Saltwater fishing can have an element of luck to it. But when you’re in your home waters or launching from your local dock, you can stack the deck in your favor just by being comfortable on the water. Logging hours on the boat and discovering every nook and cranny where the fish are hiding can give you a fighting chance to land a prize-worthy catch. Knowing your fishing environment can be an invaluable asset, which makes traveling on fishing trips and exploring new areas that much more of a challenge.
Because you’re as familiar with this new environment as a fish is with flying, it can be tough to get out and find success fishing as easily as you would back home. To take some of the uncertainty out of fishing new waters, pro saltwater fisherman Captain Blair Wiggins has some advice. He suggests that you should consider hiring a local fishing guide anytime you venture into unfamiliar saltwater areas.
“Don’t jump in your boat and go out,” he says. “Book a fishing guide, go out with the guide and learn that area and certain types of situations in that area.”
Hiring a guide can be a smart option because they can essentially give you a crash course on the hot spots of the area. After all, your guide will have that homegrown knowledge of where everything is, just like you would in your local waters. Wiggins notes that guides can be essential in explaining different topographical situations like sand bars and oyster beds, which can help you find saltwater success.
In addition to teaching the lay of the land and sea, hiring a saltwater fishing guide can have other perks. If you plan to travel light on your first fishing trip in the area, many guides can provide gear. Hiring a guide also opens another door for a great fishing relationship between anglers. Great conversation on the boat with your guide can make for an enjoyable trip, and might even lead to more information or future fishing adventures together.
Once you’ve gotten your feet wet (no pun intended) and have picked up a few helpful instructions from your saltwater guide, you can test your luck without them. That way, according to Wiggins, you can “learn the area a little bit the way he fishes it, and then take your practices and the guide’s practices that you’ve learned from that area and go out on your own.”
There’s no shame in needing some help every once in a while. Learn from the best on the water during your next saltwater fishing trip and hire a fishing guide!