Fishing can be a very relaxing and enjoyable activity. However, for newbie’s, it can be quite challenging to find the right spot. Hiring a guide will help you enjoy your fishing trip so much more by taking care of the details of your trip. But do you really need one? And if you do, how do you go about hiring one?
Why you need a fishing guide
Unless you have a secret fishing hole that you don’t want to tell anyone about, you’ll appreciate the help of a fishing guide. A fishing guide can offer you helpful tips about where to find the perfect location. They can also tell you what time of the year or day is best for a fishing trip.
If you’re new to the area, a fishing guide can show you where to go, what to expect and what laws you’ll need to comply with. If you’re a beginner, hiring a guide will also be beneficial, particularly if you can’t make heads or tails about choosing the right fishing gear.
Why you might not need a fishing guide
Hiring a fishing guide isn’t necessary if you’re experienced and prefer to work on your own. If you’ll be fishing with a group and some of your friends are experienced, you don’t really need a fishing guide. Hiring a fishing guide can also cost a lot of money and there’s really no guarantee you’ll catch fish.
However, if you prefer the convenience of having a fishing guide, here are some tips you can use:
Find a local guide.
A guide who operates in the locality where you want to fish will be more knowledgeable than a guide who doesn’t come from the same area. They are also a lot cheaper since you don’t have to pay for extras.
Look for a fishing guide by asking other anglers for references. They could recommend a good fishing guide for you to use. Plus, you’ll have a better idea what to expect since these people have firsthand experience of how the guide performs.
You can also check with online sites that let you search for guides by area or locality. Check out fishing forums. Many fishing guides participate in these discussions and some members may even give you some recommendations. If you prefer, you can even join online fishing groups with activities in your area.
If you still can’t find a guide, ask your local fly or fishing shops. They should be able to help you with great references.
Look for a licensed and insured guide.
When interviewing your fishing guide, it’s important that you work with one who is licensed. Fishing, especially for game fish, requires that you follow certain state regulations and rules, which an unlicensed guide will know little about. To make sure you don’t do anything illegal or unethical, work with someone who has a license.
An insured guide is also safer to work with because he’s covered in case anything happens. He should also have a permit to work in the area where he will be taking you.
Ask for experience.
Talk to the guide yourself. You’ll have a better idea of how well you’ll work together during your interview. Discuss the type of fishing you want to do and what type of fish you’re interested in catching. Look for a guide who has a good experience. Of course, you’ll have to pay more but it will be worth it.
Determine your budget.
Fishing should be fun and relaxing so when you receive your bill, it shouldn’t leave you shocked and upset. Before hiring a guide, find out how much the fees are, since they can vary. Most guides will charge you about $150, with a maximum of about $500 a day. The fee will cover 2 to 3 anglers.
If you prefer a chartered trip, a boat with crew will charge about $500 to over $1000 a day, which should cover 5 to 6 people. If you want something cheaper, get in touch with fishing boats that offer public outings. You can enjoy fishing for as little as $30 to $80 a day, although you’ll have to share the trip with at least 20 other people, sometimes more.
What about the tip?
Most guides don’t work for tips. However, a tip is a token of gratitude and a nice touch especially if your guide has done a great job. Give your guide about 10 to 15% of the fee. If you’re really generous, a 20% tip is a nice gesture and will make him even more enthusiastic about your next fishing trip if you choose to hire the same guide again.