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We all know how much you love to fish and if you’re pretty good at it you can make quite a catch. But can you make money from it? Where do you start? And can anyone just start selling the fish they catch after their fun weekend fishing trips?
In this guide we will show how others make money from fishing, and how they got started, so you can finally turn your passion for fishing into a lucrative new hobby or even a new career.
5 Ways To Make Money Fishing
You’ve heard the rumors that there are people out there who make money by doing what they love, so why not join them? Your favorite hobby can become a good way to earn a little extra cash, so here are some ways that you can earn while you enjoy yourself.
Become A Fishing Tutor
Everybody has to learn somewhere, so why not help those wanting to learn how to fish? If you already know how to fish and have a lot of experience, then teaching can be a great way of earning a little extra income.
You could hold classes or organize fishing camps and impart your wisdom on eager students. Be sure to explain the technical jargon and the different types of equipment.
You can encompass all things fishing with classes on catching different species in a range of conditions, the process of catch and release, as well as how to clean your catch for cooking.
You could even demonstrate how to cook what you catch, which can work well in a camp setting. It’s not just kids who want to learn to fish, there are plenty of adults looking for new skills to learn, so you could tailor your lessons to either group, or set up a class that the whole family can get involved in.
Check with your local marinas or bait shops to see if you could advertise on a noticeboard there or get yourself an online presence and get your friends and family to help share your business.
Become A Fishing Guide
Use your knowledge of your local area to become a fishing guide and charge people for your personal expertise. You can either do this from the side of a river or lake, or even better, if you have your own boat that can take passengers.
This can be ideal if you frequently head out to fish from your boat, especially if it’s offshore. Chartering a boat for this purpose might also work but will likely add more costs that you don’t want, particularly if you have to hire someone to captain the vessel for you.
You will also need to make sure your boat is fully insured to take passengers and that you have all the required safety equipment and life jackets for every passenger. You will also likely require a commercial passenger fishing vessel license, with the cost and licensing being dependent on the state.
But as a more affordable option for you, you could run kayak fishing tours. This way, you could use your own fishing kayak and have your paying customers bring their own yaks or use rented ones from your local outfitters.
This way you will be guiding your customers to the best spots while letting them enjoy the freedom that kayaking can offer.
Make Your Own Fishing Videos (YouTube)
If you’ve ever been on YouTube, you’ll know that there are literally millions of fishing videos on there, uploaded by people all over the world, catching all types of fish and giving advice.
So, if you’re any good at catching fish, making a video of your trip can be a good way to earn some money. If you can explain as you go, you can dispense fishing advice and could be more likely to build up a following, especially if you upload new videos regularly.
You could also use the videos as a way of advertising your other endeavors, such as your teaching or fishing guide business. It can be a good idea to watch other videos for inspiration and often a lesson on what not to do.
Video: How To Make Fishing Video
Try to make sure your videos are not too long, as long videos might be off-putting to viewers who want a quick and informative video to watch. The best videos on YouTube range from between 42 seconds to just over 9 minutes, with the average time being just over 4 minutes….but you should experiment to find the optimum time that brings in the best results for you.
In order to make money from the videos, you will need to rely on the advertising set up by YouTube, but you just need to get your account set up for advertising and you should be on your way to making money.
Success Story: 1rod1reel
Check out the YouTube channel: 1rod1reel. At time of writing, this guy has over 700k subscribers, and gets between 4 and 14 million views per month! He’s also on all the other big social media platforms.
Just goes to show how well you can do with a little hard graft 🙂
Check out the channel here.
Make Fishing Lures
If you know how to tie artificial flies then this could be a good little business to get involved in, as there are many ways you can sell your finished lures online, without requiring much of an initial investment.
You could get inventive and discover new ways to create a fishing lure, such as by recycling other materials, so it can be cost effective for you as well as beneficial for the environment.
If you’re really good at it and your lures are successful, you might find that word of mouth will help you with advertising. It can also be useful to go into your local bait shop and offer them your products.
Using your own lures to catch fish on one of your homemade movies might help you get customers if they can see for themselves how good they are.
Enter Fishing Contests
Fishing competitions can be a great way of making some extra cash. However, you will usually find that there are entry fees to pay, with some of them being pretty pricey, especially if you enter a few of them over the season. But if you consider yourself good enough you might be in with a chance of taking home a prize.
You can often find fishing contests listed in your local bait and tackle stores, as well as online. There are also several tournaments held by Bassmaster, where the winning prize can often be a few hundred thousand dollars.
Entering local competitions can be a good way to start, as they will let you get used to the competitive fishing environment and will also mean your transportation costs will be low compared to traveling halfway across the country.
What About Fishing For A Living?
If you are super committed to fishing and to building a business, there’s really no reason why you couldn’t make a full time income from any of the above, as these businesses all exist. It just depends on how much time, and sometimes monetary investment, you’re willing to put in.
However, there are ways you can fish for a living without having to enter any contests.
One thing you might be wondering is, can anyone just sell the fish they catch after their fishing trip? And the answer is usually, no. No matter where you are, you will probably find that you need a license to allow you to sell what you catch.
If you fish a lot and regularly catch fish, you could sell your fish to restaurants and other businesses. Before you start with this new venture, you will need to apply for a commercial fishing license from your state’s wildlife department, otherwise it’s not legal.
You will also need to stay within your state’s laws on catch limits and the types of species you can catch. If you have your own vessel you will probably find that you’ll be able to access more areas of the water, so you will likely catch more fish.
You will probably also need to invest in more equipment to increase your chances of catching fish and the rate at which you catch them.
Selling the fish you catch can be a full time job, so you will need to consider whether the conditions will be right for you all year round. For example, if you live in Florida you can pretty much fish all year round, but if you’re in Maine you might find you’re limited to the seasons.
But think of the length of time that you will need to be on the water to catch enough fish to sell to make a living and the type of fish that is available in your state and whether it’s in demand.
Remember, also, that even if you have your own lake or pond on your property, you will still need a commercial fishing license if you plan to sell any of the fish you catch.
Clear Nuisance Fish
While many lakes will be well stocked and well managed, there will still be many lakes, ponds and rivers that contain so-called nuisance fish, which can pose a threat to the native fish and the game fish that have been introduced there.
With the popularity of sport fishing in the USA, you might find there is a significant need for lakes and ponds to be cleared of these fish to protect the recreational fishing industry, as well as the industries that rely on fishing, such as tourism.
This would mean you could get out there to fish in a range of environments, with the property owners paying you for your services. Depending on the size of some of the bodies of water, you might find that having a boat or kayak is useful for getting closer to the fish and having better access over the water.
It could become a lucrative business, with many of the ponds and lakes needing to be re-cleared, as it can be common for some of these nuisance species to remain even after you think they’ve been removed completely.
However, maybe the best way to go about making your living from fishing is to combine a couple of these ways and really invest your time to build up your business to get it fully off the ground.
Do you make money from fishing? Let us know below…