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John's Journal... Entry 59, Day 1

Guiding A Beginner

click to enlargeEditor's Note: For 32 years, Jackie Thompson of Eufaula, Alabama, has fished and guided on Lake Eufaula along the Alabama-Georgia border. He has helped many tournament anglers win tournaments. He has guided other fishermen to the biggest bass of their lifetimes and taught others how to catch fish. Thompson's winning personality, his knowledge of the lake and his ability to teach fishing have made him one of the most sought-after guides in the nation.

QUESTION: Jackie, why do fishermen hire bass-fishing guides?
ANSWER: Many people hire guides because they don't know how to bass fish, and they want a guide to teach them how.

click to enlargeQUESTION: What do you teach that type of client?
ANSWER: I try to find out whether they have had any fishing experience and what kind of fishing equipment they have used. Once I know their experience level and the type of equipment they have used in the past, I have a reference point from which to start teaching them.

QUESTION: Where do you start if your client never has had any fishing experience?
ANSWER: I start them with either an open-faced spinning reel or closed-faced spin-cast reel. A beginning angler can easily learn to cast one of these type reels like that Johnson makes.

click to enlargeQUESTION: With what method of fishing do you start the beginner?
ANSWER: A beginner should start by fishing a Carolina-rigged plastic worm because of its ease in casting and fishing. You also can easily tell when you get a bite. For the main line, I suggest you fish 17-pound test Berkley XT and 12-pound test Berkley XT for the leader. I tie on either a 4- or a 6-inch worm for a beginner. Bass can easily get smaller worms into their mouths, and the small worms generally catch more bass. Also, the beginning angler can usually set the hook easier with a smaller worm. Beginners have to use tactics that equal success. They need success in casting and every other aspect of fishing, not just catching fish. With a 4- or 6-inch plastic worm and a closed-face or an open-face spinning reel, I can help the beginner achieve success.

click to enlargeTo contact Jackie Thompson, write to him at 110 Marina Drive, Eufaula, Alabama 36027, or call him at (334) 687-9595.

Tomorrow: Why Tournament Fishermen Hire Guides




Check back each day this week for more about Why People Hire Guides ...

Day 1 -Guiding A Beginner
Day 2 -Why Tournament Fishermen Hire Guides
Day 3 -Thompson's Tactics For Taking Titan Bass
Day 4 -How Thompson Catches A Lot Of Bass
Day 5 -No-Boat Bass Fishing

John's Journal