Choosing a fishing guide can be a daunting task. Finding and picking your host for a Tampa Bay Fishing Charters takes research, unless you’ve gotten a recommendation from a friend. To make things easier and to help you find the right fit for you reading this article is a must.
Google is your friend and can help you find a great guide. It’s as easy as going to Google once there search a term , for example Tampa Bay Fishing Charters,
First up you ill see the ads. Here is where your perspective captain will pay to advertise. Usually you can find new guides here that have sites that do not rank along with veteran guides that use the ads to supplement their organic leads. It can be tough to figure out who is who here.
A look into the maps page will show you the most relevant information on the perspective guide. The maps section will show you where they are located and give you a peek at the businesses reviews, pictures, and some information on the business as far as operating days and hours. Look around there are some great guides a little lower down that have many 5 star reviews. Reviews are important and read though more than one or two. After all your spending around $500. Some have around 100, some less, some more. bounce around the reviews read some old ones and newer ones along the path of your search. You’ll be able to pick out the real customer reviews along with the friend and family reviews.
Below the maps you find the organic rankings. The guides that rank higher in the organics and maps pages have been at it a long time and have years of SEO and aged sites. Map and organic rankings cannot be bought overnight, it takes years work and lots of patience to arrive in the top 5 of the maps and page one of google.
Often times there are booking services in the top organic rankings. Stay away, here’s why. How this works is the booking services go on google and social media in search of perspective captains. They prey on the newer guides because they do not understand how it works against them in the long run and they offer instant gratification. The booking services have their own rankings formatted similar to google. The deference is the guides on page one give 30% of their posted price to get the business. So if they are at 400 bucks they make 280 plus a tip if they are able to get one. The booking services take the 30% and then use it to pay for SEO and ads and are able to out do and out bid the local captains who have been in the industry. thus ushering in inexperienced guides. Not saying they are bad guides but the seasoning of a career guide does not come overnight. Personally I know everyone that is on a booking site in my area . I DO NOT (nor do any of the guides I work with) send them any overflow as we will not enable them to work against us with the booking services.
Once you’ve settled on a guide do your research on who ever you think about booking with. Check out their web site, reading the bio of a perspective captain can help you get a feel for his or her demeanor, do’s and don’ts. etc. Check out their boat or boats some offer more than one kind or style of fishing charter. The captains that have been around a while and are still around are here because they run a good business and typically their prices are towards the higher end of the spectrum.
Ask how many trips they have ran in the past week, paid trips. Search them out and read reviews on google and Facebook, again, its pretty easy to see the real client reviews versus the friend and family reviews. Checking the Captains personal and business social media can help give you a feel of their personality, how they operate their business, what species they are recently catching and if people seem to enjoy fishing with them. .
The half day in inshore in Tampa Bay is 4 hours and on the low end is 400, most are 450-500 some are more.
Keep in mind your paying for not only the type of equipment and boat but the captain’s knowledge, experience and expertise. Many captains established or new have years or a lifetime of fishing experience, but the established ones have years of guiding experience. I’m not doubting any new captains ability to fish, there are a lot of good fisherman and a lot of good guides and hopefully this helps you in finding the right fit for you and it my not be me and this fine. Its your money and your trip, getting the trip you want gives Florida and Tampa Bay fishing (or where ever your fishing ) and the entire industry an overall better look when you as the consumer have a fantastic experience
Be an informed, do your research and your trip will more than likely be a success.