Whether you’re a beginner or experienced angler, you’ll need a fishing guide to help you locate walleye, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the location. Here are some tips to help you in the hiring process:
Know where to look.
If you have walleye fishing buddies who’ve worked with a guide before, ask them for recommendations. They can give you references based on their own experience, so you’ll know what to expect.
You can also try to locate a guide locally, that is, hire him from the area where he’s based. This is a lot cheaper than hiring an American to take across the Canadian border to fish for walleye, or vice versa.
Go online, join fishing forums or talk to local fishing gear and bait shops for any referrals. If you’re hiring a boat charter, you might want to inquire with them as well.
Ask the guide for his experience.
Your fishing guide should be knowledgeable about the area where you will be fishing for walleye. He should have a few years experience in the business. If you fish for walleye, your guide has to understand its behavior and habitat. Otherwise, you could sit on the boat all day with your bait dangling from your hook.
If you’re bringing your family along, ask if the guide has experience working with kids. The expertise level of your guide matters if you want to have a successful and safe fishing trip.
Ask if your guide has a license.
Fishing for walleye is regulated and protected by state rules. A licensed guide can help you fish within the limits provided. A guide who works without a license will put you in danger of violating legal and ethical limits. You should also inquire if he has the proper permit to operate in the location where you will be fishing.
The bottom line is, the more anglers in the group, the cheaper price you’ll pay. Typically, a walleye fishing guide will charge at least $150 for a group of 3 people. If you prefer a cheaper alternative, go for group fishing packages, where a boat plus a guide for about 20 or more anglers will cost you only $30. Rates vary, though, so be sure to ask.
As for the tip, since you’ll be hiring the guide, there’s really no need to tip him. However, it’s a sign of generosity and good will on your part if you do. A 10% to 20% tip of the fee is a good thing.