7 Ways to Piss off your Guide!

Wanna piss off your next hunting or fishing guide? Here’s a few tried and true tactics that work every time:

The Low-Holer

There are very few things that will piss of a fishing guide more than a Low-Holer. A Low-Holer is the customer that plays stupid but their true intention is to learn a guide’s favorite fishing hole so that they can return with their own boat later and fish the guides spot. A perfect example of this is spending a day on the water with a river guide and then launching early and beating the guide to their absolute can’t-miss spot the very next day. If you really want to be known as the ultimate douche bag on the river…do this!

Showing up at Camp out of Shape

I honestly don’t see how big game hunting guides can consistently get their guests into trophy game animals when most of them show up to camp so out of shape that they’re winded just getting out of the truck. There are so, so many people that really “want” a trophy class animal and truly think they deserve that animal because they shelled out thousands of dollars to hunt with the best guide on the planet. They’ve done their research, found the highest density of trophy game animals on earth, and booked the best guide in the area to help them fulfill their destiny. There’s only one problem…they haven’t set foot in the gym or on the mountainside in years and they think exercise is pushing a pencil across the desk. Sorry pal, but you still have to hike your ass off and in some cases run your tail off to make it happen out there in the hills. If you book a trophy hunt do yourself, the guide, and the animal a favor and get yourself in some sort of shape long before the hunt starts. Your guide will appreciated it.

Proficiency with Your Weapon

Here’s another conundrum that hunting guides have to deal with – the customer that arrives at camp with a rifle that’s never been sighted-in or a bow string they’ve only plucked but a few times. They’ve communicated to their guide countless times how proficient they are with their weapon. When the time comes to harvest the game animal of a lifetime, however, they’re all over the place.  Most hunting guides will have their guests sight their rifle in before a hunt begins to make sure the rifle is on target and also to see how the hunter reacts to their firearm. This can usually be achieved on the range in just a short time. Getting comfortable with a bow, however, takes many long hours of practice. Get the work done ahead of time and you won’t get “the look” from your hunting guide when you miss. The animal deserves this respect also.

Don’t Listen

There’s little worse than the customer that does the exact opposite of what their guide tells them to do and then wonders why they don’t have anything at the end of the day. If you’re guide has a good reputation for getting people into fish or tagging out on animals there’s a darn good chance they know what they’re doing. This is generally why women catch more fish on guided trips than men…because they listen. Some men are more concerned with rattling their sabers and sparring with their guides to show them up while the wife is listening intently and catching all the fish.

Damn I’m great…Just Ask Me

They’ve got the perfect cast, the finest of gear, they can hit a gnats ass at 2,000 yards blindfolded, and they’ve harvested the largest specimen of every single living creature on the planet. The DIGJAM is the self-appointed ideal human being. There are some legit DIGJAM’s out there, but they are few and far between. A guide friend who happens to be an ex-Navy Seal took a guy fishing for a few days in search of a world record chum salmon. The guy had broken line class records, world records, casting records, and DIGJAM records all over the world. In the end the guide didn’t get paid and the DIGJAM artist probably shouldn’t set foot in that river valley again. This cat was the perfect combination of DIGJAM and Pay-You-Later. No bueno!

Pay You Later

Most guides that I know live month to month and certainly aren’t guiding because of the money.  They are “living the dream”, so to speak. The deposit you sent in for the trip covers most, but not all of the expenses it takes to run the trip and receiving the final portion of the trip payment barely put’s them into the black. If you leave them with “hey, I’ll get a check in the mail right away” at the end of the trip your guide’s brow will furl and you’ll probably get “the look”. Don’t get lumped in with DIGJAM and Low-Holer…pay the guide their due.

Showing Up Late

Believe it or not ten minutes can spell success or disaster on most hunting or fishing trips on America’s public lands and waterways. This is particularly true on coastal salmon and steelhead streams when the rivers are super low and gin clear and the fish are spooky. If you show up 30 or more minutes late on a day like this your guide will fake like everything is ok, but the little voices in their head are saying “Told you so!” when hole after hole produces nothing. If the guide is new to the business they’ll act like everything is hunky-dory and it was just a “tough day”. Fish with a guide that’s been around for years and I’m afraid those voices in their head will be voices in their mouth. Do yourself a favor and show up on time or even better, a little early. Your guide will appreciate it and you’ll hook a few more fish.

These are just a few things you can do to throw your guide into a tail spin. There’s plenty of things that a guide can do to piss off their customers too, and I’ll crank out a short list of those things soon. In fact, you can take some of the items listed above and simply turn them around and they’d fit nicely in the “7 Ways to Piss off a Customer” list. I’ll get to work on that one right away!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

“Inverting” My On-Board Electrical Thinking.

When you get right down to it, there are only a couple things you can absolutely control on your boat: One, the amount of fuel you have on board and two, the health of your batteries.

For the former, I’m a habitual tank “topper”…for the latter, I’ve always been a big proponent of on-board battery chargers. I mean heck, what can be easier than pulling into the driveway, climbing into your boat with an extension cord and plugging in your built-in battery charger? After a talk with my friend Lauren Bivins at Harbor Marine, I learned exactly what is easier and makes your boat’s electrical system more versatile too!

For starters, how about a dedicated weather-resistant 30 amp shorepower connection installed on your boat…



…and, instead of installing on-board battery chargers for all your battery banks, how about a single Inverter/Charger?


An inverter converts the 12V DC energy stored in your batteries into household 115V AC electricity to run standard business and household appliances when shore power is not available. Ok, this is where I have to admit that the Koureg coffee maker that I got for Christmas is one big, hot, steamy reason  behind all this but keeping bait frozen in a portable freezer, warming a sandwich in a small microwave, charging camera batteries, cell phones, rechargeable flashlights/spotlights are several other great reasons to have 115V AC power on board.

Inverter/chargers have outputs that include a powerful battery charger, associated battery monitors and remote controls. Inverter/chargers almost always include an automatic transfer switch, so that when your inverter/charger detects another source of AC power (because you plugged into shore power) the inverter/charger shifts gears from inverting to charging batteries. If the outside source of AC goes away, it automatically switches back from battery charger to inverter. Inverter/chargers become an integral part of your boat’s electrical system and can rapidly replenish battery banks.

Here’s a simplified Inverter/Charger schematic. Keep in mind that several batteries can be charged by a single I/C unit!



The bottom line is the tremendous handiness of having a couple of AC outlets on board and a simple, small panel locked up securely inside the cabin.



Not to mention having an on-board monitor which constantly displays my batteries state of charge. If you look close you can see “FUL” on the display, indicating a “FULL” state of charge which is a very good thing!


When you consider that all of your boat’s vital functions are completely controlled and governed by your electrical system, it really pays to add to your boats electrical capacity. If you think about it, we use more electricity on board now than ever before. Large electronics displays, defrost fans, electric downriggers, stereos, lighting and marine VHF radios add up to an amp draw that your kicker motor’s 4 amps doesn’t have a prayer of keeping pace with.

Adding an Inverter/Charger to your boat’s electrical system is a great way to stay in front of your boat’s growing electrical demand and will make your boat more comfortable in the process. Go see my friends at Harbor Marine at the Seattle Boat Show and you’ll see what I mean!

Hot coffee anyone???

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Hunting in Alaska, It’s No Walk in the Park!

Hunting in Alaska, It’s No Walk in the Park!

Brown2For all those that don’t hunt-It’s hard in Alaska and you EARN it! Take for example this Brown Bear hunt.

First you have to get yourself and your gear to a remote location by small plane.

Then you must unpack all the gear and generally hike to a favorable spot with all your gear AND food AND cooking utensils AND camping gear-you need lots of it if you are going to stay comfortable for ten or more days at a time.

Then you must endure days of fowl weather all the while staying warm and dry.(did I mention packing clothing?)

Then there are days of endless hiking and glassing for game. Yes, Alaska has a lot of game, but we also have a LOT of country for game to hide in.

Now, after days upon days of inclement weather you get lucky and bag that trophy of a lifetime more work begins!

BearloadIn the photo this Brown Bear hide was so heavy it could not be packed out on a frame-I tried and it BROKE the frame, now what? I told the client at the time that I would have to cut his trophy bear hide in half to pack it-he almost fainted! I was of course kidding but the only other option I had was what you see in the next photo. Roll it up in a tarp to protect it and then proceed to drag it three mile back to base camp where the small plane could be used to fly it out.

After all that work, I had to go back to spike camp and get all the gear and get it back to base camp where the plane was to haul all of that back.
Folks, hunting in Alaska is the hardest hunting in the world-bar none!

Bearload2You earn everything you get here. We don’t have Landrovers like they do in Africa or horses like they do in Montana or pickup trucks like you do in the Lower 48!

If you ever plan to hunt in this Great State, be prepared to WORK HARD-it’s no walk in the park!

Read more Alaskan Adventures by visiting  www.scottysalaska.blogspot.com

Boat Review: Weldcraft 280 Cuddy King

I sincerely look forward to “show season”.  I get to meet a whole bunch of new people and talk fishing and boating. The boating conversations often lead to answering questions regarding design and layout of various fishing hulls.

During these discussions, one of my recurring challenges is trying to effectively explain the importance -and effect- of reverse chine aluminum hulls to boaters who have never experienced their soft ride and easy handling. For decades, advanced hull designs have been the exclusive province of the fiberglass boat builder…but no more.

Introducing the Weldcraft 280 Cuddy King available at Master Marine     



What is reverse chine? Great question! Below you’ll see a shot of this vitally important design characteristic. 

aWeldcraft Chine

As you can see, the “V” entry of the hull is surrounded by a flat “step” also known as a “reverse” chine. The structure of the reverse chine lends strength and rigidity to the Weldcraft but it also provides lift. Not unlike the wing of an airplane, the reverse chine’s lift slows the hulls descent into a wave, significantly softening the ride, reducing and in many cases eliminating pounding. In addition, as the Weldcraft enters a turn, the combination of lift and the chine outside the turn’s suction, prevent an uncomfortable roll and allow a very controlled tight turn. Bottom line: If you’ve never experienced the ride of a reverse chine aluminum hull and you believe that fiberglass hulls “just ride softer” than aluminum hulls, you owe it to yourself to experience the ride and ease of control of a Weldcraft.

Sight lines through the boat are excellent. No blind spots here!



The bow is a very serious -and safe- work area. Non skid footing surface, welded heavy-duty cleats, rails and a raised coaming for the hatch just says it all.



Here’s your fishing station: A rear helm with steering, gauges, twin main engine control, kicker control and a Simrad fishfinder GPS which also offers autopilot control.



The spacious, heated cabin offers ample leg room, head room, hand holds, soft-rider seats, VHF radio in the brow and the Simrad NSS12 Touchscreen which gives you a complete, integrated electronics system in one compact package.



The rear deck? It’s all about fishing room! We’re talking ten feet from the back of the cabin to the front of the transom!



I almost feel sorry for that Cannon Downrigger…it looks lonely there on the gunnel all by itself…


Weldcraft 280 Cuddy Cabin Specifications

Length:                 28 feet

Beam:                  102″

Sides:                    40″ x .160″

Bottom:                 96″ x .250″

Deadrise:              60 degrees at bow to 20 degrees at transom

Dry Weight:           5756 pounds

Fuel Capacity:      160 Gallons

Max HP Rating:    500 hp

Power installed:  Twin Evinrude 250 E-TEC Counter rotating

Come see this Weldcraft in the Master Marine booth at the Seattle Boat Show January 24 through February 2. We’ll be taking names for test drives! Who’s up for a spin???

Tom Nelson

The Outdoor Line  

710 ESPN Seattle