Today, one year ago I had a truck pull up to my house with two very tired guys in it, towing a trailer with my new boat on it. My life time boat. The love of my life, (besides my deaf, and partially blind 14+ year old dog)
It will never look that good again as it did in the picture. Because this baby is a work horse. No racing stripes, upholstery all over the place, or hatch lids for leaves and shrimp heads to hide in. But if you've ever fished with me in it. You walk away with the feeling that, "you liked what you felt and you'll want to go again" . Boats in my opinion say a lot about a fishing guide. When I browse a fishing guides web site, all I really wanna see is pictures of the B-O-A-T.
(photo is from exactly a year ago, on it's first launch)
Is it cramped with two many elbows, butt cheeks, and rods whipping by my face. Is it unsafe for old folks and young kids, is it all glitz, and will I have to fish like a butler, and be careful not to mess things up too much. And most of all is it all about how the guide looks, rather than how the guide fishes.
On that note, here's an observation I made today.....
I met a friend down next to the ferry crossing, after running some errands this morning. He was wade fishing, and had already caught some Trout and a small Redfish on his float rig and bottom rig. So I of course arrived to waste some time and talk with him armed with my new Bucara series G. Loomis rod, that we'll be using for float-rigging heavier lead in deeper water. This gave me a reason to try it out. And while I was "bogarting" his bait, he caught a nice flounder. And the action went dead, so he said "I gotta go, the wife said she thought I was only gonna be a few minutes, a phone call ago", I replied, "who goes fishing for a few minutes?" So to avoid trouble back at the homestead, he took off with his fresh caught dinner. I slowly walked up to my truck and put my rod away. And as I made my way over to the drivers side door. A boat pulled up to right where we were just fishing.
I think I know who it was. So I sat in my truck and observed. Being in the biz myself, I think I can spot a guide and his 2 man charter pretty easily. So with that being said, my interest was peeked to see if they'd catch anything from a boat, on the same spot.
But soon my attention wasn't "if" they catch anything, but rather how the guide conducted himself.
And the first thing that clued me in to that it was a 2 man charter was one of the clients was attempting to scare the Pelicans on some pilings by waving his arms around and making noises. YEP, THAT'S A CHARTER ON THAT BOAT!
Next was the guide. He wasn't all into the "how to" concept. The topography or where the fish could be at, he just grabbed his own rod and ran up to the trolling motor and started casting. As if he was fishing all alone, out for fun?
The charter made some casts, and he'd just pull away from the spot they just pitched too, heading to the direction of his own casting direction. He hardly even looked back at his customers. They seemed to be "talking amongst themselves" attempting to keep up with the ever moving boat. They'd cast and the boat would drive away on the trolling motor, and then they'd reel in and have to switch side of the boat to keep up.
I was flabbergasted.
I believe they were "taking this fishing guide fishing" for the day. I see a lot of that. But never as blatant as I witnessed today.
Did you know that 90% of all fish usually caught are from the bow of a boat equipped with a trolling motor? I do. Been there, seen it, done it. That's why when I went on a charter down in Stuart, Florida one time, I stood on the bow, and I ran the trolling motor, when the guide bird nested his bait casting reel repeatedly, trying to keep up with me.
I my opinion. Trolling motors are not for charter fishing....at least not for 90% of the fishing day. And if so. The guide needs not be casting his heart out. And "if" a trolling motor must be used a customer needs to be up on the bow, with the guide staying the hell out of the way!!! But instructing, where to make a cast and how to present the bait. Like a Fly Fishing guide. You don't see them rushing to grab their fly rod to make a cast before their customers. Although it word be good TV to see 3-4 people all fly casting from a 16' surf board boat.
I will not fish on a charter if the boat has a trolling motor. Not because I don't have one. But because I want the guide paying attention TO ME, not the trolling motor. And he better not be casting his ass off, either!
Customers probably don't even realize that it could be better. It's because they just don't know. Or don't read, the write articles. I mean........Blogs.
I find that coaching and helping my customers, describing the bottom contours, techniques specific to the area fished, makes for a better fishing day. And gives anglers on my boat a better insight to what we're doing. But that's just me. Everyone has there ways of conducting a fishing charter.
Some just astonish me.
And I never saw them catch a fish, either.