FOR the past 25 years or so of my life, I have been well and truly bitten by the fishing bug and have tried to learn as much as I can about our great sport. This includes subscriptions to magazines such as this one, reading books, watching videos and, with the advent of social media and subscription TV channels, following the more informed sources and shows through these.
But on top of all that, I have benefited from what I regard as the steepest learning curve of the lot – face-to-face learning. This has included attending TAFE fishing courses, specialist fishing presentations and – best of all – hired quality fishing guides. Fishing guide benefits
I regularly see online that several people seem to think they know enough already and that they don’t need to pay for a guide. That’s fine, each to their own I guess, but the problem is people don’t know what they don’t know. I have done a lot of fishing over the past couple of decades and each time I’m on the water I continue to learn.
Occasionally, your results are affected by what you’re doing wrong, and you may not realise this until an experienced guide points it out to you. These professionals are on the water for a couple of hundred days a year and often know their local areas like the backs of their hands, so I recommend to anyone who is thinking about hiring a guide, do it, as you will be wiser for it.Fishing guide benefits
As it turns out, there are a few southeast Queensland-based fishing guides who write for this great mag, and I have been out with Sean Conlon already, who I highly recommend. My most recent trip was with Nick Whyte from Tech Fishing, and Brad Smith Fishing Charters will be next on my hit list. My area of focus is bay and estuary fishing, as I can then put the lessons from this into practice in my own boat.
So, let’s get back to my recent trip with Nick Whyte by way of example of the benefits.Fishing guide benefits
Tech Fishing and Nick Whyte
Nick Whyte has been fishing for more than 30 years, socially and in tournaments. His success and knowledge speak for themselves, with multiple tournament wins and top five finishes, including an incredible three Gold Coast Flathead Classic wins. The great thing about Nick as a guide is his focus on teaching and not only catching fish.
It is well and good to go with a guide or on a charter and catch a bunch of fish, but if you don’t walk away wiser then you have wasted your money in my view. One of the advantages with Nick is that he will take you out in your own boat. There are a few benefits to this.Fishing guide benefits
First, he will teach you how to read and interpret the sounder on your own boat and make adjustments as necessary. This was very valuable for me and as an example he set me up with a few extra multiple screen views – chart, sonar, down and sidescan – for when I’m travelling, trolling or searching an area for good structure and bait. Nick also walked me through parts of my Lowrance HDS Gen2 menu that I was not familiar with and this meant I was able to add and move more variables around my mixed screen that don’t come as a default.
On top of all that, he kindly loaded the latest update onto my device! The other thing Nick offers upfront is to prioritise the areas you want to focus on in your session, such as your sounder and interpreting it, and fishing techniques for the species you want to chase. I went with a combo of a little advanced sounder set-up with a focus on deep water tactics for flathead and jewfish.Fishing guide benefits
A good option for anyone from beginner to expert is the advice Nick offers in terms of interpreting your sounder – from bottom density to tracking bait, interpreting species of fish and everything in between, including adjusting your depth range and your fishing to target the depth and current. When it comes to fishing, Nick has three key ingredients he looks for – clean water, bait and run.
He will talk you through in more detail the target species and the best tides, times, wind and importantly positioning yourself in the boat. As I said, in my session with Nick my focus was on deep water tactics for big flatties and jew. I have a lot of experience on shallow water lure casting and trolling but really wanted to take my knowledge on deep water techniques to the next level, using the knowledge of one of the best in the business.Fishing guide benefits
Nick demonstrated his very successful deep tea bagging technique and how he maintains a tight vertical line using continual adjustments with the electric motor. This requires a bit of practice, using a combination of the electric and the sounder to position your boat while also taking account of the wind and current. If you don’t have an electric, don’t despair, Nick will talk you through other options and techniques.
Nick also brought along all the tackle and lures, so you’re using what he uses. I took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions about line and leader choice in varying conditions, lure choice and actions, and a few others about species he specialises in. There was nothing out of the ordinary in Nick’s lure choices, with various Zerek and Z-Man lures being favoured – it’s what he does with them that makes the difference.Fishing guide benefits
All in all, it was a very valuable session even though the weather didn’t do us any favours, with continual changes in wind direction and stronger wind than forecast. I can highly recommend Nick for his experience and knowledge, as I can the other guides who I have mentioned and who write for this magazine.
Of course, there are others further afield who offer offshore fishing, and once again I recommend guides as a great way of improving your fishing, sounder and tackle set up knowledge to catch more fish. Nick can be contacted on 0422 213 669, on Facebook, or by email at email@example.com
Until next month, bag your mates not your limit, and as always I hope you take the opportunity to jump on Facebook and like and follow my Facebook and Instagram.Fishing guide benefits
I focus on bay, estuary, beach and flats fishing, as well as crabbing, prawning and bait gathering.