How To Communicate With Your Guide To Get Exactly The Trip You Want




“One, be direct, express what you want to do. Number two, be honest - give the guide an honest assessment of your fishing skills. Number three, be open, maybe come at a different time of year or use different tackle. Number four, understand what you are asking for.”


I had an experience early on in my career as a guide that really opened my eyes to how to communicated and how I made sure the customer was happy. For a guide a happy customer is a returning customer, and a returning customer makes for a successful guide. So being able to understand what you want and what you want from your guide is very important.

So here is what happened - I had this customer say they wanted to go Bonefishing in the Florida Keys and he sounded like he knew what he wanted and knew what he was talking about. So he came down and we set out to go fishing and he wasn’t getting much. Lunch time came around and we started to drift and came across some mangrove snappers. He was super excited and started fly fishing for the snappers. He asked me why we hadn’t been fishing for them the whole time. After some back and forth I came to realize that he had understood “bonefishing” as just going out and catching as many fish as he could.

From that point on I was very careful with how I communicated with my customers and you should be very thorough with what you want from your fishing trip. When booking a trip you should think about 4 things. Be direct, be honest, be open and understand what you’re asking for.

Be direct about exactly what you’re looking for and if the guide doesn’t specialize in that they can refer you. Be honest about your fishing capabilities so that they guide doesn’t expect too much or too little from you. That way they can cater the trip exactly to what you are capable of. Be open to suggestions from the guide, if you tell them exactly what you want they might tell you a different time of year that would be better suited for what you’re looking for. Understand what you’re asking for when you tell the guide what you want, make sure that you both understand that all you want to do is catch a lot of fish, or that you only want to try to catch permit and you don’t care if you don’t get anything all day… Make sure you are on the same page so the trip is exactly what you’re looking for.

Check out some highlights from this podcast:

0:00 - Welcome and introduction to How To Communicate With A guide

0:28 - My experience early in my career that helped how I talked to my customers

0:54 - A happy customer returns and a returning customer makes for a successful guide

1:25 - Story about a bonefishing trip (I assumed that the customer knew what he was talking about)

3:33 - There may be miscommunication between guides and anglers so I learned to be careful and thorough

4:19 - Advice about booking a trip 4 things to do(be direct, be honest, be open, understand what you’re asking for

4:22 - Number 1: BE DIRECT

6:36 - Number 2: BE HONEST

7:48 - Number 3: BE OPEN


9:15 - Be open to suggestions from your guide, if you tell them what you want they might be able to tell you a better way to organize your trip or recommend another guide

9:36 - If you have suggestions email me

See you on the water,

Tom Rowland