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There’s plenty of dodgy fishing guides out there, the fly by the seat of your pants and hope you don’t get caught kind of guides who generally are poor at what they do, endanger people in all sorts of ways and give fishing guides a bad rap.
The question is how do you spot them so you can then stay clear of them?

Well here’s a couple of things to remember:

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys!
Many cowboy guides prices are considerable cheaper than professional fishing guides as they do not adhere to the costs of actually running a business or the regulations of running such a business and are highly detrimental to the fishing guiding business and NZ tourism in general.

Examples of this include:
Not having commercially licensed vehicles or the correct licensing to drive them. Not having Department of Conservation (DoC) concessions to guide fishing while on DoC estate.
Not having commercial insurance.
Not having a audited safety operations plan.
Not having up to date first aid qualifications.
Not having secure means of taking payments.
Excepting only cash payments.

One of the first things you can do to avoid the cowboys is only hire guides who are New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association (NZPFGA) members as they have MOST of the above covered by their membership with the NZPFGA. Once you have got that far you should then check a couple of things with them:

Have they got a commercially licensed vehicle and the correct licensing to drive it?

How much experience do they have guiding fishing in that region?

What is the time length for the guided day?

If you do this then you stand a great chance of getting a very good guide but yes you will have to pay a bit more for it but it should make the overall experience so much better and also so much safer.

Tight Lines!