How do you choose a fishing guide?


You might wonder: how much time has a fishing guide looked into hiring fishing guides? Actually, quite a bit. I’ve looked at lots of guides and have hired a number over the last several years. I’ve got a short list of things for you to think about as you’re looking at making a memory investment on a vacation:

  1. Clear expectations. Make sure you clarify what your desires are and see if what the guide offers matches what you want. If you are a caster, don’t hire a guide who only trolls.

  2. Check out the equipment. Quality equipment is a huge part of hiring a guide. I want to explore not only boat layouts, but I want to experiment with high end quality rods, reels, and tackle. No better way to know if you want to buy a certain kind of boat than to spend a half day or more “test driving” its fish-ability.

  3. What do you want to learn? I would encourage you to see the $4-500 investment as a learning experience. With that being the case, what do you want to learn? Talk ahead of time with the guide and see, again, if there’s a meshing of your expectations with what the guide likes to do.

  4. How much do you want to spend? I know that I have lost potential business because I’m not the cheapest guide out there. And I’m OK with that. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies to hiring a guide as well. I spent more time exploring the guide’s website to see details about equipment, boat, experience, and techniques.

  5. Look at reviews. I love the fact that I have over 30 reviews of people who have hired me. I look for that when I want to hire someone as well. I want to see not only the positive reviews, but also the not so positive.

What does every guide desire from you? We need you to have a willingness to listen, a good attitude, and realistic expectations. Not every day on the water is going to be non stop fireworks…especially if you’re casting for Muskies in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. These five suggestions will help you as you try and dial in a good guide the next time you are on vacation!