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We started Captain Experiences to make it easy to book fishing and hunting guides around the world. With over 1,500 Damn Good Guides, our platform makes finding and booking a trip seamless. Head here to check out our trips.

When it comes to hiring a fishing guide, your top priorities may be to have a good day on the water and catch a few fish. But if you pay attention, then you might learn some fishing tips and techniques that can last you a lifetime. Here are 10 things that you can learn from a quality fishing guide:

  1. How to bait a hook
  2. How to tie a knot
  3. What gear to buy
  4. How to select lures
  5. How to operate a boat
  6. How to find wildlife
  7. Where to fish
  8. How to work a lure
  9. How to clean fish
  10. How to cook fish
Guide Chris Fly Fishing Georgia

1 How to Bait a Hook

Different types of bait require different rigging techniques. Some bait, like shrimp, can be rigged in several different ways. Your fishing guide can show you the proper way to bait a hook for your current situation. Whether you are fishing with shrimp, crabs, croaker, worms, sardines, live bait or dead bait, a good guide will have years of experience baiting hooks and you can learn some new tips from the pro.

2 How to Tie a Knot

There are so many fishing knot options that it takes a professional to know them all. Even if you have 20 years of fishing experience, chances are that you can still learn new fishing knots that can be used in different situations: how to tie a thick line to a thin line, how to connect two lines with as small a knot as possible, or how to tie a loop to give your lure better action. Guides know their knots.

3 What Gear to Buy

Guides have experience selecting the right size rods, reels, hooks, and more. Guides often have affordable fishing equipment because the chances of damage are higher with new anglers as customers. But the serious guides also know what equipment you should buy if your fishing budget is unlimited. Different guides who focus on different fishing techniques can help you identify the gear needed for that type of fishing.

4 How to Select Lures

One of the most valuable pieces of information to a fisherman can be what type and color of fishing lure is currently best at your location. This can vary from day to day and place to place, but the guides generally have a great idea of which lures to use to get started. In some places, the hot color for a lure can change from year to year. Getting up-to-date, expert advice on what lures to use can make a big difference in your fishing results.

5 How to Operate a Boat

Guides typically have years of experience captaining boats. The way a fishing guide positions a boat to allow customers to cast to fish is a great thing to learn if you have your own boat. Properly using an anchor can sometimes be complex if the tides are moving. Guides also can share knowledge about local boating hazards and what safety equipment is needed for boat operations.

6 How to Find Wildlife

Birds, dolphin, alligators, turtles, coyotes, deer, and more may be seen on your fishing excursion depending on when and where you hire a fishing guide. Many birds are also searching for fish, so your fishing guide will likely be able to identify some of the key birds in the area that may point you in the direction of where the fish are biting. Enjoying nature is one of the key benefits of being on the water, and a knowledgeable fishing guide can help you find and identify some wildlife along the way.

7 Where to Fish

Fishing guides have their favorite spots, and that is where they take their customers to make sure that you have a good day on the water. Learning what to look for in a good fishing spot can improve your odds of catching fish in the future. How deep is the water? What color is the water? Is there a current? What is the bottom like? These are good things to learn from a fishing guide that will help you find your own favorite fishing spots in the future.

8 How to Work a Lure

The presentation of a lure or bait can make the difference between catching a few fish and catching a lot of fish. Do you cast upstream or downstream? How deep should your lure or bait be? Do you retrieve a lure fast or slow? What action should you try to make with the fishing pole? Whether you are a fishing fanatic or a beginner, chances are good that a professional fishing guide will be able to offer you some tips to improve your fishing technique.

9 How to Clean a Fish

If you are lucky enough to catch a few fish, then most professional fishing guides will clean your fish for you. This is a good time to pay attention to learn how the guide prefers to clean fish. Some fish such as redfish and flounder can be cleaned using a variety of techniques. Different brands of knives may hold a sharper blade than others. If you ever plan to clean your own fish in the future, then learning how your guide cleans fish can be valuable information.

10 How to Cook Fish

After the trip is complete, one of the great joys of a guided trip can be eating freshly caught fish. If you are not familiar with how to best prepare the species of fish that you caught, then ask your fishing guide. The guide can let you know if that type of fish is better fried, grilled, or baked. If you don’t want to cook the fish yourself, then the guide can point you in the direction of a local restaurant that will cook your fish for you.

The next time you go on a guided fishing adventure, be sure to pay attention to the little things that the professional fishing guides do to help make your day on the water a success. At Captain Experiences, we offer a variety of fishing guides who are ready to help you catch a few fish and also teach you to be a better angler in the future.