Why hire a fish guide

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Mac-b, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    As some of you know, I am a fishing guide on Lake Norman, NC and I hire guides for myself and others away from my home lake. Why, you might ask would a fishing guide hire another guide when he goes fishing away from home. In the following paragraphs I will discuss why I do it and why you should consider doing it.

    The first thing to consider is education and some of you will say I already know how to fish. Sure you do, but each and every lake is different as to bait of choice, preparation of bait, catching bait (throw net or gill net) for that location, etc. By watching or listening to the guide he can inform you of the information you need to be successful on your return visit to the lake that you are visting. Also, ask the guide about his equipment, fishing line strength, shock leader material, hook sizes and weighs.

    Take notes of the locations that the guide fishes, either by writing down landmarks or ask him if you can use a portable GPS to mark the sites. Ask him why this was a good location. Pay attention to how long the guide stays at a location.

    Even if you live in close proximity to a lake or river, it will take you many trips to learn the lake or river that you want to fish and be productive on. Think of all the gas for your truck and boat you will spend doing this research, plus bait and tackle expense. You can easily spent $75 to $100 per outing and in three of four trips learning that body of water and you will have spent $300 to $400, or you could have spent $250+- for a guide and be ahead dollar wise and experience wise.

    A lot of tournament fishermen will hire guides to take them out prior to a tournament away from their home lake. Why, to learn fish locations and other important information they can gather from local guides.

    Prior to the Cabela's King Kat Classic at Santee Cooper in 2005, myself and three other qualifiers hired us a guide prior to our tournament there. All four of us were guides and we all finished in the money, due to the knowledge we gained from the guide. I hired a guide in SC for a client and I taged along. Later, I went back with a buddy to fun fish and I applied the same techniques that the guide showed us and we caught some hogs and had fun. Could I have had the same results without the benefit of a guide, most likely not unless I spent several days fishing that location. This past year, a fellow from out of town hired me to show him some striper location, baits of choice and techniques. He ended up in the money for gross weigh and won the big fish pot. This was the first time in three years he won or placed in their team tournament.

    Last, but not least, you should consider a BOC sponsored guide for your trips first. Why do that you might wonder, the answer is very simple. Each guide has a section on the BOC and their guest make written comments about their experience with the BOC guides, good or bad, right here on the BOC. This eliminates the guess work in selecting a guide for the lake that you want to fish, now or later. There are other guides that are good that are not on the BOC, but how would you know who they are other than John Doe said so.
  2. John Porter

    John Porter New Member

    Murphy,North Carolina
    That is a very well thought out and written explanation on why to hire a guide. I thank you for taking the time.
    Having been a big game and fishing guide in Maine for 23 years, I can relate to what you wrote here. Now, I have just opened a outfitting service here in NC, catering to river fishing for smallies and trout with a few cats involved. I had an ex guide spend all last summer with me showing me the rivers I intended to fish. He was retired and I helped him out by supplementing his income..LOL
    Now, that I have opened officially, I have had calls on the same subject you wrote about. The next call I get about this, I am sending them here to read your post.
    Thanks Again,
    John Porter

  3. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Active Member

    North Dakota
    Like you I hire guides in other places. Mostly so I can learn how they do things differently than I. Everywhere you go people do things a bit differently . Some things work while others are more of a good idea. To me it is well worth the money to learn these things and hopefully take home an idea that can make me better in the long run. My fishing will benefit and my clients will be happier because they benefit.

    Thanks for the post.
  4. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    Good points. I learned by trial and error for about six months (almost all error). I hired a guide finally, and although we didn't have a great day, I learned new areas of the river and new techniques I could apply out on my own.

    Another thing, if you can hook up with an experienced fisherman on a particular body of water, it is almost as good as hiring a guide, and alot cheaper, probably half the cost of gas and some snacks! I've learned immensely going out with other guys and look forward to showing other people what I've learned. People are pretty secretive of their spots on the internet, but spend a day with them and they open their brains up to you.
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    I own a boat, thousands of dollars in rods and reels, but there are still times when I will hire a guide. Here are my two situations.

    1) Learning New Techniques
    There are many different ways to catch the different species of fish, and they vary from lake to lake and region to region. Hiring a guide is the easiest way to learn the techniques and how they work out on the water.

    2) Distant Out of Town Trips
    Out of town trips are a good time for me to hire a guide. It is a lot cheaper to fish with a guide versus towing the boat, finding a ramp, finding bait, and finding a place to stay that will accomodate a boat/trailer.

    For the casual angler it makes more sense to fish with a guide than buying a boat and all the gear. If you have limited time and can only get out once every couple of months, then you are probably better off hiring a guide 5-6 times per year than investing thousands of dollars in a boat and fishing gear.

    Talk to the guide you are thinking of hiring and discuss what you want to accomplish. Ask them what you can reasonably expect and what the average catch is for the time of year you are fishing, not just how it is going on the good days. If you are after high numbers of fish make sure they know that, and also let them know if you are after 1-2 trophy fish. Sometimes the trip can be tailored to accomplish either desire.

    Remember, they always bit good last week!!!
  6. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Fenton, Missouri
    I learned last spring the benefits of paying a guide for the day. I try to go someplace on vacation at least once a year. Last year was the first time I hired a guide to take us out and it was well worth the money. For years it was hit or miss going to strange waters and trying to locate the fish. Some years better than others, but last year he put us on fish all day long and had the time of my life on vacation. Learned a few things about the lake we fished and if I go back I'll be trying those same techniques out. Everyone should try it , you never know what you can learn from someone who's willing to teach you.
  7. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    I cannot add anything to what the previous members have written... I agree 100% with all of the reasons given to hire a guide on new waters, or even your own homewater... to learn.

    No one person knows everything about anything. Learn what you can from each person, whether he (or she) be a guide, client, acquaintance or friend.

    Thanks for reading...
  8. BailBonds

    BailBonds New Member

    If you actually want to save money and have a great time. Hire a GUIDE! I've fished areas I'd swear there wasn't a fish within 20 miles. The guides proved me wrong.

    The only other advice is if you vacation the same area hire a different guide each time. They all have a "honey hole" as a last resort so they don't have to listen to the other guides give them a hard time about if they get skunked. But remember it's fishing not catching. A bad day happens to everyone.

    A word of advice to guides. People are there for entertainment not just fishing. Learn facts about the area and share it. The non-fishing members love to hear about the history of the area and wildlife habits. Stuff you grew up with and take for granted.
  9. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Active Member

    North Dakota
    Very well said nobody knows everything. (Me included) I learn much from clients too. They might have a new technique that we don't use or simply say something about another trip in another place and it triggers an idea.

    Great discussion
  10. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    What's really bad in our area here on the Cumberland River is that if you hire a local guide and he finds out you're from this area, he won't take you to his hot spots or teach you anything that's really worth using in the future. Most of our local guides fish in tournaments on this river and they feel anyone from the local area is competition to them. I have to tell you guys that until I started dealing with the guides on our board, my opinion of fishing guides was not good. But I have a whole new perspective about them now, simply because of what I'm reading in posts like this one and the testemonials our members leave about them. And the one thing in this world I do trust is the word of our members.
  11. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Waco, Texas, Un
    the guide service thing is a good idea. Let them show you how it is done on their body of water. What i run into alot with my friends that have went with a guide, is that the customers do not know how to change the techniques for the changing conditions.
    My buddy and i went striper fishing in his boat. He said that the guide put them on the fish in this one spot and kept on the fish for hours. We fished till arms were tired. I finally asked when they took the guided trip and he said it was in Feb, and we were fishing in late may. I got to looking and we were fishing WAY below the thermocline.
    The spot prob would have been good but there was no changing in technique for the conditions
  12. kmcalester

    kmcalester Active Member

    Kansas City
    So is there going be be a BOC 2-5% discount for joining some of you guys?

    I want to bring my video recoreder so I can remember everything?