Why You Should Hire A Pro Fishing Guide

professional fishing guide

Hiring a Professional Fishing Guide is Essential to a Great Day of Fishing

By far the most common question I get is, “Why is it I never seem to catch any fish when I go out? I use the same bait, the same gear, and fish similar areas but the fish just are not there”. Well actually, they probably are.  A memorable day of catching fish involves many factors.  A Good start is to book a trip with a professional fishing guide.  To book a guided trip  Contact Captain Sean Goddard.

The Booking Process

When booking a professional fishing guide, time, air and water temperature, as well as, moon phase, tide, and  are all important. When you are discussing your trip your captain is looking at these factors as well as any historical data he may keep in the form of logs for the specific time of the year you are fishing. Fish move from place to place throughout the year following their food source. Your captain will know these patterns and tailor your trip to all the aforementioned factors.

Most recreational anglers fish when they can.  When a lunar or tidal event is occurring life can make it difficult for most to just drop what they are doing and run to the ramp.   A professional fishing guide will use this information when booking with you to make sure a successful day on the water. The ability to plan your trip and pick the right day and circumstances is an advantage when heading out to catch that trophy Snook or tarpon.

Local Knowledge

Another advantage is a professional fishing guide will have local knowledge of the areas you would like to fish. This, combined with time on the water, is a winning combination to find and land the big ones.  Most recreational anglers don’t have an average of 200 days a year on the water to study migratory and feeding habits of the local stocks of fish. Nor do they usually spend more than a few hours a week fishing a specific area.

Most saltwater fish switch between food sources and will forage throughout the year searching different locations for different food sources. Knowing when and what the fish are feeding on is key. Most people in the area I fish use live scaled sardines throughout the year. Neither time, tide, nor temperature matter; only the pursuit of sardines. When and if they fill their bait wells, they will then pull up to a random mangrove, fill a chum bat with 30-40 sardines that they have wounded, and chum the mangrove.

Success is random and requires a good amount of time looking for and catching bait; and, then time searching for fish that are willing to eat a live sardine. Not to mention the added cost of having to prepare a chum mixture to catch the bait. Your guide will not only know where to get the days bait but will also know where to find the fish willing to eat it. Spots are rarely, if ever, random with a guide.

Learn Key Techniques

A big part of a guided fishing trip is using a variety of techniques. There are many times throughout the year that cut bait is more productive than live bait. There have been times where a lure or a jig will out fish live bait. Your guide will know this and will use all the tools at his disposal to bring fish over the rail.

Many people here on the west coast of Florida will use live shrimp as a bait all year-long.   Shrimp is only really going to be a productive bait for snapper in deeper water During the warmer weather. Shrimp should really be used during the cooler months for it to be a productive bait.  Redfish and Snook may take a live shrimp but you will have to weed through a lot of junk fish which makes for a very frustrating day on the water. Late fall, winter, and very early spring are the best times for shrimp.

A Fishing Guide is a Teacher and Mentor

A professional fishing guide is also a teacher and will spend most of your trip teaching you not only the tactics he is going to use for the day, but why conservation of our stocks of fish. He will educate you about the fish you are targeting and their importance to the local eco-system, the history of the area you are fishing in, as well as any local customs and tactics. Your day on the water will be filled with catching fish, learning, and having a good time when you hire the right guide. I can’t stress how important it is for a guide to be entertaining and easy to talk to. The goal for guides is to have you return to our area and to not only fish with us but to support our local economies.

A Proven Professional

Lastly and most importantly spend some time researching your guide and make sure you are getting a guide that suits you and your fishing style. A great place to start with is  the captain’s website and social media to see what type of fishing he/she does and how they present themselves to the public. There are a lot of factors involved in securing a guided trip and fishing with a professional captain, but rest assured with a little due diligence that question of “How come I never catch fish?” will be addressed and answered, and you will have a day filled with lifetime memories, a new friend and fishing buddy, and a love of the area you chose to fish.


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