I have put the idea to Sea Angler magazine about creating a directory of bass fishing guides - along the lines of their comprehensive charter boat listings at the back of the mag, but this bass one is to go in the Bass Angler section. None of us are really sure how many "guides" there might be in the UK, Ireland or northern Europe who take people out bass fishing, but wouldn't it be great if a fisherman could buy a magazine and then look at a directory and have the information to go ahead and book some guided fishing trips ? A directory like this has to be good for everybody...........
The slight problem with this whole "bass guiding" thing here in the UK and Ireland especially is that it's a relatively new service, and as such I am aware that a lot of fishermen who might be looking for some guided bass fishing simply do not even know that such services even exist. This needs to change. There are of course a few well established guides in the UK and Ireland who offer some bass fishing, and from the fly fishing world especially where the whole concept of paying for a guide is not so alien, and over in France there are a number of professional bass fishing skippers with fast boats and all manner of modern lure fishing gear on board. Wouldn't it be great if we could get all these kinds of guides together in one magazine based directory ? If it doesn't work, then at least it's been tried.
But one thing that Sea Angler magazine is not remotely interested in are any "guides" who have no insurances to take paying clients out fishing, and who do it as a cash in hand, ask no questions kind of business. There is no future in promoting this kind of practise, and it scares the life out of me that there might be unsuspecting anglers out there who end up paying for a "service" that is not even backed up with any kind of insurances. What on earth happens when something goes wrong, which let's face it is an ever present possibility when you spend time around the sea. Whilst there might well be no professional qualifications that a potential bass guide can achieve in the UK or Ireland that I am aware of (fly casting aside), let's at least help to make this directory a place that a fisherman can use to go out bass fishing with a competent and knowledgeable guide who will ensure that their client(s) benefits hugely from paying for such a service. I will say no more about my own personal experiences in the past other than I have been let down before, and believe me when I say that I have learnt hugely from it. Never again for me.
Anyway, if you are a bass guide and are reading this, please contact the editor Mel Russ at Sea Angler magazine via this email address here. Put something like "Bass fishing guide" or "Bass fishing skipper" in the subject line. They are of course interested in any shore or boat based guides, and this includes charter skippers who take clients bass fishing as a part of their services. I think that we forget how many professional charter skippers there are out there who for years and years have as a matter of course offered bass fishing as an option to their anglers, but we need to put them together in a directory in order to make it easier for potential clients to contact them. We need to try and take this burgeoning bass guiding thing from underground to mainstream, and I can't think of a better way than through the pages of Sea Angler magazine. How about if you offer services such as hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, self-hire boats etc. that a bass fisherman might use ? Get in touch with Sea Angler. After all, these are the guys who have really gone for it on the whole bass fishing thing with their outstanding Bass Angler section. All credit due I reckon. That contact email address is here again in case you missed it. I hope this potential directory works out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.