There are many areas of the county where there are a lot of options out there when choosing the right person to guide you through your day on the water. These 3 important facts should help you find the perfect guide.

Personality

One of the most overlooked traits a good guide has is his /her personality. The last thing anybody wants is a guide that is arrogant and unpleasant to be around. You know what I mean, the guide that will fish in front of you all day and brag about his catch. Or maybe the guide that thinks he owns the water and embarrasses you as he pulls in front of another boat and totally cuts them off. That would make me want to crawl under the console and hide my face. A good fishing guide will fish through his clients like an extension of his body. Instructing and coaching, but also mindful of a client’s own abilities. Sometimes a good guide will fish to demonstrate a technique or when invited to do so , but never In front of their client. A client should always get the fresh water. So a likable personality is arguably on the top of the list for the 3 important facts when choosing a fishing guide!

Reputation

The reputation of the guide is probably next on the list of important facts. Does he or she have a lot of great reviews? Are there many search results under the guide’s business name? Is the guide well respected in the community? Most well respected, seasoned, and highly reviewed guides will be booked about 4- 6 months out. A guides reputation is a product of his overall experience and dedication.

Experience

Lastly, a guide that has plenty of experience on the water in many diverse situations. Such as fish catching ability, emergency response, and meeting any special needs that a client may have is a must. A guide wouldn’t be a guide if they did not have the ability to fish. The part that separates an ordinary guide from a great guide is managing situations as they occur. Whether it be a cold front that passed and slowed the fishing, a disabled gentlemen that has a hard time casting, or children learning to cast on their first fishing trip, a guide must be patient and consistent. If a client accidently hooked himself and needs medical attention a good guide will react with professionalism and take care of the situation at hand. A good guide will be patient, professional, and still provide a productive and enjoyable day on the water. Consistency comes with experience!

Booking platforms should be avoided when possible because generally speaking less experienced guides will usually utilize their services. Often a good guide who is on such a platform is unavailable. If a platform is going to be used plan ahead 4-6 months.

In summary plan ahead the best you can. Check out a guide thoroughly prior to booking including social media, Websites, and local tackle shops.

In Pennsylvania, while guiding on commonwealth waters, a fishing guide needs to have on his person the following information located below. Clients should verify this information when boarding or when a guide requests to see their fishing licence. Guides are required to verify fishing licences for all persons aboard.

  • Boaters Education Certificate
  • PA Fishing Guide Licence
  • PA Fishing Licence
  • Commercial Liability Insurance Documentation
  • Current CPR And First Aid Certification
  • Boat Registration
3 important facts to consider when choosing a Fishing Guide

Booking a fishing guide requires careful consideration. Look for a guide who is patient, professional, and experienced, as consistency comes with time. Avoid booking platforms whenever possible, as they are often used by less experienced guides and may result in unavailability of good guides. If using a platform, plan ahead 4-6 months. Prior to booking, thoroughly check the guide’s credentials through social media, websites, and local tackle shops. In Pennsylvania, fishing guides must have certain information on hand while guiding on commonwealth waters, so clients should ensure the guide possesses the necessary details.