My Day With a Fishing Guide
I’ve been an employee of WFN: World Fishing Network for almost three years now. But, I must confess that I’m not what you would call an avid angler.Oh, sure, I’ve gone fishing many times in my life, but I’ve only ever really achieved limited to moderate success on the best of days. Angling has never been more than an occasional hobby for me – not because I dislike it, because it’s an activity that I truly enjoy. For me, finding the time to spend a day on the water can be difficult, and I don’t live near any good bodies of water.Last July, my boss suggested that our team should all chip in and charter a guide to take us out for a day of fishing on Lake Erie. I was intrigued, but also a bit sceptical. I had never been fishing with a guide before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that a guide would know where the most fish could be caught, but I also knew that there was no guarantee that I would catch anything.But hey, I’m always up for trying new things, and as an employee of the World Fishing Network, spending a day on the water with my co-workers and a guide seemed like a no-brainer.This was how I found myself waking up at 4 am on a warm Sunday morning in early July. It had been years since I’d been awake at such an early hour, and as I drove to meet my co-workers Jacob and Matt, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t yearning for my bed. But I pressed on, and as we all piled into one car and made the 90 minute drive to Fort Erie, I actually began to feel excited.See, prior to this trip, I’d caught maybe two decent-sized fish in my life – both largemouth bass, and both when I was considerably younger. Since then, I’d caught a handful of sunfish and perch, and little else. So, as we drove closer to our destination, I was really starting to look forward to getting out on the water. In my eyes, if ever I was going to have a great day of fishing, this would be the day.We finally arrived and met up with our guide, Taro Murata, the owner and operator of Fish City Tours. As we pulled into a small parking lot in Fort Erie, a stone’s throw away from the U.S./Canadian border, Taro was busy preparing his boat. After loading all of our gear and launching into Lake Erie, we took a quick spin around the area, before Taro decided on a spot.I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a little more about Taro. While I have no basis of comparison in regards to fishing guides, he was very knowledgeable about the area, and was very effective at teaching a novice like myself the proper techniques to achieve success (although I’m getting a bit ahead of myself). And, perhaps most importantly, he’s a really down-to-earth guy and very easy to get along with.Due to the fact that I didn’t have a wealth of angling experience, Taro thought it would be a good idea for me to use leeches as bait, rather than a lure. I wasn’t opposed to this, as live bait is what I had primarily used in my previous fishing experiences, and any time that I’d tried using a lure, I’d had next to no luck.It didn’t take long for one of us to land the first fish of the day. My co-worker Matt quickly landed a good-sized smallmouth, and Jacob was not far behind. I admit that I was just a little disheartened to have not caught anything after my first few casts, but I told myself to be patient. And, much to my surprise, it paid off. Before I knew it, I felt a tug on the line, and with Taro coaching me, I reeled in what was perhaps the largest smallmouth bass I’d ever personally caught. It wasn’t huge by any means (comparable to the one in the above photo, but to me, it was a true lunker.And this was how it was for the next few hours. Never in my life did I think that I (or Matt or Jacob, for that matter) would ever catch as many fish as we did that day. Practically every time we threw our line into the water, we were reeling in another smallie. Taro said there was a possibility that one of us might land a decent-sized walleye, but this never happened – not that it mattered, as the smallmouth bass bite was borderline ridiculous.By the end of the day, we’d fished in roughly four or five different spots, and the three of us probably caught around 75 fish between us. And I truly believe that all credit for this has to go to Taro – his knowledge of Lake Erie, and his patient coaching, all paid off in spades.After spending about eight hours on the water, we headed back to shore. I was tired, a bit sunburnt, and quite honestly ready for a nice, long nap. But I was also very satisfied – not only had I caught more fish in a single day than I had in my entire life up to that point, I also came away having learned a lot about fishing in general. And I truly believe that this wouldn’t have happened without Taro’s knowledge and guidance.So, I guess the one thing you can take from this article is simply this: if you’re on the fence about spending a day with a fishing guide, don’t be. While you’re not guaranteed to have as successful a day as I had, chances are that you’ll still learn a fair bit, catch a few fish, and, most importantly, have fun.