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NoLuck

Fishing as a career?

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Fishing professionally is a dream job, but what is it exactly? 

Tournament fishing seems to be the top choice, but what other professions exist within fishing? Thanks. 

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Commercial fishing, supplier to fish markets

Word of warning...

Taking something you love to do and turning it into a career or profession can sour the joy you get out of just doing it for fun.

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You could be a YouTube fisherman. I hear they make good money....

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Retail sales in fishing tackle.

Custom lure making.

Rod and reel repair.

Rod making.

Boat sales and repair.

Outboard engine mechanic.

Trolling motor repair.

Fishing resort owner.

Fish biologist.

Tom 

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I plan on combining my degree with my hobby by doing graphic design for a fishing company.

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Just so the OP doesn't get the wrong idea, I have a good friend that works for the Oklahoma Division of Wildlife Conservation as a biologist and VERY little has to do with fishing. ;)

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NoLuck, you have some research to do to decide what you want to do in life, with the understanding that it is OK to change careers later on.

 

Have you attended any Bassmaster Classics? If not, you have to before you decide to consider the "fishing industry." And here is the reason:

 

You can speak with the guys and gals manning the various booths and let them tell you their stories about how they got into the industry and if they like it or not. And then you have to decide what level of income you can make in each profession.

 

I spoke with Dr. Keith Jones' Berkley staff at a Bassmaster Classic (sorry to say Kevin skipped that one) and found out that one of the guys was a Mississippi State grad (or was it Georgia?) that landed a job in Berkley's research department. He was not a scientist but he was hired by Berkley and placed with Dr. Jones. He told me he sent his resume to Berkley (Pure Fishing) along with a lot of other companies and he landed the job.

 

If "Fred VA" is Fredericksburg, Virginia, please plan to drive south on I-95 to the Richmond Fishing Expo this January and speak with the people working that event. You will gain much knowledge and find out the prerequisites needed to enter the various companies and if the people working the industry are happy with their future. And before or after the seminars speak with the presenters. They are really nice guys and they will love to give you insight into the industry at various levels.

 

Now, I mentioned above "prerequisites." What prerequisites? Well, do you need a college degree? If so, what is the best major? (Probably not history or social services but maybe English, law, marketing, accounting, management, biology, physics, math, mass communications, etc.). Do you have to be a world class fisherman? Do you need various citations relating to your catches? Do you have to be mechanically inclined and understand the operation of an outboard motor and its physics? Do you want to do research? Do you want to work for ESPN and help with the various fishing TV productions? Is a sales career for you? If you are single it means you can travel all over the country selling your employers' products. If you are married then this type of work can put your relationship under a lot of stress. Do you want to manage a Bass Pro Shop or Cabela's store? Do you want to work for a company and then start your own business? Lots of decisions to be made.

 

So may I suggest going to the Fishing Expo this January; getting the names and phone numbers of the executives at the various fishing companies around the USA and contact them about future employment; get your college degree; dress professionally; hide all tattoos; shine your shoes; update your resume; speak proper English; and hit the streets.

 

Now, as for being a guide. My cousin down in Louisiana has given up his guide business and moved to Atlanta. He still has his business and his web page but if you want to stay in his double wide's and then go out into the Biloxi Marsh and catch some fantastic redfish and specked trout you will go with another captain, using one of my cousin's boats. In other words, after all of these years being a charter captain he is burned out and is now having a blast renovating and selling houses in the greater Atlanta area.

 

OK, now is the time to start your research. Go to the Richmond Fishing Expo or another expo in your area; write to the fishing companies executives; call and speak with guides and professional bass fishermen; get all the data you can.

 

Good luck and all the best for a successful future in the fishing industry.

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I'm glad this thread exists. I'm a manufacturer sales rep for a good company and I'm hoping to one day land a rep position at a tackle manufacturer. It's great hearing all the opinions on a little different topic.

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I've done the guide thing (fly fishing, not bass), rod building and repair, went to school to do fisheries research, and I do a little writing now. To be honest writing is the only one that ACTUALLY allows you to enjoy fishing on your own terms, but it also is the most volatile as far as income goes. 

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Here is a start!

 

 
No automatic alt text available.

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Just so you know, there are thousands of folks at ICAST every year, employed by the fishing industry in some way, shape, or form.  Many of them are my friends. All of them got into it because of their passion for fishing.

 

The most common theme I hear every year is, "Ironic I work in this industry, yet have very little time to actually fish anymore these days."

 

 

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11 hours ago, Glenn said:

Just so you know, there are thousands of folks at ICAST every year, employed by the fishing industry in some way, shape, or form.  Many of them are my friends. All of them got into it because of their passion for fishing.

 

The most common theme I hear every year is, "Ironic I work in this industry, yet have very little time to actually fish anymore these days."

 

 

What Glenn penned is 100% correct, not only in the fishing industry but in all industries.

 

There is a vast difference in any occupation between doing it for fun or the love of the activity and basing your financial security on it for a living. Working for the NFL, NHL, NBA, a college athletic department or a local soccer organization is vastly different than playing the sport you love.

 

A lot of guys think tournament fishing is fun. Believe me, tournament fishing is not fun. It is a lot of hard work studying maps; time on the water before the tournament; hours of prep time before leaving the house; planning for weather changes; selecting the tackle and baits you believe will do the best for you; thinking about breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; putting fuel in the boat and truck the day before the tournament; scouting safe places to stay; making sure the trailer and its tires are in good shape; and getting to the blast off ramp at least an hour, if not earlier, before blast off just to get your boat in the water in the dark.

 

The gratification you get when you do well against your peers cannot be matched. The sadness when you don't do as well as your peers is equal in a negative way to any positive gratification you would have enjoyed had you done better.

 

So if you want a career in the fishing industry you have to prepare and be lucky. There are only "so many" openings and for you to be selected to fill one of the openings is fantastic. But you will also be turned down many more times than offered a position and this is just like tournament fishing - more losses than wins.

 

As Glenn states, "there are thousands of folk at ICAST every year, employed by the fishing industry......" For you to get into the fishing industry you have to secure "contacts." Not at ICAST as that is a closed show and you can't get in. But, like a tournament fisherman, you have to invest the time and effort doing your research of other shows and different companies; performing a "recon" of different companies via guys and gals you meet at the various fishing shows and expos; having a good education; speaking the King's English properly; not showing all of your tattoos; wearing business casual clothes (no jeans or tees); wearing proper shoes; no beards or mustaches if the people representing the companies at the shows don't have them; and most important of all...wearing a smile and being confident.

 

Sad to say that you are not attending these events to look at the goodies. You goal is to make as many contacts as possible and hear what the people in the industry are telling you on how to approach their companies. You need to see how these people act and dress. Ask them about their formal education. Can you travel around the country or are you engaged/married and want a career at their home office?

 

The "little things" that count on a first impression will make or break you. And you have to put in the time and effort doing your research on the Internet about the various companies; checking with "head hunters" as to any openings they know of; sending proper letters of introduction to the top executives of those companies you are interested in joining; and being persistent.

 

You can also go to your local tackle shops, Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, Academy, Gander Mountain and speak with a store manager about who you can contact at the various fishing related companies. Tell them what you want to do and if they are at liberty to give you the names of the company executives who you can contact.

 

Like in tournament fishing, you have to keep fishing tournaments and getting better at it before you score a top win. You have to do your homework before you approach any company and each time you make contact you will learn something to help you on your next contact.

 

Sorry for the long post but I want to share with you a story and what can happen if you are in the right place at the right time.

Five years ago I accepted a volunteer position to help Berkley with their fishing booth at the last Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill. Had a fantastic time. But guess who I met and listened to their funny stories about Jimmy Houston and others? Bradley Roy and Hank Parker. Two great guys - one on the way up and the other enjoying retirement.

 

But the best part of the event was that on the day when the TV crew arrived and Hank was going to award the fishing prize to the top Boy Scout Angler guess who flew down from Berkley to be at the event? One of the top Berkley vice presidents. A very nice individual who was easy to speak with and he fit in with Hank and Bradley so easily it was something to see. A vice president of Berkley,college educated, on the business side of bass fishing, sharing stories with Hank Parker and Bradley Roy and the rest of us volunteers. It was amazing.

 

A college educated professional fitting in with bass tournament professionals on the same level.

 

Had you been there you could have asked the vice president what you had to do to start your career at Pure Fishing. But you were not there and no one asked the vice president about working in the bass fishing industry. So once again, at the right place at the right time.

 

Head to the library and ask for the books that list fishing industry companies' profiles. You may have to look in the stocks and bonds section for the listings of the company profiles and management people. Make your list and then start working on your letter to the individual you want to contact. The librarians, who don't fish, can be extremely helpful to you in finding the data you need to view.

 

Go to all of the fishing shows you can make. No excuses. You have to invest time and money to get your dream job. Don't be bashful. Ask those working the shows and find the individuals putting on the shows about who they suggest you contact or if they have heard about any openings. What are their education levels? Is it mostly on-the-job training or do you need a college degree?

 

Dress professionally; speak professionally; have a tablet, pens to make notes; if possible give them a business card with your name, address and phone number on it to hand out to be passed up the chain of command; and go for it.

 

Just remember, you will strike out more than get a hit but it takes only one hit.

 

Good luck and all the best in finding your dream job, which translated means working in the bass fishing industry and having lots of time to fish on the company's dime!!!!!!

 

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My current job as a manufacturer sales rep in food service leaves me very little time to fish or even discuss it. For me, its meat and money everyday. 

 

I feel that that if I'm not going to have a lot of time to fish, I'd RATHER have a job where I could at least be around fishing everyday, even if that means crunching numbers. I hope to become a manufacturer rep or even a broker/distributor rep because I enjoy helping businesses find the right products for them to grow and I'm very passionate about fishing. It will happen one day, with patience and persistence.

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Mega, no excuses. Just do it!

 

You have days off and some time during a day to hit the library for an hour or two to research different companies.

 

You have time on the weekend to update your resume and write at least 10 letters to different companies.

 

You have time to locate a Kinko's or Staples and make copies of your resume. Use yellow paper to stand out. Speak with the folks at Kinko's and Staples, etc. about your resume and how to improve it.

 

No excuses. Go for it! Throw a lot of resumes up against the wall and see what happens.

 

Keep us posted on your progress.

 

Good luck.

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I have a friend that is a full time guide (salmon, steelhead, lakers, browns, walleye, perch, smallmouth) .  He does very little fishing himself.  It's all about putting your clients on fish

 

I build fishing rods.  I haven't been fishing since Labor Day Weekend.

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Don't wanna be a guide, don't wanna be a builder, don't wanna be resort owner, don't wanna be anything except head of new lure development of a major company.  Fishing trips on company money, to the spots where the target fish are known to be, getting paid for it, some pressure, keeps it interesting, but nothing like pro-angler or guiding or chief operating officer.

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