It's a threat to a fishing guide that comes in a small and virtually undetectable package. It's about as scary as space alien invasion for those of us who make a living off of guided fishing trips.
"Can I bring a GPS on your boat?"
In this article I will talk about the pros and cons of bringing a GPS aboard a fishing charter. I will also talk about some things you should do and some things you should definitely not do when embarking on this endeavor.
Why would you want to bring a GPS?
Well, why not?
You can mark some great fishing spots, save routes and any other items of interest that you may encounter on your charter. This includes stuff like underwater obstructions and hotspots for speckled trout.
Why would you not want to bring a GPS?
For starters, maybe you're like me and you don't want the hand-out. Perhaps you get enjoyment from the challenge of finding your own fish. I know I do!
Perhaps you want a great relationship with your fishing guide and don't want to make your first impression a bad one.
Personally, I think learning to replicate a captain's formula for success would be more beneficial than hijacking a spot or two, as that formula will give me more rewards and way more fishing spots.
A Fresh Perspective
Most would prefer that you not bring a GPS for several reasons:
It's hard enough to stay on the fish as it is, it's even harder when you have people being drawn to your fishing spots. It is very disappointing to make a run somewhere just to find a boat there already. It's even worse when it's the guy you fished with before and he pretends you are not there. That is a very awkward situation.
Look, it's public water. Anybody can fish it. There's no problem there. Yet anyone can see how this would essentially "Blue Falcon" the charter captain. He has a life, too. He can't spend every day of his off time looking for new spots. One would be hurting his business a little by fishing his spots, but would be hurting his business a hundred-fold by sharing those spots with everyone else. It happens and charter captains look out for that.
If someone came to me and was honest about wanting to learn the area and some fishing spots, then we can do that.
I have learned that if you are honest and up front with most people, they will reciprocate that. This subsequently lends to an understanding that is the basis for trust.
Violate that trust, and you will not be getting any help.
Foster that trust and you can develop a relationship that will benefit your fishing ability and overall experience. Those last four sentences pretty much sum it up.
If a charter captain feels you are trying to undermine his operation he may very well decline your business. If the fishing trip is already underway, he most likely will not take you to his best fishing spots. Not so much that you have a GPS, but because you didn't reveal that you had it in the first place.
So anybody can see why it's bad to be less than candid about bringing a GPS onboard.
Being upfront and honest can reap far more rewards, like a charter captain's trust, respect and powerful knowledge.