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Clients useing GPS?


Gofishleech

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I was wondering if you guides out there allow clients to bring along and use A GPS. I do and wonder if I should. Most clients will ask me if its ok. I appreciate the ones that ask when booking the trip and there are the bold ones that bring it along, pull it out and then ask if it is ok. I had one guy turn his back to me in the bow of the boat (I have a tiller) and punch in a spot, this bugged me and I did not how to handle it. A bit later he turned and bent over to grab something off the floor and his GPS feel out of his jacket pocket. He was embarrassed
Anyway that guy was an exception and I do not mind customers using them but I do like them to ask. How about you other guides, what's your opinion on this matter??

Gofishleech

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When I guided, I diddnt mind at all if they did, it's part of what they are paying you for, to show them spots.

They way I looked at it was just because they had a spot marked, did not mean they would catch fish. Too many variables to just rely on an "x-marks-the-spot" thing.

It would be totally different if it had to do with ocean fishing over wrecks or reefs, but on most lakes in this state, the fish move around so much that letting someone put in a coord really shouldnt matter.

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Yep, I allow GPS units in my boat and Tom is right, marking a spot doesn't guarantee fish. (Although, I do like hearing back from customers with repeat successes.) Nav

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Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
www.naviguides.com
Central MN rivers & lakes

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It really doesn't matter on the spots I like to call community spots. On the flip side there are sunken islands and odd things that are very small in which I have been burned. When one of my clients gets out there GPS I appreciate if they ask about marking the spots. I agree they are paying to learn about spots but I let them know if they want to go to my special spots on a tough bite day it has to be turned off. If I don't do that I will have them on it in the morning when I arrive with new customers. Just my thoughts...good luck with this in the future!

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First Choice Guide Service
The Cass Lake Chain
FirstChoiceGuide.com
Phone: (612)730-9620

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First, I'm not a guide. Second, I'm not trying to make anyone mad either. Third, this is a very interesting topic.

My comment has to do with what Brian Jones had to say about the spots he has dug hard to find. During a tough bite, aren't you for the most part obligated to put your clients on fish or at least the best spots you know? Your clients most likely won't know better if you don't go to a few of those special spots, but that doesn't make it right.

Ok, lay into me.

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I am a bit surprised by the Guide responses. I understand that part of it is making the customer happy but you guys need repeat business and referals. Why would my nieghbor take my referal if I could give him coords. I know that the spot does not mean catching but it is a very good head start.

I guess I assumed it would not be right to do this as a client. I really dont think of it as paying for you showing me your special spots. I think of it as putting me on fish and directing me to the best presentation for the conditions.

Is a cook obligated to give you the recipe?

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I'd rather be skunked than follow the crowd!

Brian Rogers

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BDR, you put it very well!! If I let everyone "punch-in" at will, the spots I fish would be more crowded than they are now. They are hiring us for our knowledge that has been learned over many long hours on the water. If they want GPS coordinates, the map makers are doing it for them. But, the map makers don't know where the really "hot" spots are!! Great topic, and I could go on and on but I'm going to stop now!!

Walleyedan


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Walleyedan's Guide Service
S&W Bait 371 N Brainerd
Brainerd Area Lakes Fishing
Fish House Rentals, Sales, Storage & Guide Service 218-963-0422 218-839-5598
[email protected]

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This really is a good message board!! I put this post on a couple of other boards and got ripped on both for not wanting to let clients use there GPS, well they just did not read the post well enough to understand the question.

As a guide the most important thing is making the client happy and in most cases they want to fish the same spots we found success at and many times the only way for them to back to it is with a GPS. So yes I let them punch it in, and believe me Leech lake has not been her self the last couple years and guiding has been,,,, well lets say it has tested my skills and spots are precious but that's what the client pays for.

Thanks for the responses both guide and non-guide,,,,,and also thanks for understanding the question. I do not post very often and when I get ripped it makes me "message board shy"

Gofishleech

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G_man,

I always try my hardest to put as many fish on the end of my clients line in there given trip as possible. That is my job and I think you will find I have a very high success rate.

I have spots that I will not fish if there is another boat within 400 yards. Start with the big producers and if they fail me I will resort to the less known spots. But then there are the MONEY spots...places that win tourneys...NO GPS spots!

As far as what I am obligated to do for my clients...ask some of them and you will find I go far above the call of what is obligated. A lot of guides think I am nuts for how well I treat my clients! I think that says it all.

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First Choice Guide Service
The Cass Lake Chain
FirstChoiceGuide.com
Phone: (612)730-9620

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OK,
So I have a question for Brian. What if the customer doesn't even own a GPS and you find him on the spot in the morning when you bring a new customer to the spot? Like if they were able to re-find it by triangulating the shoreline and using their graph.
Is that acceptable?
I'm not trying to be a jerk so please don't get upset - I'm just wondering where the line is drawn?
I personally would never bring my GPS with a guide (I would feel like a thief) but I may try to re-find a spot they showed me. Is that wrong?
This is a very interesting question that I also have often wondered.

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There will come a day when NO spot is secret.

Look at what we have. Promap series lake maps, GPS units that can get us within 5 feet or less, DNR websites that give out stocking and survey information, websites like this one where people share information freely, underwater cameras, and locators that have features that we could only dream about 10 years ago.

Anyone can go to their PC, load up Promap, put the coords on their GPS, and instantly have spots that took guides years to find. Now with MMC chips, it will be even easier. Combine this technology with even the most basic of fish finding and map reading skills and they have every good spot on a lake at their fingertips. (I'm just talking about lakes that have Promap lakes for them, but you get the idea)

People hire guides, not necessarily for the "spots", but for the experience and the learning of new techniques. I already said this, but when I was guiding I had no problem with it, especially on a lake like Gull where 1)there are so many spots that if I came back the next day and there was someone there, I'd go to the next and 2)it's such a heavily fished lake that I have a hard time believing there are any secrets left. If I knew about a spot I'm sure someone else did too, although Dan might disagree with that cause he has spots NO ONE knows about grin.gif

I think that those of you out there who are reading this and are thinking about hiring a guide this summer or in the future, the courteous thing to do would be to ask straight up if your guide would mind or not. I think they would get more upset if you tried to do it secretly than if you asked beforehand.

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I'm not a guide. When in Texas a year ago my sons and I took a charter out on the gulf and GPS's were not allowed. I would think it would be up to the individual guide whether they allow them or not. As a customer, I would respect their wishes either way.

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Yes, offshore fishing is a completely different story. Many of the wrecks they fish NO ONE has coords besides the guides. That is a very big buisness down there and there are actually people that make a lot of money stealing wreck positions and selling them to other captains. Not good.

I wouldnt even think of bringing a GPS on a charter boat, might end up as chum!!

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Good topic!

GPS is great, heck it will put you on the spot where the fish are, but more times than not when someone comes racin' over because they see a boat, the end up racin' away because they can't catch fish. There is more to catchin' than a spot. For instance, how many "average" weekend warrior anglers know what forage the walleye or any fish for that matter is utilizing that part of the year? I have seen far too many anglers using golden shinners instead of fatheads, or crawlers instead of leeches or silver shad raps when it should be perch....the list goes on and on. I have a list of lakes and times when each bait is the best. This is the information clients really need and truly want. I personally have spent much to much time on a lake fishing with the wrong bait even in the best areas because of my GPS. So when hiring a guide, it's not the GPS we should worry about, it's the bait, the presentation, speed, ect.

One more....guess I can't stop. I also think it's important to note what type of structure you are fishing(mud, sand, gravel, rock, weeds, suspended) time of day, wind direction, how they jig, how they troll, where they cast, how they cast, how deep they fish different times of the day ect, ect, ect!

[This message has been edited by Hammer em' (edited 04-23-2004).]

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Thanks to the real bottom map, a spot on leech that has won the classic and produced many checks for just a few anglers had a hundred boats on it last year!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I hate to be put in that position with clients and gps. What's stopping them from putting your hard found sweet spot on this forum for a million people to try next season!!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Certainly knowing the spot will give a step up on catching fish. But does the client know when that spot produces? Many spots are seasonal or weather related spots.

Does the client know what presentations to use? The one you used with the client on that particular day may be effective. But it very well may be ineffective if conditions change.

Does the client have the skills of boat control to fish the spot? I've had countless boats pull up to me and leave shortly after not being able to follow the sharp break and the crooks and crankies of the structure.

Frequently the structure I fish may appear featureless to other fisherman. Large flats with scattered weedbeds, changes in bottom content and slight variations in depth(couple of feet, sometimes just inches).

Like someone else mentioned they are paying for a fishing lesson on that particular piece of water for a particular species or two. I don't guide professional but I rarely have an empty boat. People I fish with do so because they want to catch fish and/or learn different techiques. I've had people drive by and GPS the spots I'm fishing. Some of them are guides or charters too. I've had folks follow me out from resorts and fish the spots I like to fish(notice I didn't say my spots). I'm pretty resourceful and if things get crowded I'll go exploring. There are often even better spots out there.

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B-bear,

If a client finds the spot without a GPS then I think they earned it. I hope people understand that this is a rare occurrence that I tell someone I would appreciate it if they wouldn't mark where we are. Most of my trips I let the clients know they can feel free to mark whatever they want. Hope this helps, peace.

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First Choice Guide Service
The Cass Lake Chain
FirstChoiceGuide.com
Phone: (612)730-9620

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Very interesting post. Every year I find it very amusing and actually get a major laugh out of "out of towners" follow me around. I fish the Red River at Lockport and I have NO problem with that. It actually is a complement. What gets really funny is when somebody follows me with a couple of clients and they still can't hook up on the kitties. I havn't had any clients pull out a GPS YET but I would not have any problem with that. I have had clients book the first day of their 3 or 5 day fishing trip. They had their own boat and just wanted to know the area. So what is wrong with that. I actually think that is a good idea. There is soooooooooooo much more than just the 'spots' you are fishing. There is the bait, presentation, time of day at various locations and so many other things to consider.

THE only thing I get ticked off at is when somebody anchors up directly behind your boat and prevents you from casting out. Usually you don't have to speak up as the clients get really ticked and speak their mind to the idiot.

What makes this even better is if we have somebody trailing us and is kind of a pain we will set up in an area that is very small with only small casting area that is good. The followers come along and can't understand why they aren't catching fish. Well they are in an area that doesn't produce. Pretty soon they get tired of this and go on their way.

At the dock I am always sugguesting areas for guys/gals to try. We are a catch and release area so what is the problem.

Relax it is only fishing..........

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Well,

The way I see it is this:

I'm paying a fairly high amount of money for the guide.

The reason is not to take some fish home. I don't know too many people that will pay $250 for 4 or 6 walleyes.

The reason a person is hiring a guide is 3 factors:

1: Teach me about the fish and its habits.
2: Teach me where on the lake I can find these specific fish.
3: Teach me what presentation I need to use to catch them.

There is more to it than GPS coordinates. If you are worried about giving up "your spot", then don't take the client there. Also, with that said, don't teach the client how to fish "your" presentation either, because it is "your" technique on that "spot".

I just took a guided trip on Pool 4. I'm a local, but lake fisherman. I never in my life paid for a guide. Never needed it. However, river fishing is much different than lake fishing.

So, I paid $250 to go to the river with just one factor in mind. I wanted to be taught how to find the big fish and to catch them with plastics. I made it very clear, that I had no intention of fishing for little walleyes, and that if we did get "skunked" I wasn't concerned.

The guide taught me how to use the plastics, he taught me why we were fishing the depths we were. He taught me where the fish migrate from, there staging spots and when and where and why they are there.

This information I received from this guide was invaluable to me. It was a crash course in river walleye fishing at its best.

Did the guide teach me everything he knew? NOPE. I wasn't in his boat long enough for him to do that. But the information he gave me was valid and proved to work the following week later. And yes, a 9lb fish was there to show the efforts.

Again, the purpose of the guide was to:

1: Teach me about the fish (river walleyes) and their patterns.
2: Show me where these fish hang out at (where, when, & why) (location)
3: Show me the right presentations to catch them.

Basically this is the old FLP system that the Linder's taught us.

If you think that a somewhat talented fisherman can't mimic your talents on your GPS spot, I think you maybe underestimating some of your clients.

However, that is a price to pay with the program. Just as is the right lindy rig set-up, or jig setup or trolling set up.

As a guide, you are being paid to give up this information. To share your secrets that you've earned with your time on the water, however, you are selling that info to your clients.

My guide went through 13 hours of drilling by me with question after question. Our trip was only suppose to be 8 or 9 hours, but we got into some good fish and WE had a good time. He extended his time to me for no extra cost (But I did tip him very well).

Man, I'm rambling here and getting a bit windy...........Am I making any sense anymore?????

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Let 'em go so they can grow!!!

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Just becauce u mark a spot, doesn't mean their there tomorrow. Maybe the next day, but not tomorrow.

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first off i will start by saying i have never hired a guide. it seems to me on most of the lakes i have fished if a guide takes me to a spot to fish i would not have any problem finding that spot again without a gps. i dont fish leach lake and the other lakes with huge open water areas. on these lakes those spots would be very hard to pinpoint without gps coordinates. i do fish vermilion alot and know the lake well. when ever i go fishing with another person there i dont have a problem finding the spots again and catching fish there. I do think that a guide would lose buissines if he expected a client to never fish the spot again unless he was paid to be there with them. i have seen it recomended many times to hire a guide the first day of your trip to show you where to fish and what techniques to use. at 250$ per day that would make for a very expensive 7 day trip if you had to hire the guide everyday instead of hiring him for one day and then going back to fish the spots where you had caught fish with him. fishing is already turning into a rich mans sport as it is. I personally cant afford to hire a guide for my whole vacation. i also think that is part of what you pay for when you hire a guide. seems ridiculouse to pay that kind of money for a limit of walleyes and not be able to learn some information about the fishery and the fish in the process. well thats my 2 cents worth. most of all i just hope everyone has fun and for you guides consider yourselves lucky that you get paid to do what most of us have to pay for!

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a bad day at the lake is better than a good day at work

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I think that a guide should state his policies up-front when he is making the deal for the day. If GPS is becoming an issue, then it is a simple business decision to allow or not allow. If there is no clear policy on what’s allowed, then it is the customer’s prerogative to do what they want to unless its way over the line like using drugs as an example. I’m not a guide, but I would not allow GPS on my trips. However, I might reconsider if I had to compete with other guides who do.

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Farley: Yeh, right out govt has cut our military so bad our guys have to go to war with sling shots. They had to unmothball equipment from the museum the last time they were sent over seas.

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Here's a thought.

1/2 day guide service: $150
full day guide service: $250

Marking GPS Locations: $25 extra.

....
I have a question:

What percentage of your clients do not own a boat/gps/fishing equipment and will never be pirating your spots in the future? They are just out for a day of fishing, like I do when I go deep sea fishing.

I wouldn't think the percentage of your clients that have a gps is very high.


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I haven't guided for a few yrs. but my opinion is if you think it's such a big secret or it's really going to hurt your business if they mark w/GPS then don't take them there. There is always more fish in the sea. A guides job is to put thier client on fish and show them how to catch the fish. It's been said in this topic b4 it worked yesterday, might not today. If it was that big a secret I wouldn't have taken them to the places I did.

GRIZ

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I wouldn't expect a guide to let me mark spots with GPS. I like trying to find the fish on my own anyway. Most of the time I don't find much or many, but those times you do is worth all the extra hours trying.

Mark spots with tall trees, cliffs, towers, etc.. All you need is 3 points to mark an exact location. Challenge yourself. What are you gonna do when Canada decides to go to war with us and shoots down all our sattelites? grin.gif

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