A blend of talent, knowledge and skill distinguishes the best back country guides in the
    Florida Keys. As you embark on your expedition into the wilderness of the Florida Keys, your
    guide's objective is to find the fish. The guide must consider such factors as the tides, time
    of day, water temperature, wind speed and direction and cloud cover, just to name a few.
    And while the guide must be proficient in processing this information, he must also be
    adept at piloting the relatively small craft through tiny channels, which sometimes are
    nothing more than unmarked prop ditches And finally, the guide is there to take you where
    you should be; that is, where your skill level dictates.  It's very important that you give your
    guide some idea of your angling ability (be realistic). There are some types of fishing here
    in the Keys that just aren't suited for newcomers, and would only create frustration for both
    angler and guide alike. Feel free to ask about his level of experience too. Although this is
    seldom asked, it certainly would be wise to ask about seeing his Coast Guard captains
    license or proof of insurance.

    Once you have located a fishing guide that sounds good to you, talk to him about how you
    like to fish. Your day will be dependent on this person. If you don't like him over the phone
    you probably won't like spending eight hours in a boat with him either. Find out if your guide
    is willing and/or able to run the kind of trip you're looking for.

    Most skiffs are equipped with a cooler with ice; all the angler needs is his own food and
    drink. Bring more water than you think you'll need: soda and beer aren't going to cut it. Brief
    showers are quite common in the Keys most of the year, ask the captain if he carries extra
    rain slickers on board for his guests. If not, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up some
    inexpensive rain gear for yourself, just in case. As far as fishing tackle is concerned, the
    guide will have everything you need. Guides get understandably aggravated when they put
    an angler on a nice bunch of fish, and then lose them because of tackle failure.

    A good guide will have tackle ready, i.e:
    1. The spools are filled to capacity with fresh line.
    2. The drags are smooth
    3. The guides on the rods are all in top shape (no nicks or cracks that will eat line when a
    nice fish makes a long run.
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More helpful Florida Keys and Key West websites:
www.flkeys-diving.com | www.thefloridakeys-keywest.com | www.flkeysgc.com
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