How Hard Working Fishing Guides Earn Their “Easy” Living

Most Crappie Guides Are Worth Booking And Work Very Hard For Their Pay


Often people joke with one another about the other having a dream job and “making all the money”.  It always makes for a good comradery and a witty repost may follow. 

This especially holds true with anyone linked to the fishing business.  From bait shop owners, to professional tournament pros, YouTubers, and bait builders.  One thing we all have in common is we have bad days as well! 

Pressures measured by performance causes many people to exit the fishing industry even after years of success to be replaced by energetic new competitors eager to throw their hats into the arena!  One of the highest pressured jobs in fishing is that of a guide you may charter when visiting a new lake.

One thing I can tell you after getting to know several fishing guides is that they earn their pay!

There is no off season, no rainy day call in and if they’re not always on their game, repeat customers will be non-existent.  


A Fishing Guide Often Works The Night Shift


If you think a fishing guide just pulls up to the boat ramp at dawn, takes their clients out until noon and then goes home for the day think again!

Many fishing guides are busy in the evenings gathering and building fish sets that they will use for years to come.  They don’t own these sets and they will be used just as often by anglers who sniff them out when out scanning the bottom looking for their own honey holes.

To gain a small advantage for a short amount of time these structures will be placed out at nighttime (often after midnight) to avoid being detected by everyone.  



They Have To Keep Upgrading To The Newest Technologies To Keep Up With The Competition


When Side Imaging came into the fishing market it was a must for fishing guides to immediately pay upwards of $3,000.00 or else be left at the dock both metaphorically and literally. 

Then “Spot Lock” technology rendered most trolling motors useless, add another few grand to the expense report and you’ll see that guides must set aside funds like any other business to adjust to the upcoming newest gadgets and toys!



Guides Spend Thousands Of Dollars In Bait And Tackle Yearly


Most crappie fishing guides keep both live and artificial bait options available to their clients.  Often times clients are inexperienced in fishing brush piles which can be a bad combination and a lot of tackle loss will occur daily.  Fret not, as guides expect this.  

I’ve seen guide boats with up to ten rods hanging onto holders stationed opposite the fishermen ready to be put in play as soon as the next break off occurs.  

Fishing requires patience and anyone who has made a living for thirty years, putting paying customers on fish could probably moonlight as a marriage counselor!



Fishing Guides Can’t Just Take Off When The Weather Doesn’t Cooperate


It doesn’t matter if there’s a 90% chance of rain that day, or you’re fishing immediately after a forty-degree swing from a recent cold front that has pushed through, clients expect to catch fish.

Wild weather days and empty livewells add stress and unwarranted bad reviews to a charter.  Sometimes, no matter what you do, the fish simply won’t bite and that’s that!



Guides Put Up With A Few Jerks Throughout The Year


Of all the things a fishing guide puts up with, this is by far the least forgivable.  It’s reasonable that a client should expect a positive experience and they did fork over some hard earned money with the expectation that the guide will do everything within their power to put them on fish but…

I don’t know a guide who doesn’t spend every single trip trying to put their clients in the best possible position for success.  Guides love bringing back repeat customers because it saves on their costs associated with marketing and acquiring new business.  There are client/guide relationships that go back decades and I’m sure not every trip was epic.  

Please remember, you’re out there to enjoy the trip.  At the very least when the fish aren’t biting, ask for some tips and techniques you can take back to your home waters.  If you learn a bottom fishing style that you’d never used before, it will more than pay for the services!



Tips Are Appreciated More Then You Can Imagine


On great days, it’s easy to see a client’s face light up and know that you’ve done your job well.  They’ll be asking guides out to dinner or handing them an extra 20 dollar bill.

Don’t think for a second this goes unnoticed, especially on the hard days.  The sting of a bad day on the water can sit with a fishing guide just like an employee not hitting their goals in a specific time frame.  Showing up and leaving with a positive attitude is what it’s all about so reward the person who took the time to show you tips and tricks you may have never seen before!




Most fishing guides wouldn’t trade their professions with anyone.  Getting up and seeing those amazing sunrises while having steam seep up from a coffee cup is hard to beat and seeing clients with a smile on their faces can make each day worth living.

Just know that they don’t live the dream life often associated when seeing them head off with their clients and I’ve never met a rich crappie fishing guide…

Like teachers, they do it because they love it!



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