If you have never fished with a guide before, or fishing in a new place for the first time, choosing the right guide can be daunting.
I fish more than 10-12 professionally guided trips a year, both with my regular guides in Florida and when I travel, so I have learned a thing or two, because I have seen a thing or two.
Do your Homework – Besides google and TripAdvisor, you should review websites, research fishing forums, ask fellow fishermen at the marina, online, social media and even at local bait and tackle shops. Also ask local hotels and resorts for any recommendations if you are traveling.
Target species or specialization – some guides are very specialized, such as fly fishing, inshore fishing, offshore big game or only certain rivers. Know what you want and what you are comfortable doing before you commit. Don’t book a saltwater fly fishing guide for sight casting bonefish if all you want is to catch fish for the kids.
Reviews – online review are somewhat helpful because most people are nice and honest but a few people are never happy so I usually don’t bother with negative reviews unless there are a ton of them. Look at the photo gallery the guides post as well las their social feeds and comments. You can get a real good feel for how they do on their better than average days. Also see how they fish with kids if you are bringing any onboard.
Ask questions – e-mail the guide and let him / her know what you are looking to fish for, when, what type of gear (yours or there’s), what your expectations are, be honest about you ability. Most guides will be glad to help you customize a package for your trip, especially if you plan on fishing multiple days. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation months before your trip, in fact the earlier the better as you can build a rapport with the guides before you even fish.
Follow on Social media – Once you booked your guide, follow them on social media and like and engage with their photos and content. The guide will appreciate this, you will learn how he / she fishes and what the expectations are for both guide and client.
Go fishing – have fun and follow your guide’s instructions. they are smarter than you about where you are.
Remember, it’s fishing, not catching. Don’t forget to tip and leave a review.
If you pick the right guide you will have a fishing partner for many trips and years to come.
Here is a short list of my go to guides, will be updated as needed:
Capt. Mo: Miami Bonefishing
Capt. Scott Rose: Miami Peacock Adventures
Alaska (June 2022)
Amazon (August 2023)
Steve Townson Amazon Anglers