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Careers In The Bass Fishing Industry


Tyler Frye

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Looking into potential careers and like anyone out there, I would love to work in the fishing or boating industry in any way shape or form. Does anyone have any recommendations on current companies hiring, paths to look into or any other advice is appreciated. Thank you for your time and tight lines

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Unless youre going into a biology related field, marketing is probably the best thing you can study for a fishing career. Its a fairly universal degree and will be especially useful if you ever try to make a career out of tournament fishing. Outside of that, check the jobs page at your state parks and wildlife department. 

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I'd go one of two ways:  1)  Make a lot of money in your career so you have great toys and can take a lot fishing trips.  Research growing fields and income potential.  2)  Get a career that offers a lot of flexibility and time off so you can fish when you want.  For example, teachers have a lot of time off.  My buddy is a fireman and he always has days off and the flexibility to line up his schedule to travel the way he wants.  Nurses can work schedules that give more time to fish rather than the traditional M-F routine.  My niece used to work 3 12-hour shifts and then have 4 days off.  Think about that schedule!

 

You can always dabble in the fishing/boating industry on the side as either a Pro Staff or field tester or part-time employee.  Maybe it turns into something bigger but I would be very hesitant to try to turn your hobby into a career.  I worked part-time at a tackle shop and it was not nearly as glamorous as you'd think.  I know it is not what you asked for but this is what I would tell my students or kids if they had this idea.  Good luck.

 

 

 

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https://fishingindustryjobs.com/ 

 

Save your nickels and dimes and drive to the next Classic in Texas and meet the guys and gals in the bass fishing industry. Spend two days in the exhibition hall walking around and meeting people.

 

Ask the individuals working their booths to tell you their stories; if they know of any openings in their company; what educational backgrounds are needed; if they know of any openings in other companies; have your one or two page resume with you ready to hand out; dress nicely, like a church service; have a nice haircut; shave off facial hair; always smile; have good breath; be polite; know how to speak English correctly; willing to relocate or travel; show an interest in their products; always say "career" and not "job;" and remember you have only one shot at a first impression.

 

Yes, you can make fun and criticize the above but from an old goat who has been around the block a few times the above items can make or break a career before it gets started.

 

Texas. Your next stop is Texas. At the next Classic. Followed by any Fishing Expos in Kentucky. 

 

In the meantime, check out Bass Fishing Careers or Fishing Careers on the Internet.

 

Good luck and all the best for getting a good career.

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And remember, a job interview is won or lost in the first 5 seconds. Firm handshake, eye contact, smile, and be presentable. You want the person to feel like they’ve known you for years after 5 seconds. Impossible task but the idea is to make that person feel comfortable. Now awkward!

 

Also you need to sell yourself and what you can and will bring to the table. Always sell yourself as an asset, not an employee. What are you going to do to make them more money?

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If I was a teenager, here is what I would have done.  Move to state with tons of rivers/ponds and a high bass population.  Buy myself a kayak and learn to edit videos.  Next thing is start a youtube channel and hope to amass tons of suscribers.   Sit back, fish and let the $$ come in.  I know its not quite that easy, but you get the point.

 

I'd assume that working within the fishing/boating industry would be like anything else.  Once you find a job, it becomes work and no longer a fun hobby.

 

Either way, best of luck to you.

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networking and being at the right spot at the right time.  A lot of marine/sports shops around need grunt work, its a good way to become knowledgeable about products, meet regional reps.

 

having a business degree helps but when you have that you can find higher paying jobs.

 

Your going to spend a lot of time in a warehouse or putting 150k miles on a new $40k truck that you have to replace every 2-3 years for insurance.

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7 hours ago, skekoam said:

If I was a teenager, here is what I would have done.  Move to state with tons of rivers/ponds and a high bass population.  Buy myself a kayak and learn to edit videos.  Next thing is start a youtube channel and hope to amass tons of suscribers.   Sit back, fish and let the $$ come in.  I know its not quite that easy, but you get the point.

 

I'd assume that working within the fishing/boating industry would be like anything else.  Once you find a job, it becomes work and no longer a fun hobby.

 

Either way, best of luck to you.

You’d be shocked at what it takes to monetize a you tube channel. Hoping to amass subscribers won’t cut it and the money, if it ever comes won’t be rolling in. Not that easy doesn’t begin to cover it. 

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Thank you all for the advice! I definitely plan to use a lot of it.  I am talking to a buddy of mine and lords willing we plan to get down to the classic this year and meet as many people as possible. I appreciate all the out reach, tight lines guys

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Check out Miller Wilson fb - young guy started as a real young guy in Australia.

I think any career in the industry now is going to need a strong background in the digital world.

Going to the classic rubbing shoulders and asking questions would be a good thing.

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When I was a teenager I lived for fishing. My parents weren't rich.   I thought a career as a marine biologist would be just what I wanted.  I went to the University of Miami with that goal in mind.  I quickly learned those jobs do not pay all that well.  Before you make a career choice, decide what kind of lifestyle you want to live.  If you want to live in a nice house, drive a nice car, stay married to a nice woman, send your kids to college and live happily in retirement, you will need a career that pays well.   

 

If I was to choose a career in the marine industry today, I would learn marine mechanics.  You can do that without running up $100K in college debt.  Today's boats and boat engines are full of computers.  If you ever have one repaired or upgraded, you will discover how hard it is to find someone good.   

 

Start out working for someone else.   Learn from their mistakes and successes.   When you are ready, open your own shop.  Owning a small business is one of the best ways to become successful in America today. You will work harder than someone working for a weekly paycheck.  You will keep more of your money.   The mistakes you make will be your own.  Everyone I know that has real money made it that way.  

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some solid advice in this thread. If you want to work with fish, get into the fisheries management field. You'll meet great people and do very rewarding work. The pay sucks even as a biologist but you either work for the money or you work for the passion. 

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  • 1 month later...

A career in the "bass fishing industry" will guarantee you one thing for sure.  It will guarantee you wont get to fish near as much as you do now.   Careers in the fishing industry that pay anything decent are all about moving product.  The marketing side is where you can make a decent living.  Weekends? That is when you will be working the trade shows/boat shows etc.  Moving product is a never ending quest.  Its almost a 24/7 job. 

 

As for being a Pro fisherman, its a hard life.  Remember, nobody in the boat/fishing industry gives a rat's rear how many fish you catch or how many tournaments you win.  They want to know how you can get their product in front of people and help them improve market share.    Ranger sponsored me for many years with Memo billed ("free") boats every year.  Why, because I found a good dealer and put on a Ranger shirt and worked every trade show and weigh in I could find for free.   Worked one show in Dallas.  One Saturday, while Forrest Wood came down, I took 7 customers over to the salesman at the boat show and he signed them up.  Forrest asked the dealer about that, then walked up to me and asked If I would like a boat.  From that day on, another boat every year.  Yea, I still worked the trade shows and still promoted the product with my fishing customers.  I made sure they took a look when they wanted a boat and used my name.  That is what they care about.    I was sending customers and Ranger was moving a lot of boats.   They like that.

 

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Go to graduate school and study basic science. Academic and industry research scientists have a pretty good gig as far as flexibility and pay.

 

I have a few friends that now work as consultants for Berkley based on their work with taste receptors. Most of their research and goals weren’t originally related to fishing and they personally don’t have an interest in fishing per se.

 

And if the fishing industry doesn’t work out you have a valuable skill/training.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I kick myself everytime I decided to switch majors from Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries to Landscape Architecture. I could be a Fisheries biologist be now. Oh what could have been.

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I'm a retired Landscape Contractor.  Didn't do landscapes.  I found a niche and utilized my only real talent.  It was the only way I could be outdoors all the time.  If I was a better business man I could have been rich.  But instead I fish, lol.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

With the exception of a very finite number of people, catching fish isn't something people pay for, at least not bass, most of the money in the industry is either in selling things for fishing to folks like us, managing/creating fisheries, enforcing fishing regulations, or guiding other people to catch fish, if you can find enjoyment doing something related to one of these broad categories, you'll figure out pretty quickly which career appeals most to you.

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I’ve been in the outdoor “industry” full time since 1978. I had just finished college and began working with an outdoor magazine (ad sales and editing). Pay was very low. So, I started off working for a hunting guide doing grunt work. Cleaning, cooking, taking care of horses, etc. He didn’t have fishing guide clients so I did that in summer on my own. My first year, I was only home 5 nights. After 5 years, I was burned out. But...

 

I made a little money and began a sporting goods store. Lost all my savings. Closed up. A friend got me a job at a leasing company. I lasted 3 months but did make some good deals that paid well. I wanted a bass boat but no one in the area carried the one I wanted.

 

I went to a small boat dealer and told him what I was looking for. He called the factory with me in his office. He had to buy 4 boats to get started, but didn’t know the bass boat market so was leery. I had been fishing tournaments for a couple of years so I knew people. 

 

I pledged to pay for the four boats (no motors) and he became a Mercury dealer and got the motors needed through Mercury’s flooring company. I sold all 4 before they even arrived (including mine). He made me his sales manager and I spent 10 years selling boats.

 

It was feast or famine though. Someday I’ll tell how I transitioned back to the magazine business where I’ve been for the past 25 years.

 

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  • Global Moderator
On 8/27/2020 at 11:20 PM, lunkerboss923 said:

I kick myself everytime I decided to switch majors from Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries to Landscape Architecture. I could be a Fisheries biologist be now. Oh what could have been.

You’re probably better off! Haha. I have a degree in fisheries and I’m trapping skunks and delivering food 

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In today's world, how much you earn is determined by how much revenue you produce.  Higher education is a good thing, especially if you are going to be a brain surgeon.  It does not guarantee you will be paid more than someone who has less education and more motivation. 

 

 “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

― Mark Twain 

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  • 2 weeks later...

FWIW, I know a couple people in the fishing industry.  One works for Shimano and the other works for Daiwa.  Both aren’t fisherman or have a fishing background.  They just live in SoCal where they have their offices and happen to have the skills needed for the jobs.  So it really depends what part of the industry you want to get in

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