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Debate: Does It Bother You When The Guide Fishes?

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June 27, 2012

Debate: Does It Bother You When The Guide Fishes?

By Joe Cermele

There has been some healthy debate among a few of us in the office recently about whether or not fishing guides should fish during paid charters. I realize that the answer is not exactly cut and dry, but rather highly circumstantial. Nine times out of 10, if I'm out with a guide I actually insist he or she fishes because I need as many hook-ups and landings as possible for videos or photos. I also find you can learn more from watching a guide catch fish rather than just explain how to catch fish. I feel differently, however, when the work element is taken away. Then it becomes a question of who else is on the boat.

If there are nothing but experienced anglers on board, I say let the guide fish, because an good angler won't feel like shots are being taken away. If the anglers are not that experienced, I'm more inclined to say every single opportunity to get a fish on the line should belong to them. That's even more important in a sight-fishing situation. I once watched a guide working the trolling motor at the bow hit 6 redfish in a row and never once asked the less experienced anglers on the boat to come up a take a shot. That kind of behavior, I think, can make an angler feel like the guide doesn't believe they have the ability to get it done, and that can't be good for business. So here are a few of my general rules:

- A guide should always ask if the clients are OK with them fishing or reeling in fish.

- A guide should never, even if the clients insist, kill his or her limit just to bring more fish back to the dock.

- A guide should always give anglers first crack, whether we're talking sight-fishing or casting to a prime spot. Period.

- A guide should never deny an angler an opportunity because he or she thinks it's just too difficult for the client. If they mess up, they mess up. Who cares?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Comments (36)

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from ENO wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Personally I enjoy learning from watching the guide fish.But it's difficult to make hard fast rules to cover every situation. I tend to lean towards the idea of let the buyer beware. Have clear expectations about what you are looking for prior to hiring a guide and try to communicate those expectations as clearly as possible. If you find a good guide who meets your expectations stick with them and compensate them.

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've had a hard time getting the guides to fish so I could observe....I think you are spot on Joe.

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from DrunkPaulo wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Not really. As long as we don't get in each other's way, I actually think it is appreciated. I mean, in one sense, the idea of getting a double hook up and having two fish for the camera would be something worthy of being cemented as one of the trip's diamond moments.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I agree they should ask their client if they are ok with it. The guide should then use discretion, if he is out-fishing his client by a signficant amount then it is time to put down his rod and concentrate on his customers success.

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from rdorman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

i think the guide should fish...it helps establish a pattern...i agree that it should be ok with the customer...however once that pattern is established...just the customer should fish...while he fishes to keep up with the changing pattern

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from kyka1865 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Personally, I like it when the guide fishes with me as long as he is still attentive to any questions or problems I might have. If I am hiring him more as a location guide to cast for pike via kayak, etc, then I am happy to let him drift away and do his own thing but if it is a technical fishing situation then I am hiring him to teach me and pay a lot of attention to what I am doing. I think guides are doing a diservice to the customer if they fish with beginner fishermen.

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from TM wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I like it when fly guides fish. My casting and placement greatly improves when I watch them fish.

That said, I agree with Cermele regarding redfish guides. They fish for reds 6 days a week and are great at redfishing. It might take me 6 casts to get a fish to bite, where they can do it in 1 or 2. It's fine for them to show me how to do it, but they should be patient with me if I screw up my cast placement, even if it means that I lose a fish or two. It is frustrating when a redfish guide casts and catches the red that you just missed.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think you have some good guidelines there. I haven't ever hired a guide but when fishing somewhere new I like to watch how a person fishes I learn a lot more that way. I have several friends that are guides and when they fish its off the back of the boat so the clients get first shot.

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from Kristin Dufour ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

On a related topic - I once booked a goose hunting trip with a couple of guides who ended up shooting geese along with me. My guides were obviously more experiened than I and, accordingly, each time I pulled up on a goose, the goose would be tumbling toward the ground before I could sqeeze the trigger. At the end of the hunt, we had dozens of geese, but only one that I had shot while my guides were reloading. My guides ended up getting an all-expense paid hunting trip and I got screwed.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I agree with your rules, Joe. Its a courtesy thing and, if the guide is courteous and remembers that I'm paying him, then no issue. On the other hand, I've had two bad experiences where the guide was too involved with his own fishing and pretty much ignored me. That guide leapfrogged ahead of me and covered much of the good water first, not letting me see how he fished it or what he was using. You know, that's what I thought I was paying that guy for!

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from whiteeagle wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Depends on the situation. I'm mostly a salt water guy, but I took a guided trip for freshwater bass, and learned quite a bit from how my guide fished--at times, the fact that he caught fish when I wasn't getting any attention reassured me that fish were available and were eating the same thing that I was using. However, that guide never hogged the water, gave me good access as we moved onto new grounds and, when a sight-fishing opportunity arose, put down his rod and helped me to see and cast to the fish. So I had no problem with that. In the salt water context, whether I'm casting a fly to a bonefish or pulling plastic for tuna, I don't believe that the guide should fish, as opportunities are more limited and the guide shouldn't be taking fish away from the angler, unless the angler specifically requests that the guide demonstrate a presentation, etc. Even worse--although not precisely a "guide" situation--occurs on party boats, where the mate fishes and isn't immediately available to tend to the needs of the passengers on board. In fact, that's one of the ways that I decide what to tip. If the mate is available to SOMEONE throughout the day--untangling lines, gaffing and unhooking fish, helping the new guys to rig--even if I have to do some of that on my own because the mate is busy elsewhere, I'll be very generous. On the other hand, if I've got to gaff my neighbor's fish (or he has to gaff mine) because the mate has a rod in his hand and is too busy fishing to do his job, or isn't around to help out with tangles or to keep the bait bins filled because he's fishing "for the boat" and intends to sell his catch back at the dock, my wallet stays firmly in my pocket at the end of the day, because I'm not going to tip someone who, in many respects, was little more than another angler on board.

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from Steve Unfreid wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I fished with a bass guide on the Patomac who completely violated points one and three above--he never asked if it was ok with us if he fished, and he never gave up the first cast at every prime target. I left feeling like I simply paid for this guy's bass boat and his time on the water--I will never go with him or any other bass guide because of this experience.

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from TNDEERHUNTER wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I have fished some local waters many times with a guide who jokingly told me that I couldn't afford for him to just guide and not fish. Watching him fish has made me beter angler. His gear and tackle suggestions transformed my game. While he fishes as hard or harder than I do, he has always gone the extra mile to make sure my kids or inexperienced anglers learn a lot and have a shot at lots of fish. Like others have said, there's a balance there.....if your guide cares about you coming back, he'll find that balance.

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from Hopeful1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Maybe I'm too old fashioned, but my feeling is, 'Show me or help me, but do not fish with me.' Anything else is like you and your guide both hunting elk and both can shoot.

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from Grant Lehman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

When I'm out with a guide I wait to see what he does once we start fishing. Most will not pick up a rod. Since it is uncomfortable for a guide to ask their guests if it is okay to fish, I invite him to join us. Like others on the blog said, you can always learn from an experienced angler.

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from Matt Herbert wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Fort Myers, FL captain "Hawkeye" kept secret that the Cobia were targeting his pin striped bait. While my bait was ignored. I finally asked why they ignored my bait and kept hitting his and he said they like the pin stripe bait, then he said there were no more pin stripes. Then he "found" one more after he lost his. So finally he hooked a 66LB Cobia and handed me the rod. I don't even have a picture of that fish anymore...why bother. The captain has all the advantages to get the fish first. As for other charter captains, you know when he pulls the monster bass that he knew exactly where that submerged stump was and he knew big bass hung out there. You paid for the knowledge of the area/fishing and this guide was fishing for himself. The better guide will keep an eye on your fishing and give guidance.

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from Michael Chilton wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've never had a fly fishing guide fish with me, but bass fishing guides always do. I was surprised the first time I had a guide fish with me. I didn't say anything, but was taken back. If we're all catching fish I don't have a problem with it, but if the guide catches a bigger bass than me I'll be upset. If no one is catching fish I want them trying something different so we can figure them out. It's a touchy subject.

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from My Yak wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

If I am paying a guide, I don't expect him to be fishing on my dime. He should be helping me catch fish.

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Kristin Dufour beat me to this digression -- lots of waterfowl guides shoot along with the clients, sometimes with the goal of helping the clients fill limits. They shouldn't. If they want to shoot some birds after the clients are done, that's okay with me, and I don't mind staying to watch them shoot.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

No. Actually I paid for a guide exactly once as I'd never pursued stripers on the Delaware and wanted the instruction. Guide flatly refused to fish even with a very slow action day. That bothered me more than anything. Honestly I felt like Dad was holding my hand all day.

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from CaptRandy wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

1st and formost the Guide should be taking care of His or Her clients. In certain situations I may pick up a rod. Only when I see my clients are fine also it aids in keeping my clients fishing. I sure hope they see this.
Oh by the way I am a Charter Captain with www.1stChoiceCharters.com in Lewiston / Buffalo New York.
Lewt explain when I am fishing I have no more than 2 clients in the boat and when they get snagged up I hand them the rod I was useing, works out great. See you on the water

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from johntalbott wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Went on a fishing charter out of Amelia Island, FL about a month ago. It was my girlfriend's first saltwater (fishing for reds and trout) experience. The guide fished the entire time- I've never had a problem with a guide fishing- in fact, I've learned a lot that way, like the other posters. But this guide actually told me to wait to cast so he could cast first, and cast over my line and got caught in my line a few times. Any other guide who fished was a guide first, fisherman second. He wasn't polite- acted like he was doing us a big favor taking us out on his boat. All in all a horror story of a trip- made worse by the fact that we didn't catch a single fish.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

A guide should never fish while guiding. The best guides I have ever hired did not fish. I cannot even think of one good reason for a guide to fish. Even if asked to join along by the client, I believe he should decline.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Would like to hear Deeter's comments on this. I think he has a lot of experience on both sides.

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from bassman06 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

New state? Guide fishes. New waters? Guide fishes. I know the waters? Helps me land and unhook if its got teeth.

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from Charlie Woodman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

the guides job is to put the client on fish. i should think that would include show and tell. what's catching and how to use the correct tackle in the right way would be expected if I was paying for the guide, and the guide needs to catch one to give confidence to the client. I say the guide should fish as instructional help but not bag fish as part of the day unless that discussion takes place before the day starts

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from GarrisonRandy wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think the guide needs to treat their paying customers as they would their own children. Think of them first and foremost. The day on the water is all about making them have a good time. At times, if the child is struggling, it is good to show them how to do things. If everything is going smoothly and they need to pick up a rod and fish themselves, great!

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from tkbone wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Times when it's acceptable for guide to fish:

1) demonstrating a technique to client
2) attempting to locate fish or confirm proper bait, fly, or lure color. Acceptable to catch first fish in this situation but not to continue fishing afterward.
3) when clients are catching plenty of fish or "locked in" on a school of fish
4) if client insists

Any other times, the guide should be trying to locate fish and if applicable: position the boat, catch/prepare bait, provide instruction and cool stories, unhook toothy critters or snags, get beers, and otherwise earn fee and tip.

I suspect the market takes care of the a-holes referenced in the earlier posts!

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

TKBone has it right. Simple. Straight forward. Easy to remember.

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from santa wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I have been the guide before. I had an obligation to "FIND" the fish for my party. I also had to see that they were enjoying the trip. I once took Jim Bagley of Bagley Lure fame bass fishing. This was the job of taking a major lure designer and manufacturer and showing him a good time catching bass. Not only that, the fish were not responding well to his lures that day under the exisiting fishing conditions so I had to get him to use lures made by his competition and fish with different techniques than he was familiar with, all without offending him. The bottom line was he enjoyed the trip and ended up very happy that day catching and releasing 97 small bass. He did not want to quit until he had caught 100 but 97 broke a personal record for him. The job of guiding is just that, a JOB. You work at it and do what you have to to make your party happy. You have to impress your party with your knowledge but never hold it over them. The party is depending on that knowledge to prove that fish are where you take them and show them how to catch them under the prevailing conditions. You have to "WORK" at the job at hand, not use it as a personal pleasure trip. When you are guiding, you can not afford to fish for your own pleasure, but only as a tutorial instructor for others pleasure. And rule number one is to respect and support the party's ego.

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from dtbc333 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think it's just entirely dependent on the person and the guide needs to ask. For me personally, I want the guide fishing. I don't want them taking first shot at the good spots of course, and some tips if I'm doing something wrong, or suggestions on what I should be doing is obviously part of their job and what I'm paying them for. However, having someone just standing there watching me fish and giving instruction makes me feel uncomfortable, and isn't very enjoyable.

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from Muleynut30.06 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think as long as the fishing is good and we are on fish they can join. but if the fishing is slow its their job to find fish not to try to fish. However no matter what the situation would be it would P**S me off if a guide wouldnt let me hold the fish I caught I have seen many videos and pictures where the guide is holding the fish and not the angler

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

some good points here. i think it also depends on the species. in northern wisconsin if you hire a guide for say walleye or bass then you are likely going to catch a fair amoun of fish. then i don't care if the guide fishes or not. however if you hire a guide for a muskie you may only have one shot at a fish the whole day. even with a guide. to me it would be kind of frustrating if the only muskie of the day would be caught by the guide who was also fishing.

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

If I charter a boat with captain/crew, pay attention-they want you happy and back for another charter.If you're a dumb ass and wait for a hooked fish and then given the rod-----well! (salt water).
On the other hand, we floated the "Snake" and the guide gave us a quick "this is how"--which I appreciated. Following that I got "colorful" directions on how to cast, land, release the trout.

I basically don't have a problem with the guide fishing, especially in AK, there's enough fish for everyone, our guide shared his technique, we enjoyed him/her and enjoyed the experience.

Look up the defination of "GUIDE" !!!!

Tight Lines!

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from Joe Moon wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

YES!! And make then your friend, too!! I think guides should fish and hunt with you, and should be allowed to put their lines in the water, or point their shotguns skyward as a flight comes in. Almost 30 years ago, I booked a hunt with a "Quail Hunting Guide" in South Texas...Dr. Fred Bremner. He introduced me to Quail Hunting, and Brittany Spaniels. Thirty years later and during that time he became my best friend, and hunting & fishing partner. He provided me many hunts and bass fishing expeditions, where there was no charge...he trained all three of my dogs including my lab for duck hunting. He became my mentor and my friend. Fred is gone now...and I miss him every time I see a flight of ducks, or watch a big bass roll in a lake. YES...make your guide your friend, and you will get more than you paid for...you expect to rebook and use him again in the future don't you...then make him your friend and your partner and see all the additional benefits that come with doing that!! God bless to all. Joe Moon

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from Ben Magee wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Being a guide, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts on this.
The proper etiquette is to invite your guide to fish, or at least the guide should ask.

If you (as a guide) do fish, let the sport know that the trip is about them, and for them to catch as many fish as possible. Always let them have the first several casts in a new spot.

I would tell them that I'm going to try another productive lure, and if the fish start hitting that, to let them try it too. Or, say I am trying out a couple new lures and they can use them if they produce.

As a guide, your main task is to always have them at the optimal casting angle in a boat, untangle lines, net and unhook the fish, etc. Also take a picture of them holding the fish so you can email it to them, and take one with their camera too. Demonstrating techniques, telling fish stories, and just being a good host are important also.

That's my opinion!

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I agree they should ask their client if they are ok with it. The guide should then use discretion, if he is out-fishing his client by a signficant amount then it is time to put down his rod and concentrate on his customers success.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I have been the guide before. I had an obligation to "FIND" the fish for my party. I also had to see that they were enjoying the trip. I once took Jim Bagley of Bagley Lure fame bass fishing. This was the job of taking a major lure designer and manufacturer and showing him a good time catching bass. Not only that, the fish were not responding well to his lures that day under the exisiting fishing conditions so I had to get him to use lures made by his competition and fish with different techniques than he was familiar with, all without offending him. The bottom line was he enjoyed the trip and ended up very happy that day catching and releasing 97 small bass. He did not want to quit until he had caught 100 but 97 broke a personal record for him. The job of guiding is just that, a JOB. You work at it and do what you have to to make your party happy. You have to impress your party with your knowledge but never hold it over them. The party is depending on that knowledge to prove that fish are where you take them and show them how to catch them under the prevailing conditions. You have to "WORK" at the job at hand, not use it as a personal pleasure trip. When you are guiding, you can not afford to fish for your own pleasure, but only as a tutorial instructor for others pleasure. And rule number one is to respect and support the party's ego.

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from whiteeagle wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Depends on the situation. I'm mostly a salt water guy, but I took a guided trip for freshwater bass, and learned quite a bit from how my guide fished--at times, the fact that he caught fish when I wasn't getting any attention reassured me that fish were available and were eating the same thing that I was using. However, that guide never hogged the water, gave me good access as we moved onto new grounds and, when a sight-fishing opportunity arose, put down his rod and helped me to see and cast to the fish. So I had no problem with that. In the salt water context, whether I'm casting a fly to a bonefish or pulling plastic for tuna, I don't believe that the guide should fish, as opportunities are more limited and the guide shouldn't be taking fish away from the angler, unless the angler specifically requests that the guide demonstrate a presentation, etc. Even worse--although not precisely a "guide" situation--occurs on party boats, where the mate fishes and isn't immediately available to tend to the needs of the passengers on board. In fact, that's one of the ways that I decide what to tip. If the mate is available to SOMEONE throughout the day--untangling lines, gaffing and unhooking fish, helping the new guys to rig--even if I have to do some of that on my own because the mate is busy elsewhere, I'll be very generous. On the other hand, if I've got to gaff my neighbor's fish (or he has to gaff mine) because the mate has a rod in his hand and is too busy fishing to do his job, or isn't around to help out with tangles or to keep the bait bins filled because he's fishing "for the boat" and intends to sell his catch back at the dock, my wallet stays firmly in my pocket at the end of the day, because I'm not going to tip someone who, in many respects, was little more than another angler on board.

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from CaptRandy wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

1st and formost the Guide should be taking care of His or Her clients. In certain situations I may pick up a rod. Only when I see my clients are fine also it aids in keeping my clients fishing. I sure hope they see this.
Oh by the way I am a Charter Captain with www.1stChoiceCharters.com in Lewiston / Buffalo New York.
Lewt explain when I am fishing I have no more than 2 clients in the boat and when they get snagged up I hand them the rod I was useing, works out great. See you on the water

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Personally, I like it when the guide fishes with me as long as he is still attentive to any questions or problems I might have. If I am hiring him more as a location guide to cast for pike via kayak, etc, then I am happy to let him drift away and do his own thing but if it is a technical fishing situation then I am hiring him to teach me and pay a lot of attention to what I am doing. I think guides are doing a diservice to the customer if they fish with beginner fishermen.

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from rdorman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

i think the guide should fish...it helps establish a pattern...i agree that it should be ok with the customer...however once that pattern is established...just the customer should fish...while he fishes to keep up with the changing pattern

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

some good points here. i think it also depends on the species. in northern wisconsin if you hire a guide for say walleye or bass then you are likely going to catch a fair amoun of fish. then i don't care if the guide fishes or not. however if you hire a guide for a muskie you may only have one shot at a fish the whole day. even with a guide. to me it would be kind of frustrating if the only muskie of the day would be caught by the guide who was also fishing.

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from tkbone wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Times when it's acceptable for guide to fish:

1) demonstrating a technique to client
2) attempting to locate fish or confirm proper bait, fly, or lure color. Acceptable to catch first fish in this situation but not to continue fishing afterward.
3) when clients are catching plenty of fish or "locked in" on a school of fish
4) if client insists

Any other times, the guide should be trying to locate fish and if applicable: position the boat, catch/prepare bait, provide instruction and cool stories, unhook toothy critters or snags, get beers, and otherwise earn fee and tip.

I suspect the market takes care of the a-holes referenced in the earlier posts!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kristin Dufour ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

On a related topic - I once booked a goose hunting trip with a couple of guides who ended up shooting geese along with me. My guides were obviously more experiened than I and, accordingly, each time I pulled up on a goose, the goose would be tumbling toward the ground before I could sqeeze the trigger. At the end of the hunt, we had dozens of geese, but only one that I had shot while my guides were reloading. My guides ended up getting an all-expense paid hunting trip and I got screwed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Unfreid wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I fished with a bass guide on the Patomac who completely violated points one and three above--he never asked if it was ok with us if he fished, and he never gave up the first cast at every prime target. I left feeling like I simply paid for this guy's bass boat and his time on the water--I will never go with him or any other bass guide because of this experience.

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Kristin Dufour beat me to this digression -- lots of waterfowl guides shoot along with the clients, sometimes with the goal of helping the clients fill limits. They shouldn't. If they want to shoot some birds after the clients are done, that's okay with me, and I don't mind staying to watch them shoot.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think you have some good guidelines there. I haven't ever hired a guide but when fishing somewhere new I like to watch how a person fishes I learn a lot more that way. I have several friends that are guides and when they fish its off the back of the boat so the clients get first shot.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

No. Actually I paid for a guide exactly once as I'd never pursued stripers on the Delaware and wanted the instruction. Guide flatly refused to fish even with a very slow action day. That bothered me more than anything. Honestly I felt like Dad was holding my hand all day.

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from ENO wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Personally I enjoy learning from watching the guide fish.But it's difficult to make hard fast rules to cover every situation. I tend to lean towards the idea of let the buyer beware. Have clear expectations about what you are looking for prior to hiring a guide and try to communicate those expectations as clearly as possible. If you find a good guide who meets your expectations stick with them and compensate them.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

A guide should never fish while guiding. The best guides I have ever hired did not fish. I cannot even think of one good reason for a guide to fish. Even if asked to join along by the client, I believe he should decline.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Would like to hear Deeter's comments on this. I think he has a lot of experience on both sides.

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've had a hard time getting the guides to fish so I could observe....I think you are spot on Joe.

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from TNDEERHUNTER wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I have fished some local waters many times with a guide who jokingly told me that I couldn't afford for him to just guide and not fish. Watching him fish has made me beter angler. His gear and tackle suggestions transformed my game. While he fishes as hard or harder than I do, he has always gone the extra mile to make sure my kids or inexperienced anglers learn a lot and have a shot at lots of fish. Like others have said, there's a balance there.....if your guide cares about you coming back, he'll find that balance.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I agree with your rules, Joe. Its a courtesy thing and, if the guide is courteous and remembers that I'm paying him, then no issue. On the other hand, I've had two bad experiences where the guide was too involved with his own fishing and pretty much ignored me. That guide leapfrogged ahead of me and covered much of the good water first, not letting me see how he fished it or what he was using. You know, that's what I thought I was paying that guy for!

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

If I charter a boat with captain/crew, pay attention-they want you happy and back for another charter.If you're a dumb ass and wait for a hooked fish and then given the rod-----well! (salt water).
On the other hand, we floated the "Snake" and the guide gave us a quick "this is how"--which I appreciated. Following that I got "colorful" directions on how to cast, land, release the trout.

I basically don't have a problem with the guide fishing, especially in AK, there's enough fish for everyone, our guide shared his technique, we enjoyed him/her and enjoyed the experience.

Look up the defination of "GUIDE" !!!!

Tight Lines!

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from TM wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I like it when fly guides fish. My casting and placement greatly improves when I watch them fish.

That said, I agree with Cermele regarding redfish guides. They fish for reds 6 days a week and are great at redfishing. It might take me 6 casts to get a fish to bite, where they can do it in 1 or 2. It's fine for them to show me how to do it, but they should be patient with me if I screw up my cast placement, even if it means that I lose a fish or two. It is frustrating when a redfish guide casts and catches the red that you just missed.

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from johntalbott wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Went on a fishing charter out of Amelia Island, FL about a month ago. It was my girlfriend's first saltwater (fishing for reds and trout) experience. The guide fished the entire time- I've never had a problem with a guide fishing- in fact, I've learned a lot that way, like the other posters. But this guide actually told me to wait to cast so he could cast first, and cast over my line and got caught in my line a few times. Any other guide who fished was a guide first, fisherman second. He wasn't polite- acted like he was doing us a big favor taking us out on his boat. All in all a horror story of a trip- made worse by the fact that we didn't catch a single fish.

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from Muleynut30.06 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think as long as the fishing is good and we are on fish they can join. but if the fishing is slow its their job to find fish not to try to fish. However no matter what the situation would be it would P**S me off if a guide wouldnt let me hold the fish I caught I have seen many videos and pictures where the guide is holding the fish and not the angler

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from My Yak wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

If I am paying a guide, I don't expect him to be fishing on my dime. He should be helping me catch fish.

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from Grant Lehman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

When I'm out with a guide I wait to see what he does once we start fishing. Most will not pick up a rod. Since it is uncomfortable for a guide to ask their guests if it is okay to fish, I invite him to join us. Like others on the blog said, you can always learn from an experienced angler.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

TKBone has it right. Simple. Straight forward. Easy to remember.

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from dtbc333 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think it's just entirely dependent on the person and the guide needs to ask. For me personally, I want the guide fishing. I don't want them taking first shot at the good spots of course, and some tips if I'm doing something wrong, or suggestions on what I should be doing is obviously part of their job and what I'm paying them for. However, having someone just standing there watching me fish and giving instruction makes me feel uncomfortable, and isn't very enjoyable.

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from Matt Herbert wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Fort Myers, FL captain "Hawkeye" kept secret that the Cobia were targeting his pin striped bait. While my bait was ignored. I finally asked why they ignored my bait and kept hitting his and he said they like the pin stripe bait, then he said there were no more pin stripes. Then he "found" one more after he lost his. So finally he hooked a 66LB Cobia and handed me the rod. I don't even have a picture of that fish anymore...why bother. The captain has all the advantages to get the fish first. As for other charter captains, you know when he pulls the monster bass that he knew exactly where that submerged stump was and he knew big bass hung out there. You paid for the knowledge of the area/fishing and this guide was fishing for himself. The better guide will keep an eye on your fishing and give guidance.

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from GarrisonRandy wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think the guide needs to treat their paying customers as they would their own children. Think of them first and foremost. The day on the water is all about making them have a good time. At times, if the child is struggling, it is good to show them how to do things. If everything is going smoothly and they need to pick up a rod and fish themselves, great!

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from Joe Moon wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

YES!! And make then your friend, too!! I think guides should fish and hunt with you, and should be allowed to put their lines in the water, or point their shotguns skyward as a flight comes in. Almost 30 years ago, I booked a hunt with a "Quail Hunting Guide" in South Texas...Dr. Fred Bremner. He introduced me to Quail Hunting, and Brittany Spaniels. Thirty years later and during that time he became my best friend, and hunting & fishing partner. He provided me many hunts and bass fishing expeditions, where there was no charge...he trained all three of my dogs including my lab for duck hunting. He became my mentor and my friend. Fred is gone now...and I miss him every time I see a flight of ducks, or watch a big bass roll in a lake. YES...make your guide your friend, and you will get more than you paid for...you expect to rebook and use him again in the future don't you...then make him your friend and your partner and see all the additional benefits that come with doing that!! God bless to all. Joe Moon

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from Hopeful1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Maybe I'm too old fashioned, but my feeling is, 'Show me or help me, but do not fish with me.' Anything else is like you and your guide both hunting elk and both can shoot.

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from bassman06 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

New state? Guide fishes. New waters? Guide fishes. I know the waters? Helps me land and unhook if its got teeth.

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from Charlie Woodman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

the guides job is to put the client on fish. i should think that would include show and tell. what's catching and how to use the correct tackle in the right way would be expected if I was paying for the guide, and the guide needs to catch one to give confidence to the client. I say the guide should fish as instructional help but not bag fish as part of the day unless that discussion takes place before the day starts

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from Ben Magee wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Being a guide, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts on this.
The proper etiquette is to invite your guide to fish, or at least the guide should ask.

If you (as a guide) do fish, let the sport know that the trip is about them, and for them to catch as many fish as possible. Always let them have the first several casts in a new spot.

I would tell them that I'm going to try another productive lure, and if the fish start hitting that, to let them try it too. Or, say I am trying out a couple new lures and they can use them if they produce.

As a guide, your main task is to always have them at the optimal casting angle in a boat, untangle lines, net and unhook the fish, etc. Also take a picture of them holding the fish so you can email it to them, and take one with their camera too. Demonstrating techniques, telling fish stories, and just being a good host are important also.

That's my opinion!

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from DrunkPaulo wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Not really. As long as we don't get in each other's way, I actually think it is appreciated. I mean, in one sense, the idea of getting a double hook up and having two fish for the camera would be something worthy of being cemented as one of the trip's diamond moments.

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from Michael Chilton wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've never had a fly fishing guide fish with me, but bass fishing guides always do. I was surprised the first time I had a guide fish with me. I didn't say anything, but was taken back. If we're all catching fish I don't have a problem with it, but if the guide catches a bigger bass than me I'll be upset. If no one is catching fish I want them trying something different so we can figure them out. It's a touchy subject.

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