Anyone can take you fishing but not just anyone can show you where and how to catch fish. Especially if you’re talking about a body of water like Lake Eufaula. When you want to fill your cooler full of fish on a lake the size of Eufaula, you need a experienced Eufaula lake fishing guide who’s been around a while. But even on smaller bodies, hiring a experienced guide can make the difference between an enjoyable time on the water or a miserable trip.
With the economy in a downturn, a lot of good ole boys are suddenly becoming fishing and hunting guides. You need to watch out for this! You should first check with your state to see if they require Guides to be licensed. Many do. Beware of the guy or gal that’ll tell you they don’t have to be licensed, it may not be true.
In other states, Guides are required to carry insurance. Not all states require this, but check in the state you’ll be fishing to make sure whether they do or not.
If you’ll be fishing in the Gulf or on the Ocean, your guide may be required to be a Coast Guard licensed Captain. This can also be a requirement on larger inland bodies of water like the Great Lakes or large impoundments like Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma/Texas border.
Next, get a list of both satisfied and dissatisfied clients. If the Guide has been in business any length of time, he’ll have such a list. If you work with the public for any length of time, you’ll have a few unhappy customers. It happens to the best of us. The important thing is how the Guide manages unhappy Clients.
Finally, make sure your guide is Red Cross trained in First Aid. Nothing can ruin a fishing trip faster than a trip to the Emergency Room. Especially if your Guide could have fixed you up on the water!