the joy of fishing

The Joy of Fishing with a Guide

The Joy of Fishing

The joy of fishing is; spending time with family, getting outdoors for some fun, and seeing the excitement when someone makes a great catch. Last week I was able to fish with a guide for the first time, and I learned so much, I wanted to share the experience so you can include it in your summer plans this year.

I like to go fishing, but I have only done shore fishing up until this trip. I’ll admit it, I’m a little terrified of water, so going on a fishing trip in a boat was not really on my bucket list. However, family was visiting from out of state and they wanted to experience boat fishing in the Midwest. They had hired a guide and invited me along, so I put aside my fears and decided to join them.

The great feeling of the first catch of the day

Finding a Great Guide

I had no idea how much I would learn on this trip by going with a guide. Our guide was Joe Jochman with Advantage Guide Service. Here is a link to check out his website; He was great to fish with! He treated everyone the same way; male, female, young or old. No question was considered stupid.

Showing off his great catch!

He would show us best practices, for example, we caught a good sized catfish, but we were going to throw it back in. He showed us how to hold the catfish so his sharp fins wouldn’t hurt you, even going as far as showing how you should hold him with this back to the water and drop him back in, so he wouldn’t struggle and you could release him safely.

Trolling is a great way to fish

The Joy of Fishing; Trolling Fishing

We fished by a method called “trolling” where we had 6 lines going (3 on each side of the boat). They were baited and they were drawn through the water. There was a Planer Board for each line at the water surface so you could watch for the position of the 6 different lines and see when a fish was taking an interest. Even if you have NEVER been fishing, you would find it easy to get in on the action this way. You were not responsible for holding the pole, but you could call out when you saw one of the flags dipping, and then the reeling in would begin.

Making sure the fish were the right size to keep

Measuring the Fish

If you were interested in taking fish home (and we were!) you had to make sure that they were the right size according to your state regulations. So if we were pretty sure it was the right size, we would physically measure it. This measuring was also great for bragging rights when the fish were getting bigger and bigger and the competition was on. We were pretty lucky on this trip with the variety of fish that we caught; catfish, white bass, crappie, and walleye. We caught enough walleye to have a great dinner that night and several bags to go in the freezer for future meals.

The fish are getting bigger!

Our guide had so many stories to tell. We had a lot of great laughs and the time went by far too quickly. Given my love of photography, I took lots and lots of pictures, and I was having way too much fun taking pictures of the fish that we put back in the water. Look at the expression on this poor fish as he was being released back to swim another day. I think his eyes really communicated his thoughts!

What was this fish thinking as he was released back into the water?

So if you are looking for a fun day of fishing, consider taking your fishing trip with a guide. In addition to having all the gear for the trip – the best part was that he cleaned and filleted all of our fish at the end of the trip! Thank You Joe Jochman for a great day of fishing, and all that we learned that day! To fish with Joe on your next trip, book your date early as he fills up quickly. You’ll find everything you need at

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  1. I grew up fishing and I sometimes forget to appreciate it for how much fun it is! Loved this post and the pictures 🙂

  2. I haven’t been fishing in so many years. This looks like so much fun!

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