Why it is important to hire a fishing guide.

Why it is important to hire a fishing guide.
  1. Success.
    1. Guides have a vested interest in our catch rate. Their livelihood depends on it. In fact, many of them have foregone typical careers to pursue a lifestyle that satisfies their passion. Good catch rates equate to good repeat business, good reviews, good word of mouth referrals, and good economic bottom lines. For your money, you will get a lifetime of experience and the correct gear to help you locate and boat fish. For some customers, it is the annual vacation, for others, it is the trip of a lifetime. Either way, don’t waste your trip. Hire a guide. With so much riding on the line for the guide services, you can bet they will put their best into putting you on fish.
  2. Safety.
    1. Fishing always involves water and water presents risks. Good guides will always have your safety at the top of their priorities. Licensed and insured guides have regulations that are enforced by local and federal law enforcement and insurance company requirements. For example, guide permits/licenses will not be issued without certifications, such as cpr/first aid. Insurance will also not be issued without the government mandated regulations being observed. Local guides will also know weather forecasts, weather patterns, and tide schedules which will make the trip safer for all. No one can control the weather but good guides will make the best of conditions. In turn, making your trip more productive and enjoyable.
  3. Game Law Compliance.
      1. Seasons, boundaries, bag limits, legal methods, fish ID, just to name a few, are enforced and “I didn’t know.” will not get you out of a citation from law enforcement. Guides will help you navigate the bureaucratic and often time confusing process of selecting the correct licenses. Fishing seasons in state vs. federal waters have become a hot political topic, off of the coast of Alabama recently. The federal vs. state seasons and boundaries change annually for certain species of fish and with little notice. For an example see this link from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Recreational Anglers Get Additional Days.  Different species of fish have different requirements for legal pursuit, for example reef fish often times require circle hooks, while inshore species will not have these same restrictions. Game fish can sometimes be hard to distinguish from each other. The differences may be very difficult to recognize and guides will know which is legal and which is illegal.

        red snapper, lane snapper, bonito, kingfish

        we Greater Amber Jack; Gulf Shores Alabama

  4. Increased Season Length/ Opportunities
    1. Guides for hire will often times have an increased season length versus the self-guided recreational angler. States recognize the importance of fishing to their economies and allow professional services to operate for longer seasons.
    2. If your scheduled charter encounters poor environmental conditions then the guide can quickly regroup and provide an alternative to the initial target species. It may be disappointing to not be able to pursue Red Snapper, like was originally planned, but a day of catching King Fish is still better than going to work.
  5. Convenience.
    1. Many guides will offer fish cleaning, packaging, and shipping services. This allows you to gain the most from your catch and enjoy it at home.
    2. Some guides will pick your party up from your hotel.
    3. Some offer food and drink included in the package.
    4. The only thing you will need will be personal items such as medication, sunscreen, hats, etc.

Ask the questions in the following link when hiring a guide service.  Hiring a Guide Service? Ask These Questions.