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bbanking 07-13-2005 10:36 PM

How to Pick a Guide in the Yucatan
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How to Pick a Guide in the Yucatan

Years ago I worked for one of the ten largest banks in the United States. As a Senior Lending Officer, one of my responsibilities was client entertainment. Since I don't play golf and hunting is very seasonal, fishing seemed to fill the ticket and who doesn't like to fish. Even clients that were marginal fishers enjoyed the excitement of getting away from their usual grind, visit unusual places and have the chance to trade ideas with other executives in a relaxed setting. You could feel their excitement and bonding. Like most businesses, banks have plenty of competition. As margins are squeezed, they look at ways to reduce expenses and entertainment eventually works its way under the division manager's microscope. Not wanting to give up my quarterly fishing trips, I looked for ways to reduce expenses and I was surprised at what I found. I discovered that I could take three clients fishing on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula cheaper than I could entertain them at home on the Texas Gulf Coast. A normal fishing trip to the coast cost my company approximately $1,000 a day per person (airfare, car rental, food, lodging, entertainment and guide service). I discovered I could take the same number of clients to the Yucatan for a lot less and get three times the "PR". Imagine the impact when my clients told their friends and associates that their banker took them to Mexico fishing. Yes, that price includes airfare, food, lodging, auto rental. entertainment and guides. The only downside was booking the "right" guide service. It was a hit and miss proposition. I want to share what I learned and maybe it will save you time, money and aggrivation.

Do not book guides that work for the hotel chains
Do not book guides that work for the cruise lines
Do not book guides that don't speak at least adequate english
Do not book guides that do not list their telephone # in their website
Do not be impressed by prices high or low
Do not pay in full in advance
Do your homework ahead of time
Do talk to local fly shops for recommendtions
Do look at internet fishing chat rooms for good leads
Do compare prices by searching websites to get a general idea of the cost
Do communicate with the guide ahead of time, not the guides booking agent in the US
Do make sure you understand what you will furnish and what the guide will furnish
Do get a confirmtion with your deposit

The hotels and cruise lines probably have some good guides but I have not found one. They do not work on repeat business and are usually more expensive than independents because the booking agent is taking a large cut.
I have also found that the most expensive guides are not always the best and the cheapest guides are not always the worst. I have had some very good trips with inexpensive guides.

To conclude, fishing in the Yucatan is fantastic. There are a lot of good, honest, get your money's worth guides here. Do your research, check your budget, book your trip and have the time of your life. This is the "low season" in the Yucatan and your food, lodging, car rental and other expenses are a bargin. Tom Martin

BigCliff 07-14-2005 08:29 AM

Re: How to Pick a Guide in the Yucatan
Great tips/article! Quite a fine compilation of all the "i wouldn't have thought of that" with the "common sense" points on the topic! (which is which will vary for all of us) I really need to get down there sometime.

Any idea what the total cost averages out to be per person for a two fishing day trip? (assuming less impressive but adequate accomodations)

Fish Bones 07-28-2005 12:45 PM

Re: How to Pick a Guide in the Yucatan
The Yucatan is on my short list... I hope to get there soon.

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