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Thinking Back

We have been producing tips and tricks and posting about our latest outings on how we catch fish. This article isn't about that. As a fishing guide, and being involved in the industry, there are some valuable lessons that I have been taught. Some have come at no charge, some have been hard lessons with a long road to recovery. In the end, or better yet, on this long road of a dream, here is some food for thought.

I have had some great opportunities to surround myself with some well-known anglers and ambassadors of the fishing industry. These men and women have great reputations. They have dedicated their time and efforts to become not just great anglers, but positive images to the public and consumers.

After all, aside from catching the fish, most of us are in the industry are here to help promote ourselves or the brands we believe in. I have made a point to learn as much as I can about being successful. Again, not just catching fish, but having a positive image and reputation. I listen to what some of these folks have said, I see how they act around others and how they handle situations.

We all want to go out and catch a lot of fish, and catch the big fish. How do we do that? Well, someone, somehow indirectly or directly taught each one of us what do to and how to do it. It may have been a conversation or a T.V. show, maybe even an article in a paper or magazine. Point is, someone fed you and I knowledge.

How many times have you seen people you know, share some photos of some dandy fish. You want to fish with them bad, but it is their secret. It's an unwritten rule that grandpa taught us. "Don't you tell anyone where we were fishing young man." I find some truth to that as a fishing guide.

I need to protect my assets if you will. On the counterpart, being a steward of the industry, I want to give people the opportunity to have a memorable experience on the water or ice. I can't give all my secrets or GPS coordinates, otherwise, I would be out of work.

What I can do is provide enough to help and get them going in the right direction. The question is, “Do you ask your friends if you can go with at some point to get on the hot bite with them”? Certainly. With, you now have something to prove.

If your friends invite you along, you have rules to abide by, you have been invited. This doesn't mean you bring another friend with. You have decided and need to clarify when you asked and received permission to follow along. Surprises will make things awkward, and I promise this will be the last time your friends will give you the gusto.

What you must realize, is that your friends have done the research and put in the time. They located the fish and are now reaping the reward, respect that. You are literally coming out to just fish and chances are will be successful.

Getting the invite to join someone on a hot bite is like winning the lottery. It is bound to be a ton of fun with much reward. Appreciation must be shown for that. Don't share information after your outing. It's not yours to share. You really didn't earn it. You simply got to enjoy it and that's okay with your friends because they invited you.

Remember that day they brought you out fishing. Never forget it. This way you can reciprocate, yes, give back. Take your friends out to one of your spots as this goes a long way. There is a trust built when this happens.

My ultimate conversation comes from a guy that I look up to. We had many chats about networking and meeting people. The best advice he gave me was to reciprocate with those who help you. Him and I have shared some info back and forth and we have built a trust with each other.

We can trust that our info is credible and confidential between each other. I have learned that communication and networking is such an important aspect for us as anglers. I listen and watch and take in what I can. Ask questions and grow from my peers and those with more experience than myself. I have also learned to give back as well.

We all enjoy fishing. Don't wreck a friendship over a fishin' hole. Be respectful, and remember to reciprocate with those who helped you out.

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