So You Want to Be a Fishing Guide

Aaron Cisneros
So You Want to Be a Fishing Guide
Chasing trout tails is always fun.
Growing up, every kid has some kind of hero. For most kids it is a sports superstar like Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning or perhaps tennis star Serena Williams. Many others follow the likes of rock stars or famous movie actors. As for me, as long as I can remember, I have had an inner desire to one day become a fishing guide. As far back as barely old enough to hold a fishing pole and into my pre-teen and teen years, I have looked up to, respected, and have had a little bit of envy for those that have made a career out of fishing. I have grown up to experience the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the coyotes howling at the crack of dawn and the surprises that each day brings. I often ask myself, "Is this where I belong?" The answer is always yes. However, before that yes comes, there is a lot of hard work ahead and certainly a commitment to a higher education after high school.

At the age of six I was introduced to the waters of the Laguna Madre and I've been hooked ever since. I have come to realize by being around fishing guides since the age of ten that fishing for a living is not all glamour. It is a job where a paycheck is well earned whether you catch fish or not. Much goes on behind the scenes of running a charter business. Most people are not aware what it takes to get ready for a trip. I can tell you from a personal observation that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You have to be ready to spend lots of time away from the family as I have grown accustomed during my dad's busy season. The wakeups are early and the process is repeated day after day.

If you have ever owned a boat, you know exactly what it takes to get it ready, not to mention all the other gear needed for a successful fishing trip. Let's not forget keeping an eye on the weather as responsible captains do. Preparing a game plan is also extremely important. A good guide will gather all the information and past experiences and try to make a wise decision as to what will work and what won't.

As in all jobs some days are harder than others. Some days a guide can look and feel like a million dollars, and other days he will look like a novice as far as finding fish. A guide's attitude truly counts whether it's a slow day or a great day on the water. I have come to meet some really nice guides and some mean, grouchy ones when my father and I traveled to various places. Some of the best guides have been great teachers and I have learned from them even when we didn't speak the same language. Those that take the time to teach as they try to put you on fish are worth more than their pay. In my opinion what you have learned in one day with them could have taken them years to learn on their own.

Those that are genuine and love their jobs really stand out and their passion seems to cling on to you.

Having celebrated my eighteenth birthday recently, I am committed to putting my dream to fish for a living on hold. First must come my education so that I can have something to fall back on. Yes indeed I do eagerly wait for the early hours of daylight, the full moon shining on the water, the smell of watermelon slicks as trout gorge another meal. The inviting waves of tailing redfish on the skinny flats that I have learned over the past twelve years, the sight of beautiful and colorful birds that no zoo can match is part of the job and something I look forward to. I look ahead to screaming drags and fish landed by excited customers as I have witnessed during many of my dad's trips.

I mentioned that a good guide must not only have a good attitude but good communication skills as well. He must be ready to deal with all kinds of personalities and be a good entertainer when things aren't going so well. This is an area I know that I have to work on.

So do I still want to fish for a living? Yes I do. This dream has consumed me for nearly all my life and now I am old enough to get my captain's license. I can hardly wait. Entering college I know there will be many distractions and temptations, but I hope I can make this dream become a reality one day. I look forward to my first charter and eagerly await sharing the knowledge so many have given me. I know I will love my job; where else can you get paid to chase tails?