The reasons of taking a guided fishing trip are a varied as the benefits it offers. The number one reason anglers hire a fishing guide is simply because they have limited time on water that they aren’t familiar with and just want to catch fish, but a guided fishing trip offers much more. It might be argued that the best reason to use a professional fishing guide is to learn more about targeting the fish you love to catch.
Consider this. A full-time fishing guide often will spend over 200 days a year on the water. This provides them the opportunity to not only learn the bay system like the back of their hands, it also is a complete immersion into the tendencies of the fish they are pursuing.
They are able to observe the effects of weather, tide movement, seasonal changes and water clarity on the behavior of the fish. It allows them to become experts on what type of structure and habitat the fish prefer in an infinite combination of factors.
That said, the reason for using a fishing guide for many anglers extends well beyond the primary reason of just catching fish. Just a few of the benefits that anglers can derive from a day on the water with a professional fishing guide are:
- Learning productive fishing habitat and structure
- Effective casting and targeting techniques
- New tackle options
- New ways to rig tackle
- How to read current movement and how fish position themselves to take advantage of it
- How water clarity affects tackle choice
- What are seasonal tendencies of the fish
- Worry free quality fishing time with friends or family
- Best methods for preserving the catch and techniques cleaning and storing the meat.
The worst reason to use a fishing guide is to find their “secret” spot. The reality is that most guides don’t rely on a secret spot. They have a thorough knowledge of their fishing area and make decisions of where to go based on their interpretation of current conditions and recent successes. Fishing guides rely on hard work and dedicated time on the water to keep their clients on fish. To increase the success of their customers, a good fishing guide may have made 2 or 3 non-paying exploratory fishing trips during the week for every paid client trip.
They feed their families and provide great experiences for clients by taking them to the most productive place they have at any given time. The next day they may well be doing the same service for another client. It is a very unfortunate situation when they pull up on their current spot and yesterday’s client is sitting on it milking it. Try to treat the guide that took you on a great trip with respect that they are trying to make a living and rather than go to their exact spot, learn why that spot was productive and find other similar habitat to fish.