Bass fishing: learning through guiding

Courtesy of Brandon Card
During the offseason, Elite Series pro Brandon Card has started guiding on four different eastern Tennessee lakes (Norris, Cherokee, Douglas, and Ft. Loudon).

About the author

Brandon Card

Brandon Card

Tennessee’s Brandon Card, who competed for the University of Kentucky, is the first Bassmaster College Series angler to qualify for the Elite Series.

In the offseason last fall and winter, I worked as a landscaper nearly 60 hours per week. Although it was good money, the time I could spend fishing was limited. This fall I am taking a different approach, and I have started doing guided fishing trips. It has been a lot of fun so far and a great learning experience for my clients and for me.

For me, guided trips have many similarities to tournaments. I have to find the bass, put together a pattern in a short time frame, and analyze why certain techniques work and others didn’t work on any given day; it’s very similar to what I do in practicing for a tournament.

All of the guys that I have fished with so far have asked great questions, and I have noticed by answering the questions that I pay more attention to details throughout the day. It’s kind of similar to my professors in college who claimed they learned so much through teaching.

I want my guide service to be as educational as possible. In my opinion, each guide trip should answer these questions: (1) how to find the bass, (2) why they were there, and (3) what it takes to catch them. I have hired guides in the past that took me to the same spots that they take everybody. I caught some fish with those guides, but I felt like I didn’t learn the most important part, which is finding the bass.

I treat each of my guided trips as if I was practicing for a major tournament. I run around and try many different spots, different techniques, and fish water that I haven’t fished recently. I am guiding on four different lakes (Norris, Cherokee, Douglas, and Ft. Loudon), so I always have to figure out what the fish are doing for any given day on these different lakes.  Not only is this educational for my clients, but it keeps me on my toes because I am constantly finding new fish. Not to mention, I would go crazy if I fished the same spots all the time. I've had some really good trips so far and I look forward to many more this fall and winter and in between tournaments next year.

College anglers get a 50% discount, and one out of every 10 trips is a free kid's trip.  I have two kid's trips already scheduled that should be a blast.  If you’re interested in booking, please check out www.brandoncardfishing.com or facebook.com/BrandonCardFishing.

Dare to fail.

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