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How to Choose the Right Catfish Fishing Guide

Oct 22, 2007
Do you want to catch that 200 pound cat you've always dreamed of? The right catfish fishing guide might have the knowledge and experience to help you do that. You can learn a lot from a good guide, and come home with a trophy-winner! It's just a matter of finding one that really knows his stuff.

Who Needs a Fishing Guide?

Why would anybody need a fishing guide? You just drop that line in the water and wait for them to come along, right? Wrong! There's a lot more to it than that, and unless you've spent some time out there with no bites, you have no idea how much help a guide can be. Plus, you can learn from their expertise and knowledge.

Catfish guides are experts at what they do, and that is why they are guides. They are usually trophy winners themselves, and they have turned catfishing into an art form. They can also help out, taking some of the trouble of organizing your trip, getting gear and getting set up.


First off, make sure that the guide you pick is officially licensed and insured. Sure, you might get lucky with so-and-so's uncle whose been fishing this lake for years, and offers to be your "guide" for a 12-pack of cheap beer. But, if you don't want to take chances, go with the pros.

The main thing is that you want to make sure these guys do everything by the book. There are tricky laws in different states and different areas, and they should fish legit.


Now, probably the biggest advantage to getting a guide is that every place is different. Catfish lurk at the bottom of almost every body of water on this continent, so you want somebody who knows the cats in that particular neck of the woods. Cats are everywhere, but they aren't the same everywhere you go, so you need that expertise to find out when and where they are. It really takes a local to know those spots inside and out. Everything differs by area; when to fish, what gear to use, how to cast your line. These guys should definitely know their stuff.

Another factor here is how long they've been in business. It's nice to help out a small guide service just getting started, but generally the longer a service has been in the area, the better they'll know their turf. Those companies that have an established presence in a particular area are the ones you want to pick.

Also, companies that have full-time guides are generally better. These guys are experienced. They spend as much of their lives as possible catching cats, and this experience can help you land the cat of your dreams. That's not to say that all part-time guides are bad, but they are more likely to be hit-or-miss. Guys who spend all day at it are generally going to be more experienced and knowledgeable.

You can also check out their track record. Be nosy and ask. How many fish do they catch in a day? How big are they? What trophies and awards have they earned. You know how fishermen are, they'll be more than happy to show you their walls of photos and trophies. Bragging is second nature with us!


See what kinds of things they'll furnish for you. This depends on your own needs, of course. Guide services will provide for you, at the very least, a boat. Check out what kind of boat they can line up for you and see if it suits you. Some services offer to provide you with all the gear you'll need for your fishing trip, so you won't have to bring anything at all.

If they provide the gear, check it out and see how the quality is. Usually, these guys know that the gear is what keeps some of their customers coming back, and they keep the best stuff possible on hand.

On the other hand, you might prefer a guide that lets you use all your own gear. This will depend on your preference. Catfish guides are a great resource for gear recommendations. Using a guide's gear also gives you a chance to try out something you might not otherwise try. Always check to see what they offer in the way of furnishings.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Get more information on choosing a catfish fishing guide here: http://www.askcatfishfishing.com
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