1 November, 2011 - When anglers come aboard with several rods and all of their lures, after a quick tackle check, I can define the type of angler and how good they might be and how open they will be to learning.
Recently two guys boarded with equipment. Not to be judgmental, but there are minimum equipment standards to produce results. I’m not a tackle snob! But, some gear would be a starter for a youngster, not a nearly serious bass angler. I suggest to my clients that before they buy, they either email or call to chat about what to get. I suggest price points…about $120 and above for spinning combos. Baitcasters, $160 and up. Back to my guide trip. These guys had $50 combos. They hooked lures in the guides…a no-no as this will chip guides leading to cut lines! They also had lures on all of their rods…without knowing where or how we’d be fishing.
Arriving at our spot, where I’d been fishing all week, I started catching fish. The guys made a few casts with their first rod, changing to the second rod, then the third. The rotations started again…removing baits trying others or a different color…all in the first 15 minutes while I’m still catching them on the same lure. They kept going through the rotation, not caring or noticing what I was using. The guy next to me took notice and tied on the bait I was using, but started losing fish. I asked if I could make a tackle suggestion. He accepted! I told him the rod he was using was not appropriate for this lure and explained why. I offered him one of mine and offered the same to his buddy. The buddy opted to remain with his gear. The guy next to me started catching fish. After a few hours of this, the buddy finally gave in, but by this time that bite had slowed.
Here’s where I stopped and explained I'm a guide and I fish every day and know pretty much what’s going on, as evidenced by the catching taking place. From that point on I was going to offer advice and strongly suggest what they do and how they do it and invite them to use my gear. The guy next to me took the advice and kept up with me while his buddy…who I later found out was the more experienced of the two, struggled.
As a guide, I give clients enough line to hook themselves…choosing the right time and place to make suggestions. After that, it’s up to them to take or leave my advice.
With all of my trips, I start with the optimism of a new day - a memorable fishing and learning experience. I avoid excuses; rather I explain the degree of difficulty and how we can still catch fish. However, if I feel the conditions warrant cancellation of a trip, I offer this as an option. I have several clients who will go out no matter as the challenge has been laid down for them. Accept the challenge to take someone fishing!
I’ve written a DIY piece in the BoatUS Tacklebox on how to make spinnerbaits to save money and to get exactly what you want!
My next BoatUS DIY column…making mini plug knockers! Until next time, see you on the water. WEAR a PFD! I’m gone fishing.
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