Shutting Down for The Season
Two weeks ago, I made the business decision to suspend guiding services for the rest of 2021 or until we had enough rain to bring the river up to a better level. It was not without much thought that this difficult decision was made. The first consideration was income. Stopping six weeks early would cost many thousands of dollars.
Before I made my final decision, I spent nearly an entire week on the river trying different techniques, locations and baits to figure out the fish. I fished waters that I have only seen during mapping sessions. I used technology such as side imaging to look for fish. I side images so much water that I managed to find four cars on the bottom of the river. I could find the fish but finding fish and getting fish to bite in negative situations are two different things.
In the end I decided it was best to move the remaining trips to 2022 and not take any new customers this year. I felt that the money lost now would be much less than the money I would lose if I was not upfront with the customers in telling them that I was not confident in my ability to provide a true Red River Experience. In this day and age of social media people traveling to fish with me unsuspecting of poor fishing would go home and tell the world that the Red is not all its cracked up to be and that I as a guide am a thief.
I am banking on this move paying off in that people will now come and have a much better trip during better conditions and go home raving about the experience they had. This will maybe get me repeat customers and hopefully new customers in the long term. I have had much support so far for the decision.
After the announcement to suspend guiding, I have received photos from some angler’s great fish and the comment, “the fish are still biting.” I have also been out on the river fishing and yes, there are fish biting still. There will always be fishing biting out there, but will they be enough?
My point for shutting down is when I charge $500 per day, I better deliver a positive experience and some big fish. I am the first to admit that in the fishing business everyone has a bad day or just can’t figure it out. What is happening now is the fish just are not coming in a consistent manner that I can charge money for what we may or may not catch.
This was a tough decision to make, especially when the season started out so hot in both business and fish numbers. As far as the year as a whole it is fine because the first half was so good. It could have been a huge year rather than an average year. It will all be good in the end.
Back to finding cars. I went back to get a better look at the one I found last week. After a few passes I collected many great screenshots of what we think is a Cadillac. The Sheriff’s Department was called and they will be checking it out soon.