Probably one of the biggest decisions you can make during a vacation is hiring a fishing charter service. It becomes important to make sure that you are going to enjoy the style of fishing you are going for, that your guide is the best for you, and that you do your due diligence to research a bit before making a decision. I think that all fishing guides are good, but not all guides are good for specifically you. Thanks to the internet, you can make the match with much better research tools than you had 15 years ago.
When you are looking to fish from your next vacation spot, where do you begin in order to find the right guide? Google will be the easiest starting point. Begin a search with exactly what you want, like “Branson fly fishing guides” for example. When on that search, I like to go right into the organic results list, explore those sites, and save them in a list until I am about 3 pages deep in search. Of course, only saving those that look like a good match from the surface.
From here, you can explore each company by firstly checking out their social media (links are usually on the fishing guide site). Here you will see two things, how they engage with their users and how their users feel about them (reviews and comments). This can help you refine your list.
With your new refined fishing guide list, you can now dig a level deeper. I like to cross reference TripAdvisor at this point. Here you will see unbiased reviews, pictures from past clients themselves, and yet another peak at how the guide interacts.
At this point you should have a fairly refined list of just a top few. Start with your top choice and then start checking availability! It’s important to find the right guide, but equally as important is the availability. Never assume they will have a spot open, some of these guys have reservations booked months in advance.
One last note, make sure you and your party really want to fish to begin with. A trip that the entire fam is not 100% behind can turn sour for everyone involved. If you are selling the fam on more of the point of “sight seeing” the waters instead of fishing, you might find that hiring a tour/eco guide service to be the better option. Then maybe next time, fishing will work out better. Game plan!