SHOP FEATURED FISHING GUIDES SHOP By: wfn Bob Maindelle - Salado, Texas Bob Maindelle isn't your average fishing guide. The youth pastor from Salado, Texas has been guiding for eight years through “Holding The Line Guide Service,” where he specializes in targeting white bass and hybrid striped bass. Bob is also the founder of Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF), a program that provides free fishing trips to children who are separated from their parents due to their parents’ military service. WFN had the opportunity to ask Bob a few questions about his time as a fishing guide. What led to you becoming a guide? I come from a fishing family, so I've been an angler all my life. In terms of guiding – during my time as a youth pastor, I noticed that there were children in our congregation who were having a difficult time dealing with their parents, primarily their fathers, being away due to their service to the military. This was around the time that the Iraq war started in 2003. You could see that these kids were having a tough time – their personalities were changing, they were seeing a drop in their grades, fighting with their siblings, etc. So, in order to take their mind off of the fact that their fathers weren't around, I had them do things that I used to do on my own time – yard work, changing oil, and other various chores. And, of course, fishing – which, not surprisingly, was the activity that they enjoyed the most. Seeing how much they enjoyed fishing inspired me to use my days off to take kids out fishing on a regular basis. And then in January of 2008, I gave a talk to the Austin Fly Fishers, and after they heard about the fishing trips I was taking kids on, they offered to help me take these trips more frequently and without paying for them out of my own pocket. This is how SKIFF was born. From there, I decided to make guiding my career. When I take adults out, we’ll target white bass or hybrid striped bass. When I take kids out, we’ll go after whatever’s biting – the most important thing is that the kids are able to say that they caught a fish when they get back to the dock. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into guiding? There's absolutely no substitute for time spent on the water. If you try to take shortcuts, you’re not gonna make it. A fancy boat and the best equipment won’t help you if you don’t know where the fish will be. You also have to make sure that you’re financially sound before you take the necessary steps to become a guide. It’s a difficult job, with a lot of factors that are beyond your control, including the weather, seasonal ups-and-downs, etc. My advice: don’t mortgage your house to become a fishing guide. QUICK-HIT QUESTIONS Tell us about your boat. It’s a custom-made 19' fiberglass fishing boat with a 90HP motor. Do you have a fishing 'bucket list? The two things I’d really love to do are: go fishing in the Amazon for South American peacock bass, and take part in the Montauk blitz (a notorious striped bass run that takes place in Montauk, NY).