How Do Guides Find Fish?

Q: "I recently hired a guide for a day and carefully watched where he fished. I went back the next day and didn't find any fish. What did I do wrong?"

A: There are several reasons the guide did well one day and you did poorly the next. As a general rule, the tide will be roughly an hour later each day. If you arrive at the same time each day, the tide will not be the same.

The tide’s height and water conditions largely determine when there will be good fishing. If you fished with the guide on a calm day and the next day there was a stiff wind, the tide would be lower or higher. Wind, storms and other factors can cause the water to be stained or slightly muddy, and fish will often avoid the area.

If you have a successful day, note and record where you are, what the tide was doing and what the weather was. Almost all good guides keep logbooks about fishing and conditions. Chances are, the guide wouldn’t have fished there the next day if the conditions didn’t align.