The beginning of a Nantucket fishing season is often filled with reading articles about new techniques and new products, looking at videos and photos of years previous and creating goals for the year ahead. At least that is my early Spring ritual. I also try and invest time and energy into fishing for different species in the winter months. Going on “destination fishing adventures.” I don’t usually call these vacations as I rarely come back rested, more I call these adventures because as we say in our family, an adventure is when you take on a new experience where you don’t know the outcome.
This past off-season I fished for sailfish in the keys (multiple times!) Snook and Reds in Florida (multiple times.) All four of my trips were incredibly different. One one trip for sails we boated 7 in a little over an hour while on the other we got skunked. One trip for snook was a by-product of visiting my folks and landed 4 snook in four hours on fly over 30 inches and the other was an epic 3 day voyage to Everglades City. This trip was by far the most memorable of the four, not for the fish that we caught but for the experiences. Everglades City in itself, is just a cool place with cool/real people. It was awesome. But what made this trip so special, was no the place/the fish, but the adventure that the whole thing was. Our guide was excellent and was insistent on not boring us. He showed us new locations, took us to areas he had not fished in weeks and reminded me that the best guides are on adventures with their clients.
Too often we think that clients what the shoebox experience. The plug and play where we know what is going to happen and so do they. The best trips though are risks, adventures, pushing envelopes and maybe doing something that nobody else is. these are the trips I look forward to and so that leads to my philosophy as a guide. I try to guide as if I am the client. What experience is going to wow me, because if I am wowed…the client will be. The tough part is sometimes, When you push the edge, you come away with less than desirable results, which comes to my next philosophy as a guide…
Always have a safety valve. Push the envelope. Do something different, but be ready to produce in the end if you need to. For as much as we all love adventures, clients are paying good money for memories and sometimes one fish can make that memory happen.