Going fishing isn’t supposed to be rocket science. Catching fish can be tricky, that’s true. Picking the right time, part of the river or lake, selecting what lure or bait would seduce that tricky trout or bass, even the perfect speed of retrieval – sometimes it seems it’s easier to put a man on the moon. But going fishing? Surprisingly or not, making the right choice among the multitude of offers can be tricky.
This blog will hopefully help you to book your perfect fishing adventure – at least, if you’re doing in at BaitYourHook.com
If you’re on our website, you probably know already what kind of fish and where you want to catch. Be it pike fishing in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, a backcountry fly-in adventure on one of Canada’s countless lakes, or an offshore trip after sailfish off Cape Town, South Africa, this part of the choice have been made, you’ve entered it in the search engine, and here you are. What next?
First thing you need to understand is that BaitYourHook.com is not a fishing trip agency. We’re an online marketplace. You can think about us as Booking.com for anglers. Some of our managers are fishing guides and operators with years of experience, but we don’t organize the trips, same as Airbnb doesn’t build the properties you can rent there. All the information on the tour trip is provided by the operators – charters, lodges, and guides.
As they create their offers, they select the type of fishing they practice, the fish species they target, the fishing techniques they practice. They add photos to give you an idea what their boat or lodge looks like, and the typical size of the fish they catch. There’s a description page where they can write a few words about their operation, and about the particular trip as well. Some important things also are the gear that the outfitter provides (important if you need to know whether to bring your own rod and/or lures, etc.), and what is or isn’t included on the trip – meals? Beverages? Fishing license?
And, of course, there’s the price and information on booking the trip. A minimum deposit of 10% is required to secure the booking (although some operators may charge up to 50%), the rest being payable on arrival. The accepted payment methods, such as bank transfer, credit card, PayPal or cash, are also there. If the operator cancels your trip, you’ll get a full refund; if you cancel it, that will depend on the operator’s policy. Many offer free cancellation, and the ”Free Cancellation” icon tells you which operator does.
If you like what you see, and decide you want to book this trip – everything is fast and easy, especially if the operator offers an “Instant Booking” service (again, the relevant icon indicates the possibility). However, often you need to confirm the dates first. Most of our operators are run by people who actually guide the anglers and navigate the boats. Here’s where we differ from a regular tourist booking platform. A hotel will typically have a staff member whose job description includes immediate reaction to enquiries and bookings. Fishing captains and guides spend most of their time out there fishing, and don’t always have the ability to update their page. Therefore, verifying the details with the operator is always a good idea.
And, of course, you may want to ask any additional questions. How do you do it? Unless you have a problem with the website, please don’t write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We receive numerous such inquiries daily, and often don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Especially with some people who ask things like “Are you available next Friday?” without specifying what trip they are considering. We are always there for you, but the captain on the Maldives or the guide in Lapland might be on vacation or guiding someone else!
The magic button you need to press is “Contact Outfitter”. Pressing it will take you to a text chat service, unique to our website. It looks and works just as any messenger we all know – WhatsApp, or Skype, or whatever. At the time of writing, you can’t make voice or audio call on our chat system, but we’re working on it. In any case, the chat is totally reliable and your data is completely protected. Even we can’t read what you and the outfitter are chatting about without your permission, and there’s no “delete message” button there, so that nobody can “forget” what was being discussed.
We can’t guarantee the operator will read your message at once – as mentioned, they can be way out there without any mobile coverage – but we’ve made sure your message is very hard to miss. A notification will appear on both the app and the website, and if you’ve switched to another folder or window, you’ll hear an unobtrusive but conspicuous sound. Another notification would also be sent to the e-mail address connected to the BaitYourHook account.
If you don’t get any response within a day or two, then be sure to inform us about it! Don’t forget to include the specific operator you’ve tried to contact, and the trip your enquiry is about. We’re doing our best to encourage the operators to respond to your chat messages and bookings as soon as possible, but of course that’s not always easy.
However, almost every booking on BaitYourHook.com goes without a hiccup, and even when the users contact us instead of the operators, we’re only happy to help them get the information they need – it only takes a little bit more time than it would if you chat with the operator directly. And most of the trip bring about total fishing satisfaction – don’t forget to leave a review so that other anglers could make their decisions based on your experience!