Do I need a license?
All persons aboard a "Reel Men" vessel who are 16 years
of age and older that are planning on fishing
must have a New York state fishing license. These are available for 1 day, 7 days, or full season
for both residents and non-residents. Click here for a more detailed description of fishing license requirements.
You can purchase a NYS fishing license on line or at any Walmart store.
To get a NYS fishing license on-line right now, go to the following website:
To purchase a fishing license locally please stop by
Sam Smith’s Boat yard.
Sam Smith’s Boat yard is located on Route 80 just 2 miles north of Cooperstown and is open 7 days from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM (Call 607-547-2543). Please make sure to get your license no later than the day BEFORE we go fishing.
2. Where can I stay?
There is plenty of lodging around both lakes.
Please visit our Links & Resources to find a variety of places to stay all within
20 minutes of "Reel Men" Guide Service and Cooperstown.
3. Can I bring my own fishing equipment
or can I use yours?
If you prefer to bring your own equipment you
may do so, however, "Reel Men" strongly suggest
that if you can use a spinning rod and reel, you
should use the rods that we provide for you. We understand
that many anglers do not have enough experience
to know how to use some of the equipment. Please
be sure to be honest with your guide about your fishing ability so that we can
best suit you with the proper rod and reel. Younger anglers are more than welcome and we will work specially with them to make sure they have a good experience.
4. Why should I choose Reel Men?
"Reel Men" guides have years of experience angling
these two specific lakes. People have had their
best fishing outings ever with "Reel Men" guides.
Rates are affordable and Reel Men will work
with you to best accommodate yours and your
family’s fishing needs. Reel Men guides
go after “big” fish and will teach
you exactly how to effectively catch more fish
more often. Reel Men guides are
looking forward to getting to know you and helping
you catch bigger fish more often and having
a great time in the process.
5. Am I guaranteed to catch fish?
Of course there is a reason why it’s called
fishing and not catching. Your best chances
of catching fish on these lakes will be with
Reel Men guides. Sometimes the weather does
not cooperate and it is very difficult for anyone
to catch fish.
If this happens,
we would be glad to take you out again for a
discounted price later in the same week.
6. What should I bring?
Bring food and drinks for yourselves, sunscreen,
polarized sunglasses, hat, rain suit if the forecast is for rain ("Reel Men" have limited rain suits
onboard just in case), a new lure that you would
like to try out ("Reel Men" probably already have
it), a camera.
7. Can I keep the fish I catch?
"Reel Men" like to practice catch and release.
If you catch a perch, rock bass, or sunfish and wish
to keep it for dinner, your guide will filet it for you
after a picture is taken of you and your fish.
(Rock bass, perch, & sunfish are delicious to eat and abundant in both lakes.) To preserve the great bass fisheries in both lakes, we will strongly urge you to release all bass caught in both lakes after your picture is taken with your fish. If you catch a trophy bass you may
want to kill it to have it mounted, however, we urge you to release
the fish after measuring it carefully and taking pictures of it and you can have
a replica mount done of your trophy fish without
killing it. These mounts are beautiful and last
much longer and are usually less expensive than
8. What does a Reel Men Guide do?
Your guide will pick you up by boat or meet you at the lake.
Take you to the best fishing spots; Provide
and rig your poles and lines; Cast for you if needed; Bait your hooks and remove
fish that are caught; Net fish; Take pictures; Clean fish if necessary; Educate anglers; Bring you back
to your pick-up point; Make sure you have a great time fishing.