Do Research and Preparation to Find the Best Bass Fishing Guide On Your Lake

Largemouth bass caught on a guide trip by Jen Edgar

trip to finally get a chance to fish somewhere you’ve always wanted to. Simply wanting to go fishing, don’t have a boat and tired of beating the same bank. Or my favorite, you have a kid or grandkid that wants to learn to fish, but you have little to no experience. Guide trips make great gifts too!

Despite what you may think, there are a lot of tournament anglers who hire guides in the off- season, but keep it a secret.


You must be careful to look up tournament rules in regards to hiring guides.


Researching guides can be a bit daunting at first, especially if you just run a Google search for “Clear Lake bass fishing guides.” I still recommend doing this, because it lets you browse guide websites and get most the information you need like price, specialties, etc.

You can instantly get a feel for who is constantly doing their work, as in updating their website, adding pictures, fishing reports, etc.

The next step I would take is to either call or visit a local tackle shop you like. Talk to the people in there, whether it is employees or fellow shoppers. Ask around for their advice on guides and why the like the ones they’re suggesting.

I will warn you some tackle shops have guides associated with them and may steer you in that direction. Which is why I suggest going back online after getting a few guide references and checking out their websites and even Facebook pages.


Forums are another good place to research guides, start a post letting people know what you are looking for and see what hits you get back.

There are a lot of “professional fisherman” and high level, accomplished, tournament anglers who are guiding in the off-season now. It is a great opportunity to learn from them and get to spend a day in their boat.

Lastly, once you have narrowed your choices down to a couple guides, give them a call. Let them know what you are looking to get out of the experience. Finally, when you think you’ve found a good fit, pick a date and plan the trip.


There are a few things you should ask a guide before the day of the tip, such as what do you need to bring, what to expect for the day, etc. Most guides have all the gear you will need; however, I will say if you are left handed make sure and ask the guide if they have left handed reels. If they do not, it may be best if you bring a few of your own and you both can work that out.

Must have’s are fishing license, water,

sunscreen, correct clothing for different

weather situations, sunglasses, hat,

snacks and food (if guide doesn’t

provide) and of course, a camera.

I want to go back to keeping an open mind, these guides spend an

immense amount of time doing

research, finding

good water,

testing gear and

more just so you,

the client, will get

what you wanted

out of the trip. By

keeping an open

mind, you will learn

more, be able to let

lose and have fun

and ultimately take

away more from

the tip than you had

hoped for.