What to look for in a good Guide
1. How long has it been since he has been fishing?
Some guides will set at home and read other guides fishing reports, and then tell customers how good the fishing is.
Some guides will look at other guides pics to try to find out where he is fishing at, instead of going out and scouting on their own.
I do my share of reading other guides reports, but I in no way use those to persuade customers to go on a trip . I love to fish. So I go fishing weather it is with customers or not. I feel it is extremely important to have first hand reports.
2. Does he have recent fishing reports?
Again there are guides who use other guides reports instead of spending the time and money to find them on their own.
It could be he is not gong, or it could be they don't want to put a bad report out there. Some will say a bad report is not a report.
I post all of my fishing trip reports good or bad. I want you to know what is happening. If I go on my own or with customers. every time I go fishing, I post a report. Some customers want to go even if the fish are not biting, and we go and have a good trip. Some wait for a better report. Bottom line is they will eat sometime. You just have to be willing to spend the time and money to keep looking
3. Is his pricing considerable less than others.
If his is a lot less than others then there is a reason for that.
My pricing is where I feel comfortable at. If nothing breaks a guide may make a little money at the end of the year. But
for the time a guide puts in, it is hardly worth it, unless you love to fish, which I do. 12 to 14 hours is common, If his pricing is considerable less I would ask why. All of our expenses are the same. We all do specials during the year to try to build up clients. But if his pricing is considerable less than others, I would ask why.
4. What type of equipment does he use?
Most Hybrid/Striper guides will use a center console(or with the console all the way up front) boat. Gives plenty of room. what type of locator does he use? I use a center console boat with a fairly new 12" locator. The boat and locator do not need to be new, but they do need to be well kept. Same for the rod and reels.
5. What time does he want to start?
Some guides will wait to start after other guides have started, so that he can show up to see where their fishing and then go try to join in. We went thru a stretch last year where the bite slowed way down after 8 a.m. We had our limits plus some and they would struggle the rest of the day to catch fish. Myself I like to start at daylight or a little earlier.. but it is your trip. You can tell me what time you want to start. I will only recommend.
6. How much bait does he take, and does he take you in when you reach your limit of Hybrid/Striprs?
I usually take 125 to 150 live shad. Last year we went thru a time when the Hybrids wanted cut bait. Our best day was 183 Hybrid/Stripers. They would eat live bait, but we caught a lot more fish than other guides because we were using cut bait. that way we did not run out. Those guides that were not willing to use cut bait, ran out of bait and went in. We were able to spend the full six hours fishing. If we reached our limit, we stopped one short of the limit so if we catch a nice one we can keep it. Once we get our limit we just start throwing back. We will spend the full six hours on the water.
Bottom line is most guides are good ones. But there are a few that look at it as strictly a job. I do not. I enjoy it. I want you and myself to have a good time. I get excited as much as you when we get on a good school of Hybrid/Stripers. It just don't get much better than that, watching all of the poles go down at once and all get tangled up. If I'm not re-tieing or untangling were not catching fish.
Be careful who you chose. It can be a fishing trip you want to remember for a long long time, or one you want to forget very quickly.