I consider myself a pretty decent fisherman.  I have my favorite fishing spots.  I catch fish more often than I get skunked.   I'm nowhere near pro, but I've never thought about having a guide.  After my first guided trip, I've changed my mind.

Last weekend my uncle treated me and his kids on a guided fishing trip to Rainy Lake.  I had never been there, but I knew it was a good spot to catch walleyes.  The guys I was with had been here before and used the same guide a couple of years ago.  They talked about how many fish they caught, and how much fun they had.  I was optimistic, but I wondered if it would live up to they hype.

We fished out of Island View Lodge, and our guide was Billy Albrecht.  He's been on the lake since the mid 1970's and I would guess knows it better than anybody.  He's definitely not a traditional man, living a cabin life on an island all of these years.  His active life leaves this 60 something year old man with a youthful spring in his step.   I could go on more about Bill, but after spending a little time with him, I'm sure he would rather avoid the spotlight.

We hopped in his boat and within 5 minutes he was navigating us through rocky channels that no doubt have chewed up their share of props over the years.  Full throttle, he drove the boat like he was on an Indy course.  Time is valuable when you're fishing.  The faster you can get on the fish, the better your chance to limit out.

We arrived to the first spot and he marked fish on the graph.  He threw out a buoy, and kept us on the fish.  We started jigging minnows off the bottom.  It had been about 2 1/2 minutes when Billy said, "Shouldn't take this long to catch a fish..."  Almost immediately after he said that, the first rod bent.  We ended up catching about 8 walleyes in that spot in about 30 minutes.  That's a pretty good amount for what he calls "slow fishing."

From there we went to another spot where we had even better luck.  We had reached our limit by 11 am.  It was time for lunch.  Billy cleaned up the fish in no time at a campsite on the shore.  We had a full lunch that included bacon sandwiches, fried fish, potatoes, and beans.   Normally when I fish I end up eating beef jerky and sunflower seeds for lunch.  This was definitely an upgrade.   He told me that the only way to eat fish is straight from shore, and I would have to agree.  It's the best walleye I've ever had.

We went back out, and caught our remaining fish in a couple of hours.  We went back to the dock and he cleaned it all up for us, with plenty of fish to take home.

For the price of a guide, it's definitely worth it.  You don't have to worry about your boat, gear, finding fish, or really anything.  Plus it helps when you get a good guide.  Ask around at fishing lodges and they'll usually point you to the right direction.