Do This and You’ll Become A Better Fisherman…

Freshwater Fishing Tips, Saltwater Fishing Tips1 comment

I guarantee this will make you a better fisherman!

Here’s a surefire way to catch more fish: hire a fishing guide. I’m not being facetious when I say that. Let me be clear what I’m suggesting. Hire a charter captain for the purpose of learning. The local knowledge, expertise and experience of a local charter captain is invaluable to learning how to catch more fish. 

The following are some tips on getting the most help from your trip: 

Hire a guide that’s local to your area. This may seem like a no brainer but it’s really not. Learn the area that you are most likely to be fishing on your own. There are charter trips where you simply want to go catch lots of fish and there are trips to go get an education. If you’re trying to learn, learn about an area you can return to often and fish.

Get several recommendations if possible. Fishing forums, online reviews and word of mouth are all ways to check on your potential fishing guide. Call the local bait and tackle guy or even check to see who’s in the local chamber of commerce. 

Be courteous and easy to fish with. Sometimes in our excitement over a fishing trip we can forget our manners. Make sure your guide feels appreciated and knows that you want to him or her to enjoy their day also. Pack and extra sandwich and soda for the captain. Bring along a token of appreciation like you would to your favorite Uncle (I’m not suggesting you go buy a Christmas gift here but a jar of honey or jam goes a long way). Make sure to listen to the guide’s boat rules and follow them. Don’t be that guy that knows everything and doesn’t listen to instruction. 

Set the expectation before you arrive the day of the trip. Many times you’ll get the opportunity to chat with your guide days before the trip or when you are considering booking them. Be up front and tell them that you’d like to learn a few things from the charter. Most guides will ask “what do you want to catch on your trip?”  That’s the perfect time to let them know that you’re booking this charter with the future in mind. Tell them you want to see how it’s done and pick up some tips to be a better fisherman. Don’t expect them to take you to easily- identified locations that you can steal. They won’t. They are smarter than that. 

Don’t steal their spots or cramp their style. Remember now that you’ve gotten help from the captain, if you ever see them on the water with a charter, stay out of their way. They are earning their living and you don’t want to bite the hand that fed you. You obviously didn’t learn everything they know on a half day trip and the goal here is to gain a friend, not use someone and be rude with the knowledge they gave you. If my captain friends pull up to a spot I’m fishing I will give them space to put their clients on fish. 

Tip your captain well. This goes more to being courteous. Just make sure you’re not remembered as a bad tipper. Your captain will remember that. Keep in mind that after you’re driving home in the AC with a cooler of fillets, that guy is cleaning the boat and doing the dirty work for the next trip. It would be good to leave him a decent tip. If you had a blast you can get some of his cards and spread the word about his business. That is what makes the world go ‘round. The referral. 

All of these things done on a charter trip with the goal of being educated will make you a better fisherman. I know it has for me. I’ve learned from some awesome people and made some lifelong memories. My honeymoon included a charter trip of a lifetime and my wife still talks about it to this day. Remember to take pictures and store the memories and the lessons learned. 

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1 Comment

  1. Steven Free

    I like most of your tips this one being the exception fishing guides are very expensive on average in my area of northeast fl about 300 bucks for maybe 5 to 6 hours of fishing while yes guides are the fastest way to get maximum results 300 bucks is an aweful lot to spend on only 1 day of fishing besides with all the info online now days its a whole lot cheaper then hiring a guide but to me nothing spells success better then plain old common scence and experience


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