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Being guided for fishing, a question?

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  • Being guided for fishing, a question?

    I thought that some of you who guide or have been on guided trips might give me some insite on this. Thanks.

    My wife and I are going to Alaska in Sept. I researched some guides that also had lodging. I selected a guide, and lodging package that best suited what we wanted. I settled on six days of lodging and three guided fishing trips. Halibut, silver salmon, and trophy rainbow trout.

    So the guide calls me the other day and asks if we want to upgrade to the 8 hour trip for silvers, instead of the 6 hour trip for $150 extra. So I ask him what is the difference between the two, we will be going out farther into Cooks inlet (saltwater ) , will we be going to better fishing areas with the extra time? I was trying to understand the benefits to the extra time and cost, to see if it was worth while.
    He tells me that we will be river fishing in the Kenai river, and that with the extra time we will be able to make sure we will be fishing just before high tide. He tells me that that is the best time to fish for silver salmon. So I Say to him, “ Well, they make tide tables for that area. Will just check them and go when we can fish the high tide. That way we don’t have to go the extra time and we’ll make sure we hit it. Or if you do a morning and afternoon outing, we’ll just go so that we hit the right time.” I don’t think he saw this coming. He was all of a sudden saying a lot of “UM, well… UM.” He finally said they only do one trip a day and that well, we should be able to work something out.
    I have never paid for a guided trip for anything, so I was wondering if I was out of line to expect to be taken during the best time to fish. To me it would be same as me taking out some of the people I’ve guided duck hunting, at 10am and asking them to pay more to go for the first light shoot. If I am going to pay to be guided fishing, I expect to be taken with the best chance to catch fish. What do you think?
    Also, what should be my expectations for the Halibut and rainbow trips?

  • #2
    Your suspicions seem valid. An extra $150 for TWO hours? Yes, the tide books are printed well in advance and the guide should plan his outing accordingly when fishing a tidally influenced fishery, not tack on more money to provide what should be the same service.

    Can't speak authoritatively as to the chances for Halibut, my home (salt) waters are out of Seward. But Cook Inlet produces, and produces well, so if the guide is on his game you should be fine.

    As to Rainbow Fishing, September is the beginning of the Hot Zone for good 'Bow action in SouthCentral Alaska. So, again, if the outfit you have booked with brings their A Game, you'll do just dandy.

    Maybe a better question is, what are your expectations for Halibut and Rainbow trips??
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."


    • #3
      I expect to catch something, not the biggest or the most, but something. I expect the guide to treat me like he was taking his dad fishing, and do what ever it takes to get me on some fish. I have been reading the posts on here for the last couple of days, all the way back a year or two. Sounds to me that during the first week in Sept. it shouldn't be that hard to put us on some fish. I duck hunt alot, so I know why they call it hunting, and not getting. Same as they call it fishing, not getting. But, I always do what I can so I have the best possible chances each time. That's what I expect from a guide.


      • #4
        All very reasonable and acceptable expectations. You're approaching this with the right attitude, and seemingly with a fair bit of homework under your belt.

        If you could share with us who you have opted to go with, perhaps folks could chime in with personal observations to better prepare you for what lies ahead.
        “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
        "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."


        • #5
          Your Guide Sounds A Little Flaky

          Dan O
          For a guide to call you after you have already booked with him and want or even suggest that you pay him another $150 for 2 extra hours on same pre-booked trip sounds a bit shady to me.Make that a lot shady.......I hope you have done your homework.I might suggest to do a little more:think:.


          • #6
            Yeah I am not so sure about your guide either... I worked on and ran charter boats for 17 yrs and never would we have asked for more money after the trip was booked for a set on price. Depending on where you are fishing on the kenai depends on if you will be influenced on the tide or not. Silvers are usually the best on the early morning and the fishing is usually good in September. And 150 dollers for an extra two hours is a lot steep you would be able to get another day fishing on a charter with a good reputable guide for about that same amount. September is the off season so pricing is better that time of year.
            As far as the halibut in cook inlet goes September can be a windy month and you can be left standing on the beach looking out at some really rough water but if you are able to get out you will find fish. I never would guarantee fish on my boat because fishing is well... its fishing but in all the years I fished Cook Inlet I never came back without catching halibut I have come back a few times without a limit but I always cought fish if I could get off the beach.
            Rainbows in September is good fishing on the upper and middle rivers there will be quite a few boats because of this but it wont be crowded. Watch for bears up there and have fun in our great state.
            Good fishing and good luck


            • #7
              Dan O
              Having Chartered out of Homer for 15 yrs I have to agree with Tony and Mark... Something isn't quite kosher... Once a reservation is made you basically have a contract.. You might want to ask this "guide" what he has for a boat to take you Halibut fishing... Is he going to take you out into Cook Inlet in his River Boat...??? or is he going to pass you off to someone who has a Cook Inlet boat and all the required licensing... Beginning late August the prevailing winds, are known to prevail pretty darn hard and often... Winds in Cook Inlet create conditions like I've never seen in any other part of the world (21 yrs active duty USN) If you are unlucky to get a NE breeze, you could get the famous Cook Inlet 6 ft chop.. that's 6 foot high and 6 foot apart...! Really difficult to stand up and fish in those conditions...../John


              • #8
                The fact that your guide couldn't articulate the reason is questionable, but.... I can see a scenario in which the guide would want you to fish both the early morning bite and the high tide in the same trip. A couple extra hours or so could be beneficial if the tide were in the afternoon, but he should have been able to explain this to you if that was his motivation for the call.
                There certainly are other reasons to book a full day vs. a half day, but once again, he should have been able to fully explain the benefits.
                I wouldn't kill the guy for calling and attempting to sell you on an upgrade - just a business man trying to maximize his sales.

                fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.


                • #9
                  Dan O.
                  I don't know if you booked the guy for both a trout and silver trip????? He might try to cram them both in one day???????? But honestly it is a waste to do a full day for silvers, most and I am being conservative here most people get their bag limit in a half day if the run timing is right. Booking a full day for silvers IMO only is a waste of money.

                  As for trout, if your on the Kenai you will want the hole day. They are hot in the a.m. to late morning and seem to shut off....maybe do to traffic??????? and kick up usually before the end of the day when things quiet down.
                  I don't know when you booked your trip exactly in Sept, but usually the fish are high enough up the river people don't usually fish the tide waters, and in pretty decent numbers. My guess is he had some one bail on him and he is trying to make up for it by "up grading" people on half day trips to full day trips. Just my opinion though.


                  • #10
                    Would You Pay $150 for 2 Hours ?

                    Let's take another look at this whole scenario...A guy pays for 6 nights lodging and 3 fishing trips,a day on the salt for halibut,a day on the Kenai for trophy rainbows,and a day in tidewater for silver salmon.All this with the same guide/lodge operator.Then this same guide/operator calls after deposites are made and dates finallized and wants his customer to pay an additional $150 for an extra 2 hours fishing for silvers and can't give a good explanation for this "upgrade".
                    I'd have to question his motivation and character if I was faced with this situation.
                    Mark3w-----would you do business with this guide/operator... er ,umph , businessman trying to maximise his sales ?
                    All might be curious who this business man is ........:mad:


                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone who replyed. A couple of things. The $150 was for both my wife and I. So it was $75 each for the extra two hours. This guy has lodging and sets up outings with guides on the river. I don't think he is actually the one taking us, matter of fact I know he is not the one taking us. He has been in buisness in that area for over twenty years. over all price is reasonable. I called and asked him questions about the fishing we will be doing. He sure seamed like he didn't have a clue as to how to fish. He did say I would find out when I went with the guides. He did say that we would be fishing for halibut out of anchor pt. or homer. I asked him about egg fishing on the kenai. He said we couldn't do it there, but that we fish on a smaller river just north outside of sterling. Hopefully the guides we are going fishing with know more than him. Im not sure if he realiy dosen't know or if he is trying to stone wall me so I'll go on some more guided trips. Thing is, I'd rather catch nothing and do it myself, than go with a guide. It's not that I mind paying for a guide, it's just that I get a ton of satifactsion out of doing things myself. Thanks again.


                      • #12
                        Bring some fishing gear and on your own head south to Deep Creek, ninilchik and anchor River. Silvers and some Steelhead along with Dolly Varden trout.
                        I believe the anchor point boat launch will close about Labor day so your Halibut trip may be out of Homer. Bring a camera and have fun.


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