REGIONAL— Hiring a fishing guide is a great way to learn the ropes when you’re fishing a new lake, but it can also be expensive. Now those who don’t want to hire a guide for the day can still …
REGIONAL— Hiring a fishing guide is a great way to learn the ropes when you’re fishing a new lake, but it can also be expensive. Now those who don’t want to hire a guide for the day can still pick up a hot spot or two, for significantly less than a guide’s typical rates.
A new website, which is going live in time for this year’s fishing opener, is designed to help connect fishing guides and those casual fishermen who may not want the full-service guide experience.
EZfishUSA.com provides an online platform for guides and other professional anglers to sell fishing locations, along with other information, like species that have recently been caught there, successful methods and techniques, descriptions from the guide, GPS coordinates, and Google Maps integration.
The website is the brainchild of JT Almeida, who lives on Lake Vermilion with his family, near Tower. Almeida has been guiding fishing trips in the Midwest, West, and Canada for nearly 30 years and is also the owner of The Finished Look construction company.
The fishing locations, posted only by verified guides or experienced tournament anglers, are personally vetted by Almeida. They have a count to show you how long locations have been up, and expire after 30 days to keep pace with fish movement. By its launch later this month, Almeida expects to have about 25 guides from around the state listing their hot spots on about 400-500 lakes, mostly in central and northern Minnesota.
For anglers, particularly those with at least some experience, it’s a quick and easy way to put themselves in promising locations. Almeida said the GPS coordinates that he offers through the website are extremely precise, helping to ensure that anglers get to just the right location. For guides, said Almeida, it’s a way to make extra money from the valuable information they otherwise keep in their heads.
Guides set all their own prices, and they can range from a few bucks for the location of a regular spot that’s probably already well-known to locals but still produces a few fish, to $100 for a hot spot that’s providing lots of action right now. Eventually, Almeida plans to take his concept to a national audience and will even offer salt water locations, some of which might sell for thousands of dollars, depending on the species. There’s no charge for guides to post their information except for a small charge to maintain the web platform.
Users can search the site by lake or by fish species. Hundreds of Minnesota lakes will be listed, including Boundary Waters lakes. He also has a few guides posting from some Wisconsin lakes as well.
So, if the fish aren’t jumping in the boat this summer, check out EZfishUSA.com to help improve your odds. And watch for an EZfishUSA app, which Almeida expects to begin working on as soon as the website version is launched.
And if you’re looking for a real fishing guide, who can spend the day with you on the water and even cook you an outstanding shorelunch, there are plenty working in the area. On Lake Vermilion, check out www.lakevermilionguidesleague.com for more information.