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Wondering If You Should Hire a Fishing Guide?

Wondering If You Should Hire a Fishing Guide?

Guide and writer Ben Beattie can help you land big fish

Worth it or not?

Professional guides will enhance your fishing experience by putting you on fish and by teaching you about presentations, techniques and seasonal movements of the fish you're after. Why bother spending the first few days of your trip trying to figure out 'where the fish are biting'? Investing in a good guide will have you on fish right away. So, worth it!



Editor's Note: I follow Moosehorn Lodge's Facebook page and I am continually amazed at all the trophy fish caught at Lac Seul or nearby lakes. Ben Beattie is one of Moosehorn's guides and I've seen many, many happy anglers both young and old holding their trophy fish for a quick photo. Ben's love of the outdoors and fishing shows when he's out on the lake with those that book him for a guided fishing trip. Ben guides for Moosehorn Lodge plus he'll guide for other lakes in the area if you are staying at a different lodge. Check out his website at www.benbeattieoutdoors.com, it's truly worth it to spend a day out on the lake with Ben. UPDATE: After 8 great years at Moosehorn Lodge, Ben has now moved to co-managing and guiding at Winoga Lodge. 

Whether you're a first timer planning a fishing trip to Ontario's Sunset Country, or a seasoned veteran who's fished here many times, hiring a guide can be the best decision you make. After all, a fishing trip is all about the fishing isn't it?

Professional guides will enhance your fishing experience by putting you on fish and by teaching you about presentations, techniques and seasonal movements of the fish you're after. Why bother spending the first few days of your trip trying to figure out 'where the fish are biting'? Investing in a good guide will have you on fish right away.

A guide can help you land that trophy walleye you've been searching for!A guide can help you land that trophy walleye you've been searching for!

Plan Ahead

Many of the area lodges and guides are very busy during the summer. After researching destinations and guides, book well in advance. All too often groups forgo arranging a guide in advance only to discover upon arrival that all the guides in camp are booked.

When booking a guide, be sure to ask a lot of questions. As with any job, some are better at what they do than others. Experience talks! Ask how long a perspective guide has been working on the body of water you're fishing. If there's a specific fish you wish to target, be sure to ask about the guides experiences with that species. Certain fish, such as muskie, are difficult to catch and having a guide with a strong background in muskie fishing is essential.

With Ben's guidance, this massive muskie muskie was caught by a guest at Moosehorn Lodge.With Ben's guidance, this massive muskie was caught by a guest at Moosehorn Lodge.

What to Expect

Good guides are professionals who are trained to ensure you have a great day on the water. They aren't mind-readers, however, so be sure to talk with your guide on the dock in the morning and express your wishes for the day. Details are important, too. If you want to stick close to camp because it's windy, say so. If you want to fish for walleye in the morning and cast for pike after lunch, be sure your guide knows at the start of the day so he or she can make their day plan. Communication is a key part of the guide experience.

Good guides know their way around the lake. They spend the entire season on the water and are familiar with routes, hazards and fishing spots alike. Don't hesitate to ask your guide to point out fishing areas, rocks or explain how to get somewhere. This can be especially useful if you hire a guide for a day or two at the start of your trip and plan to fish the rest of time on your own. If you plan on bringing a GPS, be sure to check with your guide first as some don't allow them.

Nice bass caught at Moosehorn Lodge.Nice bass caught at Moosehorn Lodge.

When it's time to fish, make the most of your guide experience by asking questions. What makes this a spot? Why are the fish here at this time of year? What other lures do you recommend? Questions like these will help you learn and you'll benefit from the guides knowledge of the fishery. Not all guides will volunteer this information, but if you start asking questions they should provide the answers you're looking for.

A lot of guides fish with you during the day, but they should check with you first to make sure you don't mind. A guide who fishes is beneficial in many ways. He or she may try a different technique or color to see if it's working better, or they may discover a subtle movement that's triggering strikes. Watch your guide fish – remember they are pro's and you can learn a lot from observation and from what they learn by having a line in the water.

Using a guide lets you concentrate on just fishing - and enjoying the scenery!Using a guide lets you concentrate on just fishing - and enjoying the scenery!

More Than Just Fish

Sunset Country guides are famous for preparing a shore lunch with the morning's catch. Battered and golden-fried fillets cooked over an open fire is a meal you won't soon forget. For some, lunch alone is reason enough to hire a guide every year.

Aside from fishing, a guide is an ambassador for the region who is likely filled with local knowledge and experiences that he or she would be willing to share.

A Canadian shore lunch with freshly caught fish has got to be one of the bets meals there is! A Canadian shore lunch with freshly caught fish has got to be one of the best meals there is!

A good guide will do more than just put you on fish and cook you lunch. Your guide can become a lifelong friend – someone you look forward to fishing with year after year. Building relationships with guests is an important and rewarding part of a guides job.

Hiring a guide can make the difference between a good fishing trip and a great one. To make the most of your time on the water in Sunset Country do some research, book ahead of time and choose a guide that will help give you the trip of a lifetime.

For more information on booking a guided fishing trip in Canada, visit Ben's website at www.benbeattieoutdoors.com or call/text him at 807-738-1114, visit Moosehorn Lodge at www.canadafish.com, or visit one of the many lodges in Ontario that offer guided fishing trips.

All photos are of guided guests at Moosehorn Lodge. 

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