I know it can be hard for some folks to find all of the information that they are looking for about fishing at St. Simons Island with a guide. The internet has given us a great resource to find so many things that we need every day. I know that here at St. Simons and Jekyll Island it can be frustrating to find rates and information without having to send out a bunch of emails or calling around.
Here are some tips for selecting the right guide;
- Ask about his experience. There are a few guides that moved down here a few years ago and just decided that they would be guides one day. Some of them even used to be customers! Being a lifetime fisherman doesn’t mean that they know how to fish here. This place can be tricky and experience counts.
- Ask about the boat. You shouldn’t be going offshore in a bay boat, and you shouldn’t be inshore fishing in an offshore boat. This is a sign that the guide is just trying to fill a spot in his calendar without respecting you or your money. I have a boat that is great for doing inshore trips and offshore trips, but it isn’t suited for going 50 miles out, so I refer that business to the guys with the right equipment. Also look for pictures of the boat. You don’t want to show up to the dock and watch other people stepping onto new shiny boats while you get on a rusty death trap.
- Look at the pictures on the website. Do you see any that are in someone’s backyard or in a parking lot? That is a sign that they are new and using old pictures from fishing trips in other parts of the country.
- Taking ladies out on the boat? Does the boat have a head or porta potty for them? Not all boats are suitable for this, but it is better to find out before your trip.
- Call the guide and get a feel for him. I get so many calls from people just asking about price. If you are serious about booking a quality trip you should have a conversation with the guide. He should be asking about your goals and getting to know you as well so that he can make good recommendations. You should be able to tell a lot about a guide’s personality by how he treats you on the phone.
- Check out his latest fishing reports (if he puts them online). If his last fishing report is from 10 months ago he probably doesn’t take his business seriously.
- Google the guide’s name. If he pops up on just a page or two of results then you will know that he hasn’t been at this very long. My results go back for about 30 pages worth of fishing related results before it becomes irrelevant.
- Ask a couple of other guides! Yep. If you call me and ask for a reference for another guide, I’m going to follow the age old mother’s advice of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But there are many guides here that I would ABSOLUTELY recommend fishing with. They are experienced locals that show nothing but class and respect to their clients.
I hope that this will help guide you in the right direction and make you feel more comfortable about choosing the best fishing charter here at St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Capt. TJ Cheek
Professional Fishing Guide