People of all backgrounds—and all ages—can book customizable guided fishing trips for a one-of-a-kind experience. Guided fishing trips are for all types of anglers and all kinds of recreational and sports fishing. Beginners and budding experts alike can benefit from the suggestions, advice, and expertise that fishing guides offer. For those with beginner skills, the opportunity to fish alongside a master guide is the ultimate learning opportunity to get a hang of the fundamental basics. For those with a bit more expertise and experience, the presence of a fishing guide is vital to improve technique and focus on specific strategic tactics. You can even learn a whole new way to fish.

For those who aren’t regulars on boats, the allure of a guided freshwater fishing trip may speak to you. What an individual gets out of the experience is about what one hopes to accomplish on the water. You can easily replicate the authentic experience of the masters without needing to acquire professional gear on your own. There’s no similar opportunity for angling aficionados to wet a line and reel in the catch of a lifetime.

Keep in mind that a good guide team and their clients will work together as a respectful duo. This means that there needs to be a clear-cut understanding of the etiquette that fishing guides give to clients and expect back. Different charters or boats may have diverse norms and rules to follow. It’s in your very best interest to listen, communicate, and act accordingly. Here are the dos and don’ts for booking a fishing guide to be cognizant of.

Do: Read Through the Website and Ask Questions

First things first, read through the website of your chosen guided tour or trip closely. Numerous details are typically already available for viewing on the site, such as locations, start times, charter rates, gear offerings or requirements, and type of fish species. Many guides pursue a wide array of species, while other groups offer multiple guided trips that focus on specific species. Ask yourself what kind of fish you wish to target and what’s most important to you. Consider how far you desire to travel or how much time you want to spend on the water. These main questions will help you choose the perfect charter trip.

If you would like to know other pertinent information, do ask questions prior to booking the trip or before the outing. You can also inquire about group charters to ensure your party is suitably covered with the right boat size. This way, guides can prepare accordingly to provide the service you desire and set reasonable expectations.

Do: Be Adequately Prepared

Charter fishing is diverse in scale and scope. No two trips will ever be exactly alike. Your own preparation for your guided adventure is key to enjoying a pleasant, worthwhile time on the water. Plan properly for the day ahead and anticipate any personal needs. Come prepared with suitable clothing for all weather types, sunblock and protection, and food and beverages. Most of all, be ready to bring a positive, enthusiastic attitude.

Do: Listen To Your Guide’s Instructions and Suggestions

Your guide is here for a reason. They know what to best expect from their past experiences in the water throughout the season. They know further details about river flow, weather conditions, hatches, etc., from their observations. Bear in mind that you’ve booked a guide for their one-of-a-kind knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about specific techniques of fish tendencies. Fishing guides are teachers at the core.

Take any offered instructions or suggestions as opportunities to become a better angler. Be open to constructive criticism and consider their advice for the highest opportunity of success. You’re not only learning beneficially in the now but also investing in an education that may aid future successful fishing trips.

Do: Be Considerate and Courteous

On the list of dos and don’ts for booking a fishing guide, being respectful is at the very top. Respect your guide as a person and respect their personal or company property. This includes the boat you’re on and any equipment you may use. Respect their time and their job. Listen carefully to the plan of the day and any onboard policies of the boat for a safe and successful trip.

Use the occasion to ask questions and deepen your knowledge about a particular fish species or the sport as an entirety. Learning new waters and various techniques are imperative to your longevity as an angler. Put your guide’s tips to work. Give feedback. Be persistent. Results can follow.

Don’t: Have Unrealistic Expectations

Slow fishing days happen. Such scenarios are never predictable or intentional. Mother nature has the last word. Ask your guide about reasonable expectations for the day to get in a good mindset for the activity ahead. A professional guide will consider your goals and the current conditions at work to provide the most realistic expectations. Communicate with your guide to create clear-cut conjectures for your trip. Each person on board is working as a team.

Don’t: Disrespect the Fish

Always inquire about fish cleaning or keeping policies on your charter trip. Policies on catching and releasing will mainly depend on local waters and regulations. Be reasonable when taking pictures with your catch from a sustainable standpoint. Be kind to the Earth, the water, and the living ecosystem within it.

Don’t: Forget To Have Fun

The ultimate goal of a charter trip is to catch some fish and have a whole lot of fun. Don’t overthink it. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Don’t worry about success or failure. The crew only cares to provide the best possible experience. Take ample time to look around at the world surrounding you, revel in the stunning scenery, and relish your opportunity to be out on the water—no matter what happens.

If you’re on the lookout for the best sturgeon fishing guides in Idaho, turn to River Adventures. Our expert team of guides has provided exceptional trips for decades. We’ll take you right to the prized fishing grounds that are found on the remarkable Snake River in Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. With pragmatic knowledge and proficiency on these famed waters, we’re here to help our clients reel in the catch of a lifetime. Contact us to learn more about the professional guided trips and tours we offer to local customers or visitors to this wondrous area.

The Dos and Don’ts for Booking a Fishing Guide