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Things to ask a Salmon Fishing Guide
before booking

This is not to sound that I am trying to undermine any guide, and most of the time we have had some very good experiences.  However there have been times when I wish that I had known more before I had gotten into the mess.   After one such trip off the west coast of Vancouver Island, where the outfitter went bankrupt, & 2 of his skippers who had not gotten paid split the bookings of 2 different areas  & tried to cover the bookings.  I came home & made up this list before I cooled off & my memory mellowed some.

(1)   How long have you been in business continuously as a guide?

(2)   What size is your boat/boats?

(3)   What is the age of your boat/boats?

(4)   What is the size of engine/engines on your boat & how old are they, & do you maintain them?

(5)   Is your trolling motor a 2 or a 4 stroke?

(6)   Do you brief the clients as to life jacket/fire extinguisher locations before departure?

(7)   Do you brief the clients as to your fishing procedure & what to expect before departure?

(8)   Do you ask input from the clients as to their fishing preferences prior to the booking, or each day of the trip?

(9)   What species of fish do you target?

(10) How many clients do you take out at a time?

(11) Does everyone have a rod, or do we share rods & rotate?  How many rods do you run at a time?

(12) Do you normally troll, mooch, jig, backbounce, backtroll,  or use bobbers?

(13) Do you supply the rods & reels?

(14) Do you use the long "noodle rods" & single action reels, common in Canada?

(15) Do you offer star drag & or Left Hand reels & downrigger rods as an option if the answer is yes to any of #14 above?

(16) Can I supply my own rod & reel if I am left handed & or bring gear that matches your requirements?

(17) What angle are your rod holders mounted for downriggers, & are they out to the side or basically straight up & facing rearward?

(18) What brand of downrigger do you use, & is it electric?

(19) How far back from the release clip, do you normally run the flasher for salmon?

(20) Do you run bait, or lures?

(21) Do you use scent on the bait/lures?

(22) Do you clean & provide for packaging & freezing of the clients catch?

(23) Do you supply the clients with a map of how to initially find your location?

(24) Do you make provisions for client’s motel/cabin stays if applicable?

(25) Where do we meet you for a day of fishing, at our cabin or the dock?

(26) When is the departure time, & how long are we on the water?

(27) Do you offer some sort of a "Rain Check" provision for unfishable weather?

(28) Do you have a maximum fuel allocation per trip?

(29) What is your guiding fee?

(30) Is your fee is based on how many clients per trip?

(31) Is this fee all inclusive or are there any extra hidden charges?

(32) What type of funds do you require?

(33) How much of a deposit do you require?

(34) When is the balance due?

(35) Can I bring my wife along as a non-fishing guest that stays ashore?  At what additional fee?

(36) If we have a cancellation of one of our clients, can a new client be substituted, even at the last minute?

(37) Do you have a “Standby List” of names to fill in for a cancellation, who can come on a short notice at a reduced rate?

(38) Do you have a back-up guide in case YOUR boat/motor is disabled, or YOU have health problems?

(39) If fishing salt water do you have any crab pots that you offer your clients the use of?

(40) Do you stay abreast of any new fishing regulation changes?

(41) Do you have a e-mail & a web-page?

(42) Do you have a cell phone that we can contact you if need be?

Last updated 05-02-05
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