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Thursday, May 14, 2009

WISE GUIDE SHOPPING



What should a customer expect when they hire a guide for freshwater fishing?

Well, several things. For starters, they should expect that the guide has a significant amount of experience in his past, in addition to recent experience and current knowledge. They should expect to find all of the equipment/supplies that is advertised to be present and in good working order. They should expect the guide to be prompt and give them the full amount of time on the water. But, in addition, they should expect to be guided in a clean boat fully rigged for the intended type of fishing.

So many times I hear about and see fishing guide's boats that have not been cleaned up after a prior fishing excursion. Each client should be treated equally with the same amount of respect and dignity. This means providing each and every one with the same level of service and professionalism. After all, they are paying for it.

Guides establish their own prices, but often competition drives the prices down in an attempt to out-price one another. In doing so, the client shouldn't have to sacrifice quality of service. Again, it is the guide's choice as to what to charge for his/her services. Therefore, it comes back to that same old saying ... you get what you pay for.

Also, beware of prices that "include bait". Many times that included bait has been purchased ahead and in bulk. This means that you could receive substandard bait that is not the correct size for a particular time of year. Bait generally varies in cost dependent upon the time of the year, ease of harvesting, and size. You can expect to pay anywhere from $8.00 p $15.00/dozen and up. Sizes range from small all the way up to jumbo, which can run as much as $20.00/dozen. Let your guide know whether you are fishing for fun and quantity, or if you are looking for that trophy wall mount.

So, a word to the wise ... shop around, but don't compare just price. As a customer, you should keep in mind what level of quality service you expect, too. Don't be afraid to ask for references from former clients. Your reputable guides will be more than willing to give you that information.

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