What Drives a Fishing Guide Crazy

What Drives Fishing Guides Crazy

In our last visit I mentioned that I had a tough week guiding because one customer decided not to show up and the other deemed the trip a total failure because the fish were too big.

Well, it’s been three weeks and I am still bitter about those two days. Part of it might be because I was tired and at the very end of a very long run of fishing but some of it just angers me to no end because I am just trying to run a business and do my best.

The first trip was one that I was 99% sure was going to be a no show. I was ok with that, keep the deposit and move on with life. I wish if he wasn’t planning to make it would tell me because I could have sold the day to someone who would have showed up.

When you have not heard from the next day’s customer by 8pm the night before the chances are they are not coming. I texted him at 8:45 to remind him of the trip. I expected a “hey man, not going to make it sorry.” No, I got a call at 6:15 am saying, “I was in the truck to come fishing and I don’t have oil pressure and nobody will loan me a car.”  Ok that is a new excuse but who says that, really?  I am calling this a blatant over thought lie because why would you be in the car to meet your guide when you don’t know where or even what time you are fishing?

I have not gotten the call yet but I am sure this gentleman will be calling to get a new date with deposit intact. That will be a very uncomfortable conversation because I will not only inform that I am keeping the deposit but will demand payment in full for a new booking. I have been around a long time and when you get the feeling this will happen and it does, there is no other way to solve the problem.

The second trip, the very next day was with a great customer/friend. We have fished together many times over the years. This was his second trip this season. For the record he was not the issue in this story. He caught fish and had fun as always.

The guys he brought with were very quick to tell me fishing is for food and not fun. My initial thought was “this is not the trip for you.” Our river has a strict slot limit on what can be kept and I have a long-standing boat rule that is more strict than that.

Not even 15 minutes into the day the complaining began because I would not allow them to keep a trophy fish for eating even though it was a legal catch. I calmly explained that this is my rule and if they don’t like it we can stop the trip. That shut down the argument about keeping big fish but it did not shut down the complaining about catching trophy fish.

The rest of the day (six hours or so) every time a fish got on and they picked it up I heard, “its to big and not a keeper.” “How will we limit out like this?” It was told to me that the trip was a failure by one of the gentlemen.

That day wore on my as you can tell. We had a most excellent day landing over 300 pounds of catfish but only six of them were small enough to keep. Any other day a 300-pound day is a trip of a lifetime and I am a hero but not this day. This day I was a failure.  At least my client who booked the trip had fun and apologized at the end for the behavior of his friends.

This proves that fishing success is truly in the eye of the beholder.


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