One of our favorite things at Smooth Moves is connecting with fellow anglers and professional fishing guides. We caught up with Michigan-based Captain Spencer Berman to get a glimpse into his life on the water.
Interview with Professional Fishing Guide, Captain Spencer Berman
Smooth Moves: First off, tell us a bit about yourself.
Spencer: Well, I’m a professional fisherman; guiding is my primary activity. I fish 260 days a year, starting in mid-March until the 20th of December. My life is being on the water every day. Beyond that, I do tournaments, seminars, writing—basically every aspect of the fishing community.
Smooth Moves: Wow. How much time would you say you spend on the water daily?
Spencer: On average, I spend between 9 – 12 hours a day out there; however, sometimes, the hour total can easily pass 14, 15, 16 hours. And that’s before you factor in cleaning fish and boat maintenance. Last year, I clocked 2400 hours just on my boat alone.
Smooth Moves: When you’re out there, how do you handle rougher waves?
Spencer: I run ranger boats, and in my opinion, there’s nothing to match them. They allow me to go out on those rougher days and handle the water.
With how boats have evolved, we can fish in worse conditions than we could a decade ago. And the secret is when the water is rough and the wind is blowing, the fish bite better. If you spend those days on shore, you’re missing some of the best days on the water.
We are bold in our pursuit of fish.
Smooth Moves: Have Smooth Moves Seats changed your life on the water?
Spencer: Smooth Moves has been a fantastic edition. I’ve had them in my boat for ages, and they are an integral part of what I do. I can get out of the water and make it comfortable and enjoyable for everybody.
On Lake St. Clair, we deal with that shallow water chop, which is hard on boats and hard on you. Before I had them, my body was taking so much abuse by constantly bouncing around during those long runs.
And it’s a game-changer for my clients to fish effectively because they’re not beating themselves up. As I guide, it’s not all about the fish; I also want the day to be enjoyable.
Smooth Moves: What is your favorite thing about being a guide?
Spencer: I love helping people catch the fish of their dreams. The total elation on their face and that amazing connection to the fishery and fish they just landed is genuinely the ultimate reward as a guide. Then, knowing they will be getting a replica made to save the memory forever truly means you have been with them for an amazing lifetime event!
Also, I cherish all of the friendships I’ve made over the years. Some of my guests have been with me for over a decade! I have watched some of their kids grow up and helped to get them into fish, which is a deeply rewarding experience.
Smooth Moves: Do you have any favorite boating electronics?
Spencer: I would go with the Humminbird Side Imaging – it’s been the biggest gamechanger with locating fish. Your ability to mark fish outside of you with such detail has changed our abilities out on the water. I rely on it every day to be successful.
Smooth Moves: Do you have a favorite fish to catch?
Spencer: I love guiding smallmouth bass and walleye in the spring for the first three and a half months of my season; however, muskies are still my favorite fish to guide for. I started my career doing muskies ice out to ice up, and I love the challenge of these fish. There isn’t any other fish I would rather target for the majority of my season.
Smooth Moves: When you’re not boating, what do you do?
Spencer: I grew up playing hockey, and I am a huge Red Wings fan, so I go to a lot of their games. Otherwise, I’m in the gym. I’m hoping this helps me fish into my later years, despite how physical it is.
Smooth Moves: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Spencer: Let’s see. Musky season is around the corner. We still have a few openings, and it should be a heck of a year. This year, fishing on [Lake St.] Clair should be exceptional with some huge year classes of fish in the system. Plus, COVID restrictions have dramatically cut down the fishing pressure and should make for a lot of “dumb fish” for us this season!
If you’re a Michigan fisher, you can go to Spencer’s website to sign up or read about his angling adventures!
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