So I come from a family of really good fishermen. Men who know the waterways of Empire and Venice, Louisiana — saltwater fishing hotbeds. They have fished these waters for years, and know the way around the marshes and into the Gulf. They are natives of the area and fish a lot. With coastal erosion, the marshland is constantly changing and visual markers that help identify hot spots are fast disappearing, making navigation and fishing hole locations more difficult.
So even with this familial knowledge, if I were going to advise someone on how to catch fish out of Empire today, I would recommend they hire a fishing guide. Sure, you can bring a boat down there and potentially catch fish on your own, but your chances greatly increase and your safety risk diminishes by hiring a guide — at least for your first time.
A guide will share with you all of the tricks of the trade to help you land more fish than you could probably land on your own — or at least in a much shorter time frame. Without running your boat aground, or worse yet, tearing it up in the jetties.
Usually local natives, guides are on the water almost every day and keep up with what the fish are doing and where they are going. They know the waters and know where to fish safely. They have a reliable boat, the right rod and tackle, fresh bait, watch the weather, can read the tide and as an added bonus, may even clean your fish.
The guide loves it when you hook that big one and you reel it in. There is so much fun and enjoyment in filling that ice chest. Success feels that much better with someone cheering you on.
I have recently been thinking a lot about the role of a guide. In fishing and in life. Don’t we all need guidance from time to time? Don’t we all need someone to rally behind us, be on our side, give us a nudge or advice and want to see us win? Don’t we need teachers, mentors, cheerleaders, professional support and guidance?
I think about the guides I have had in my own life and my career and couldn’t be more thankful for what they have given to me to push forward, often through uncharted and troubled waters. Guides just help us become better.
Everyone could use a guide — in fishing and in life.
With an eye on the tide,