Often times when one is planning a fishing trip, the question of a fishing guide comes up. They’re costly so the first reaction is to forgo a guide - after all, you already know how to fish, right?
This may or may not be true. You might very well be an expert fisherman that can get along quite well without a guide but if you are traveling to a far away area and are not familiar with the fishing condition, then a guide could really come in handy.
Now having said that, I will say that a guide is simply that - a guide. He can tell you where he thinks the fish will be and even help you land one, but the real work is up to you. Just because you spend a lot of money on a guide does not mean you will catch a fish or even see one, but it could greatly increase your chances.
Most guides are great fishermen themselves and know the local area like the back of their hands. They are up on current conditions and know where the fish are right at the moment. They spend all their time fishing the river or lake, and probably have for many years, so they know where the best fish can be caught. Without a guide, you can waste a lot of time just trying to find those fish.
If you do decide to hire a guide, you need to make your fishing goals clear to him or her at the outset in order to make sure he can deliver what you want. Some things to discuss include the type of fish you want to catch, if you want to catch a lot of fish or just big ones, and the technique you prefer to use.
You should also find out if the guide has experience in your desired area. During these discussions you may find out that the guide recommends a different fishing style that what you have proposed in order to catch the kinds of fish you want. These are things you will have to consider.
A guide can cost you anywhere between $100 to $200 a day and please don’t forget to tip him - even if you don’t catch any fish. For your money you will get expert advice on the best fishing locations, expert tips on how to catch those fish and a wonderfully delicious shore lunch.
One thing that some anglers do on an extended trip is to hire the guide for the first few days and then go it alone for the rest of the trip. This way you can benefit from his advice and save a few bucks too. Don’t be afraid to let the guide know this is your plan, he might be able to leave you with some parting tips so the rest of your trip is just as fruitful as the beginning.
The question of whether or not a guide is worth it does not have the same answer for every angler. If this is your one big vacation and catching fish is of the utmost importance, then springing for a guide is probably well worth it.
Lee Dobbins writes for Fishing Around where you can learn more fishing tips .