I do get asked a lot of the same questions on guided trips and I like answering them. But in case anyone was wondering, here it goes:
What's your favorite Finger Lake to fish? I really do like them all and I feel they each have something special to offer, but if I had to just go with one it would be Cayuga. Cayuga has the most diversity and is remarkably consistent from year to year. Great lake trout jigging, largemouth bass/pickerel fishing, smallmouths and northerns, landlocked salmon and brown trout, plus there are opportunities for panfish, carp, gar, drum and catfish. Seneca would be second - it's just a powerhouse fishery when it's on. Keuka and Skaneateles would be a toss-up for 3rd.
What's your favorite type of fish to fish for or catch? Landlocked salmon are probably the most fun. I like the way we fish for them. I like the way they look, hit, fight, jump and taste, though we do release most of them. Largemouth bass are fun just cause there are so many ways to fish for them - I enjoy deep cranking and pitching with heavy tackle. I like laker jigging a lot too.
Did you grow up in the Finger Lakes Region? I grew up in Rochester - Penfield NY to be exact. I virtually lived on Irondequoit Creek from around 1977 onwards. I loved fishing there. I first fished Seneca Lake (the tribs) in 1980 with my friend Gary and his dad, who was a real all around sportsman. I fished Naples Creek in the late 70s on occasion. I didn't do any real Finger Lakes fishing until around 1981 or 82, when we fished Honeoye out in my friend Jeff's rowboat. By the late 1980s and early 90s I'd fished most of the lakes. I moved to the FL region in 1995.
Have you ever had any real jerks aboard, people you just wanted to drop off to shore? It's amazing how often I get asked this one! I get asked it a lot. Most people who hire a guide are out to have a good time. I'm sure I get some people that might be a pain to work with or live with (I know I've been one on occasion) but people on the boat are usually happy. I've weeded out a few on the phone usually due to unrealistic expectations. I like guiding people who want to learn something and enjoy the process of finding fish. When we've been out for 30 minutes and haven't caught anything and someone says "I guess it just isn't going to be our day" I get taken aback a bit.
Do you eat a lot of fish? That's another one I get asked routinely. I eat a lot, but I'm not a big freezer filler. It's rare that I ever have more than a couple packets of fish in the freezer. During the season I'm usually too busy to spend a lot of time cooking, so I go out a fair amount. Sometimes I'll keep a lake trout or something someone else catches that's not going to be releasable. But on average I probably eat fish once or twice a week. I usually regret not keeping more fish when winter rolls around and my freezer is nearly empty, but I've been doing a limited amount of ice-fishing for panfish and that helps a lot.
How long have you been guiding? I started guiding in 2005 - right after I started this website. This website was designed to promote my guide business, but it quickly became more than that. As of this writing I'm just winding up my 7th year guiding and it's gone great.
Is guiding all you do? I worked odd jobs and in restaurants mainly as a server from 1995 into the early 2000s. I was at Bass Pro Shops for a year when I started Fingerlakes Angling Zone. Right now, guiding is my main occupation, though I do teach two "Intro To Angling" classes at Cornell University in the fall, and two to three "Intro to Fly-Fishing" classes in the spring term and around 2 to 4 swimming classes per spring/fall semester. In 2012 I'm cutting out the fall swimming classes in order to concentrate more on the fishing and in order to free up some time. Doing all the guiding and teaching has worn me out a bit.