“The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad,” is a quote from famous author and fisherman, not necessarily in that order, A.K. Best. And every time I read this quote, I think to myself and laugh a little, because that must have been a day Mr. Best didn’t use a fishing guide.
Missouri is blessed with an abundance of fishable lakes, rivers and streams all over the state. If you are of the mind to try your hand at angling, whether an expert like A.K. or a beginner, an easy way to familiarize yourself with the where, when and how of finding your gilled target is by employing one of the many certified and licensed guides available for hire. Not sure a guide is for you?
Here’s a quick run-down how the vast majority of guided fishing trips go:
- Head out on a boat you didn’t have to back down a narrow, crowded ramp
- Go directly to secret spots where after a few casts you’re hauling in your hungry fish of choice
- Catch your limit of (input your favorite fish type here)
- Have the fish you caught cleaned and bagged for you
- Go home looking like a hero with plenty of stories to tell – THAT ARE ACTUALLY TRUE!
When employing a fishing guide, you’re offered far more than a boat full of fish, you also have the insight of all the tips and tricks from someone who lives and breathes fishing daily. After all, a fishing guide is only going to be successful if he or she is skilled at putting you in a position to catch fish.
Missouri has guides for all kinds of fishing; from fly-fishing for wary trout to tight-lining for monster catfish. If it has gills, you can find a guide to hook you up while fishing in Missouri. Below is a list of some of my favorite Missouri fishing waters and a reputable guide to get you hooked up:
- Rainbow & Brown Trout: Lake Taneycomo, Branson. Chartered Waters Trout Shop and Guide Service
- Largemouth Bass: Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Ozark. FirstMate Fishing Guides
- Smallmouth Bass: Huzzah & Courtois Rivers, Steeleville. S.S. Guide Service
- Walleye: Stockton Lake, Bolivar. Thompson Fishing Guide Service
- Crappie: Mark Twain Lake, Center. Chauffeured Fishing Guide Service
- Muskie: Lake Pomme de Terre, Urbana. Pomme Muskie Guide Service
- Blue, Channel & Flathead Catfish: Mississippi River, St. Louis. Show Me Catfishing Trophy Guide Service
So grab some sunscreen, a camera and a fishing buddy and go catch a lunker of a fish in Missouri. Tight lines!
Written by Jim Murphy, director of Interactive Services at Hoffman|Lewis, and Missouri fishing enthusiast.