Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lake Broken Bow Bass Report

Smallmouth bass caught with Lake Broken Bow Fishing Guide Bryce Archey
Lake Broken Bow Professional Fishing Guide Bryce Archey reports the bass fishing is getting better every day now the the heat is gone and fall is here.

He has been catching mostly slot largemouth bass and decent sized spotted bass.

He also says that smallmouth fishing is hit and miss right now but will improve with cooler weather.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Bryce! Check out Bryce's site at:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To Tip or Not to Tip Comment

We received this comment on our "To Tip or Not to Tip" posting:

"I think it's just plain wrong for a guide service to expect a tip. They charge for the service they provide and that's what the customer pays for. I haven't ever heard of a guide service offering refunds for bad fishing days. When the catch and service is good I would feel I got what I paid for and that's it. If they feel they don't make enough money for what they do then raise the price and let the consumer decide whether the true cost of the trip is worth it to them." - Mike

Editor's Note: Thanks for the input Mike. We would like to hear your comments. Email us at

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tom Steed Fishing Report

Mike Diehl went out this weekend for a day of fishing with his daughter Samantha on Lake Tom Steed. There they caught a 6.0lb bass that his daughter helped him land.

He reports that the water temps have dropped but the sunlight is still keeping the fish deep. Fishing has been slow to fair depending on the weather so resistance is key. Striper fishing has been good off points with crank baits and rattle traps of the right color. Bass and cat fishing have been hit and miss as well but with the right time of day and lots of casting, your luck will increase. Crappie fishing has been slow due to a lack of structure in deeper water.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike. Nice bass too! Looks like you have a future Bassmaster champ on your hands there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

To Tip or Not to Tip?

We receive this question quite a bit and wanted to share it:

Q: What is the "policy" on tipping a guide? We have had a guide in the past who strongly hinted for us to tip and we did. Others have said nothing. But is this a standard policy, or expected? If so, what is the correct amount or percentage? This is very confusing and causes much discomfort. Why don't they just charge what they want to charge and forget about tips?

A: You pose an interesting question that I have struggled with myself. There is no real "policy" and it can be confusing. We all know that it is customary to tip wait staff because their hourly wage is different and well below the current minimum wage. We all also read about how it's appropriate to tip certain service people during the holidays; i.e. postman, hair dresser and others.

But is this expected when we go fishing? To go fishing with a guide at $125 per person is on the expensive side for most folks let alone adding a tip. It's certainly more than you would spend renting a boat, but well worth it when you haul in your limit and/or catch some of the biggest lunkers of your life.

The flip side is the guide not only has a significant amount of money invested in his boat, equipment & tackle, but there's also insurance, maintenance, slip fees, licenses, CPR training, advertising and other expenses. Has the guide calculated this into his standard per person rate? Certainly, but there are things that a guide does that can be considered equivalent to being a "waiter" on his own boat; i.e., getting up 3 hours early to net live bait from the lake, tying & baiting the hooks, fishing training, first aid (sometimes) and probably most important, cleaning & bagging your catch.

If a guide did all this (and not all do) then a tip in the 15% range would be appropriate. Especially if the guide was quite professional and you truly enjoyed being on his boat & all the things he did that day to make it a great day for you. If you hire a guide to simply be a lake guide and not require that he wait on you hand-and-foot and clean your fish, then a tip would probably not be in order.

My final thought is this: no one should outright ask (or hint) for a tip. What would your reaction be at a restaurant if your waiter did that? You would probably reduce the amount of the tip significantly or not tip at all. Asking for a tip is inappropriate, makes everyone uncomfortable and will only result in the customer not coming back and give the guiding profession a bad name.

Editor's Note: We invite your comments on this post whether you are a guide or somebody who has hired a guide. Email me your opinion at:

Lake Skiatook Labor Day Action

Lake Skiatook Guide David Clark reports excellent hybrid striper action over the Labor Day weekend. He reports that his clients caught 15 fish with 11 of them being nice size using small shad in about 32ft of water fishing them 20ft deep. The biggest was close to 5lbs. with most in the 3 to 4lb range. The lake temperature has fallen to about 82 degrees.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report David! David guides on 4 lakes in Oklahoma; Lake Birch, Lake Skiatook, Lake Sooner and
Lake Waurika. Check out David's site at: