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How to Become a Fishing Guide

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Does your busy work schedule cut into your fishing time to the point that something has to give? If so, and if you are an experienced fisherman who knows the best holes to seemingly guarantee a catch, consider being a professional fishing guide. Fishing guides make a nice living doing what they love to do.

Before You Hit the Water with a Customer

Explore your state's regulations and testing requirements for guide services by consulting your state department of conservation or, if on a coast, the United States Coast Guard field office. Choose a business entity type with the help of your attorney that shields you from any uninsured personal liability should you have a boating or fishing accident. Draft a business plan that includes proposed start-up costs that include a boat, if necessary, your gear, marketing money and some living expenses since it may take time to hook your first client. Fish regularly, documenting favorite locations and searching for new ones that give you the best opportunity to show your client the most possible value.

Fishing for Customers

Create a marketing plan and professional materials that outline why someone should trust you with their short amount of available fishing time. Enter or start fishing tournaments in the body of water in which you seek to guide. Prove yourself to be the trusted expert in the area by publicizing pictures of your catch, printing pictures to place on tackle shop bulletin boards, in the local or regional newspaper and on social media sites. You could also benefit from getting to know the local residents by offering free or inexpensive fishing clinics.