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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally made the commitment to invest some money trying to improve my fishing & hired a guide recently. I specifically requested to target reds and also said I wanted to learn as much as I wanted to actually catch fish. Split the fare with a buddy of mine. That said, for a 4-hour trip, we only caught one red in the slot and one rat. Probably learned more than I realize but it is hard to describe what I learned. Is that a typical amount of production for 4 hours with a pro? Because if so I don't think I'm going to bother fishing for reds on my own! Or are some days just like that? Guide seems like a good guy and I'm not trying to run him down at all so do not want to get into too many specifics, but I'm just trying to get a feel for what I should have expected. I realize there are some frequent posters here that are guides that can maybe offer some opinions (pretty sure none of you are the guide).
 

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You can't expect to learn much in a single four hour trip, I have done the inshore guide thing before and caught fish but at the end of the day I realized all he had that I didn't was the boat and general knowledge of his local waters. Basically paid to be driven around and cast to places I already wanted to cast to.
 

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Well man.

You cannot catch fish everyday no matter who you are. My first guided trip was very much the same as yours. It kinda bothered me until I sat back and took in the information that was shared. It literally made me a better fisherman even though we didn't slay them that day.

If he was a reputable guide he tried to put you on fish. And it is possible that if it had been a full day he would have narrowed the location down and you would have had a different opinion. Sometimes it take more than 4 hours to find fish.
 

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I've only taken a guide out once, last year.

I learned.... a very little. And I didn't know much to start.

My two sons and I each caught a redfish. No more. We were talked down to for wanting to keep them... Apparently the guide enjoys the old drum run, and believed that our 3 fish were endangering his income guiding for old drum in a few years. IMO, that was ridiculous for a guide to talk down to his paying customers. We had never tasted red drum, and wanted to.... But he was really upset with us for doing that.

The guide wasn't very talkative. Questions asked were answered with one word answers. He knew the local water well, but again, I really don't think we got anything much more than a boat ride to 4-5 possible fishing spots, and a ration of crap talk for keeping fish.

I may try again, but I will definitely use a different guide.
 

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That stinks Len, I've used that same guide twice and didn't have any of the problems you mentioned. Both times he was very personal and willingly and in great detail answered our questions. Both trips we caught plenty of fish and he asked us did we want to keep them and commented on how good they were to eat. One of those trips with him was in 2008 and the other was this last October. I will admit the last trip I didn't learn anything from him on, but that was because I've fished the area so much in the last 5 years since the original trip. The first trip though, I learned a great deal.

Now to answer the original question, it is very unreasonable to expect to catch a lot of fish just because you are paying someone to do so. I say this because no matter how good you are, you can't make a fish eat. If he puts you on all of the spots, gives it his best shot, answers your questions, and is fun to be around what more can you really ask for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies and thoughts; this was definitely a reputable guide and he seemed to work really hard to put us on fish. So I can't complain but I can still be frustrated I suppose. Sounds like some of you have had similar experiences which helps to know. So here are some things I learned:
- what a red "push" or wake looks like
- that I'm doing a lot of the right things already (bait/lures/technique)
- how to walk the dog, I think
- what not to do (waste too much time blind casting)
 

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Len I used the same guide you speak of and I too agree I was unimpressed with several aspects. But there again it was a blueprint for me to fish the area. And since that trip I have enjoyed several successful days just from learning about the feeding patterns of that general area.
 

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Knowledge is not cheap guys, more or less because it is hard to come by. You are paying for knowledge of the area.

I hate you didn't catch fish, but I can guarantee you are a better fisherman now than you were before just for the simple fact that you now see is that you were not doing everything wrong, in other words confidence.
 

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I've had days I caught 100 and other days 0. That's fishing!! However I would be bummed to if I paid the guy to show me some fish and got very little! Which I did in 2006. He is a VERY well known guide, down east and lookout area and we caught 2 really small flounder. He was bummed to though, he offered a free flounder gigging trip the next week to make up for it.

But I never got up with him.

But hey, if you caught loads of fish every trip, it would get boring.:)
 

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I had a sorta similar experience. I know they have to make a living but if you pay good money to catch fish and learn, then you should get some of both. I know no guide can always put you on fish but if someone pays $4-500 to catch fish then you should, or be offered a makeup trip, IMO

I wont pay that much money again because I feel like I went the same places I would have gone anyway and living here now I will learn eventually. I must say tho if it didnt cost so much I would probably use their services more.
 

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Guided trips are great if you're new to the area and have no idea on how things are done. That was the situation I was in and it worked really well. I learned what to look for and what I should be focusing, and more importantly, ignoring. To me, it was worth the money and time. I agree with the others though in that 4 hours is not nearly enough time to learn, even if you are slaying the fish. I went for pretty much the whole day and we didnt really find the fish until the last half of the day. Some days are just like that.
 

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it is very unreasonable to expect to catch a lot of fish just because you are paying someone to do so. I say this because no matter how good you are, you can't make a fish eat. If he puts you on all of the spots, gives it his best shot, answers your questions, and is fun to be around what more can you really ask for?
Well said. Sometime things click and sometimes they don't. I just fished with a guide for reds and he put us on to good numbers of fish...but not many were caught. Not his fault, the fish were there. And we all have a bad day now and then...and sometimes personalities just don't synch.... The guide gave my fishing buddy some good tips and pointers...but my friend did not seem to be interested in excecuting any of them.... And so it goes.
 

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Guides arent miracle men, they can lose the bite just like anyone else, thats fishing. Even the best anglers have their bad days.

For my 17th birthday I was given a guide trip on Falls Lake with a well known and respected guide. We fished some typical spring patterns and tried a little sight fishing. We zeroed that day. Naturally I was a bit disappointed at the time but looking back 15 years later, some of the things I learned that day have gone to pay off for me.
 

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Without knowing the conditions that day, weather, temp., water temp, winds, barometric pressure, influx of freshwater run off, tides, etc, it is hard to say whether it was a bad guide or a bad day. Your tone or your manners may have also put him in a mood. NOT to say you did anything wrong at all, but I can tell you from working in customer service someone's tone or even there dialect can change how you want to react to them. Lack of patience, figiting, huffing and grumbling about not finding a fish yet or not catching one yet, cussing what you do catch for being small, etc. will put you off my list for invitations to return trips.. I am sure some guides have the same mindset.
 

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I've been wanting to hire a guide for a full day so my son, who I don't see very often, and I could go out. So far he has not been able to commit to a day so I'll wait. When I get a date I'll shop for a guide. I'll be looking for referrals by inquiring with others. Word of mouth is the best AND worst advertising in service related industry. Any guide that get his or her panties in a way because someone has a certain dialect should look for work elsewhere. Working with the public is a challenge to be mild but to get an attitude because of someone's dialect is not good. On the flip side of that I'll say IMO, and having been the owner of a demanding service related for 20 years that, the customer is not always right. Perhaps a few decades ago one could argue that customer complaints were plausible across the board but these days too many people are just looking to get something for nothing no matter what. All those things being said this is what I'll be expecting:
A guide that will work as hard as possible to FIND fish. He cannot set your hook for you but if he can put you on fish that's all you can ask for. If he is working hard and still can't find fish I can't fault him in the least and I personally don't feel he should feel obligated to give any free services for a failed trip if he has worked hard. A guide like this will be providing a lot of valuable information even when the fish are not going in the boat. Maybe even more so than if they are with each cast.
As for a guide offering his opinion on your decision to keep or release? If the fish is legal to keep he should support your decision. In my eyes his decision to comment negatively is reason to not recommend him to others.
I'll be looking closely at this thread hoping to get some ideas on a guide for this future trip. I hope everyone has realistic expectations on what they are looking for from guide and don't expect them to be wizards of the water.
One last observation- know some guides that are literally doing this as a hobby. They have "family" money and don't have to work for a living and they are so full of themselves that when they don't catch fish during a trip it is ALWAYS the customers fault. They don't rely on referral business which is fortunate for them.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk
 

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Knowledge is everything. I took a guided trip very early after I began fishing the coast and the knowledge gained has allowed me to locate many fish both in those waters and elsewhere in the area. I caught three reds that day and one was a rat but I soaked up everything I could. With that said I probably spend five hours a day on the water and I have plenty of days where I come home empty handed so I would definitely say that four hours is not enough time to locate fish.
 

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Get everything out front before you step into his boat. No what ifs, then no room for complaints. If I were to hire a guide I would expect him to put me on fish or offer a trip or trips till he does. That's his business and his responsibility. Weather aside, if he couldn't take you to a marsh and put you on a drum from May thru Nov., he should pay you for your time. JMHO!
 
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