By Josh Boyd
As winter grows ever closer, many anglers begin to envision what the spring ahead might hold in store. For some, the purchase of a new boat comes to mind. For others, ambitions lead toward the exploration of new fisheries, and the wealth of opportunity that such endeavors might bring. However, for some, the idea of booking a guided fishing trip seems to remain a constant thought.
While many ponder the idea of booking a guided fishing trip on an annual basis, far fewer actually act upon this notion. Many anglers write such trips off as being an unnecessary expenditure, while others feel that they stand little to gain that could not be achieved from the comfort of their own boat.
In many cases, one simply cannot appreciate the true value of a guided fishing trip until they have experienced such an outing firsthand.
The following are three of the most valuable, yet often overlooked reasons to book a guided fishing trip.
Learn a New Body of Water
Every angler has one particular body of water that he or she tends to frequent more heavily than others. For many, this is a lake that they grew up fishing, or a river that is within a short drive of their residence. With time, one begins to learn the nuances associated with fishing this particular body of water, and a successful day of fishing is often not hard to come by.
However, most anglers would love to venture out and fish an alternative location, yet avoid doing so because they feel as if they would not know where to begin. This is where hiring a guide can pay dividends. A guide is no different than any other angler, in the fact that they have spent many years familiarizing themselves with their home lake. A guide makes their living off of this knowledge and their ability to conquer a given body of water, no matter the conditions.
If there is a certain lake or river that you are interested in fishing, spend the day with a guide to familiarize yourself with how best to proceed in the future. For a one-time fee, you will gain insight that will assist you in fishing this body of water for years to come.
Gain a New Perspective
Every angler has their go-to methods for catching whatever species of fish that they commonly pursue. This does not mean that such methods are right or wrong, but rather that they have been successfully employed by a particular angler in the past. Much like opinions, one’s choice of strategy while on the water is highly subjective.
No matter how proficient you might become, there is always something to be learned from a fellow angler, and a guide is no exception. There is an excellent chance that a guide might employ slightly different techniques than those that you routinely exercise. Therefore, by observing these discrepancies, a learning opportunity is presented.
No matter if you are fishing for crappie or musky, an angler’s education never truly ends. By fishing with a guide, you will likely discover at least one or two practices which can be added to your personal bag of tricks for use at a later date.
An Answer to Any Question
Another advantage of booking a guided fishing trip is that you are afforded the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have. When fishing with a guide, you are paying for more than the opportunity to catch fish. You are also paying for a guide’s time. As such, most guides will readily answer any technique-based questions that come to mind.
If your guide has chosen to use one particular lure or presentation, you can learn more than you might think by simply asking how they came to this decision. Doing so allows you to understand how best to apply such a tactic yourself, on any given body of water in the future.
The same principle applies to other facets of your trip. If you are curious as to how your guide knows where to fish on a particular day, do not hesitate to ask. Most will enthusiastically explain the intricacies associated with locating a certain species of fish, based upon the conditions at hand. By learning in this manner, an angler often gains a wealth of insight that will continue to provide value long after their guided trip has concluded.
A Trip to Remember
While a guided fishing trip is undoubtedly an excellent way to make memories and catch trophy caliber fish, such an excursion can also equate to so much more if approached with the proper mindset. By treating an outing of this nature as a learning experience, one can gain enough knowledge to elevate their own angling prowess to a much higher degree.