SHOP FEATURED FISHING GUIDES SHOP Ben Blankenbeker - Osage Beach, Missouri The next time you’re in Missouri and you feel like taking a fishing trip, may we recommend giving Ben Blankenbeker of Hawg Stump Guide Service a call? As a licensed guide for the last 14 years, Ben knows his way around the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. Whether you’re looking to take a traditional fishing trip for bass, crappie, and catfish, or you’re looking to try your hand at bowfishing for carp and gar, you’re guaranteed a great day (or night) on the water. WFN had the opportunity to talk to Ben about his guiding endeavours. What led to you becoming a fishing guide? I grew up fishing Lake of the Ozarks with my dad, so I’ve always had a love for angling. I started out as a freelance guide – mostly helping out buddies of mine – but eventually decided that it’s something I wanted to do regularly. For me, sharing the happiness that fishing can provide is a really good feeling. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into guiding? I think one of the most important things is that you need to be honest with your clients. If you know that the fishing isn’t good at a particular time of year, you should be up front about it. This business is about people, and honesty goes a long a way. You should also leave your ego at home and do the proper amount of homework and scouting. Quick-Hit Questions: Where does the majority of your business come from? My business comes from all over – word of mouth, online, etc. I also have a contract with a lodge in the area, and work with a lot of clients who spend their vacations there. Tell us about your boat. If you’re going regular fishing, we have a 2000 Bass Cat Pantera Classic. It’s 19.5 feet, with a 200 HP Yamaha motor and Humminbird electronics. For bowfishing, we have an 2000 Xpress aluminum boat.