me it is important to ask the guide if he plans on fishing with me. If he will only fish a little then I am cool with that. However, I am paying him to bring me to spots and to give me pointers not to compete with me for the available fish.

So ask questions like that upfront that way you are clear as to what to expect while out there. The more you know up front the better off you will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my points, exactly:

#4  Before you agree to the deal, have a clear understanding of what is being offered. For example, if I don't know the guide and I am fishing with other guys, I don't want the guide fishing. Decide that issue up front or you may have a miserable day. Most guides I fish with don't fish with clients in general and me in particular. On the otherhand, if you're there to "learn to fish", by all means, the guide should be fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest avid

I have a little experience fishing with guides, but alot of experience hunting with them. All I can say is talk to the man, ask questions, get answers, and ask for references including several from people who did NOT catch fish.

The guide fishing is the main point of contention I have heard about over the years. My position is I'm paying you to take me fishing. You fish on your own time with your own dime. Any variation from that is at my invitation. I always get the guide's policies, license # and insurance in a written statement. They usuallly have all this prepackaged in a pamphlet.

As for guarantees, they are worthless. Notice they never say No Keeper Bass no pay, or No Legal tarpon no pay, etc. They always say "no fish no pay". Trust me this is a comon gimmick that they never lose on. Put a nightcrawler on a #6 hook and the fish you catch meets the guarantee. I don't know CaptGene. He is probably a sincere nice guy, but I'll tell him and you right now that when I see "no fish no pay" that is a red flag for me and I never hire a guide with that policy.

It's designed to trick rookies into thinking they have a great guide who always catches fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My take on this!

"The guide fishing is the main point of contention I have heard about over the years. My position is I'm paying you to take me fishing. You fish on your own time with your own dime."

Whether the guide fishes or needs to fish varies from lake to lake and situation to situation.

"Any variation from that is at my invitation." It's important to talk with the guide as has been noted so many times in previous posts.

As an example: The above statement put to me would get the following response. Find another guide. A client comes on my boat for a days fishing, and to use and learn some of my expertise both in location and in fishing mechanics. If the client thinks that I am going to place my reputation into their hands they need to think again. When I do fish there are several reasons to do so. First is to ensure that we are in fact on biting fish. If we are and the client is being very successful I then put my rod down. Second, I fish at times because I am teaching a particular way of fishing and I know that showing is much better than telling. I also will fish at times to keep the client fishing.

You are on my boat and are paying for my expertise. To come on my boat and expect to outline how I should do my job, to me is absurd. As I have said previously, you paid for my services, not my boat nor me. You ask my permission to come aboard, you sit where I tell you, you fish where I say, and you use the baits that I recommend. The last one, (recommended baits), is not mandatory, but then if you have a bad day then don't look at me. I have only had a few people over the years that come on board thinking that they know more than me, but then I ask them why they bothered hiring me. Most often we come to a meeting of the minds and go on to have some pretty super days on the water. If we don't then we simply head to the ramp and part company.

If you are just looking to get on the water then hire a boat. If you looking for a better than average day on the water, hire a guide and realize that it's a pretty good bet that he/she knows a heck of a lot more than you do, and that whatever methods the guide uses are probably much better than ones you might use.

If you wish to charter the boat than during your inquiry be sure to say so up front. The guy that owns the boat than will have an opportunity to say, yea what the heck, or to simply say he doesn't charter his boat. As I said, I don't just give boat rides.

There are good guides and bad guides. There are good clients and bad clients.

Just let me say: fishing and hunting are not comparable when it comes to guides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a guided trip with my wife on the tidal potomac river in April and we had a great time. Our guide fished the whole time but really helped my wife and I perfect our soft plastic skills. While the guide caught the biggest bass of the day (an 8 pounder, check out the picture) his success helped to enforce what he was telling us (fish that worm as slowly as possible). The guide company was Life Outdoors Unlimited and I know they do guide tours i at Lake Erie and The Susquehana River in PA. http://www.penrodsguides.com/

8PoundBass.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ouachitabassangler

Well said, George. Many times it's essential for the guide to be fishing, like you said, to locate biting fish. Just locating on sonar isn't a good setup for a client. Also, many people will emulate your style cast for cast, talking them through the process to get a cadence going. I've had folks who've fished many years not realize they typically waste a huge amount of casting time just fiddling around scratching, smoking, talking and eating. I typically got them to time their retrieve like mine, slowing them down, hard to do breaking old habits. Newbies are so much easier to work with.

I explained to customers I would do two things to assure a successful day. I'd locate biting bass, and supply the gear and best choice of bait. If they declined to do and use what I recommended they knew I was off the hook concerning the catching of bass. I would never consider not taking pay regardless of success for the client. They are paying for your time and expenses. We pay for restaurant meals without knowing how good it is, and watch movies we wish we hadn't paid for, but keep going back. You pay a doctor many times and stay or keep getting sick. We also tend to tip waitresses who take too long re-filling the coffee mug. They might be slow but they are on their feet taking care of a bunch of spoiled people.

Tipping? I always required a 50% non-refundable pre-paid trip payment by mail, the balance due in cash or money order upon arrival. No show too bad, a deal's a deal. Nobody complained, though some that called didn't follow through. I wanted to book every available slot. Stand up your dentist and forfeit $25-$50 these days. That made it difficult to get tipped since no wallets show during a trip. Sometimes I was tipped heavily, sometimes a $20 bill. My biggest tip was $300 just because a man's son caught a big striper and several smaller ones, his first fish ever. The boy was hooked on fishing that day, ending a sad rift between them. The father wrote me saying that trip cost him $30K for a new bassboat for the kid, and thanked me for helping mend things. In that letter was a check for yet another $300.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I've had folks who've fished many years not realizing they typically waste a huge amount of casting time just fiddling around scratching, smoking, talking and eating."

I resemble that remark!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing reels

    fishing reels

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...