How Much Money Can I Make as a Fishing Guide?


Everyone has heard the words, “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Though all jobs require hard work, not many people can say that they truly love what they do. Professional fishing guides, however, have a pretty sweet gig: making a living off of fishing.

 How much do fishing guides make?

Fishing charter businesses allow people to partake in expeditions that they could never manage to pull off on their own. Becoming a fishing guide means you’ll get paid to share knowledge, demonstrate skills, bait hooks, take photos for clients, and carry out other necessary tasks on the open waters. It’s a good fit for skilled anglers who have a passion for fishing and a passion for people. Even better, no formal education is necessary to become a fishing guide.


Taking paying customers on fishing adventures on the open waters for a half-day or a full-day trip is a surefire way to make money because your clientele has discretionary income; they can afford to hire someone to ensure a fun, successful fishing trip. Most outdoor guides make between $75 to $150 a day, with some in high-demand tourist areas making closer to $400 a day1. Your average professional fishing guide makes around $55,000 per year. It’s estimated that well-run charter businesses should earn a 25% profit.


Most outdoor guides make between $75 to $150 a day, with some in high-demand tourist areas making closer to $400 a day


Keep in mind that guides who work for companies make less than those who own their own boat—the most lucrative way to make money off casting a line is to own your own charter. Highly in-demand guides can earn up to $85,000 a year2. Of course, many careers require a certain investment, and fishing guides are no exception. You’ll have to acquire all the necessary documentation, special types of insurance, and fishing and safety equipment if you plan to start your own business. There are additional expenses like dockage, advertising, bookkeeping, boat maintenance, and management fees.


Your best prospects location-wise will be in states like Louisiana, California, Florida, and Minnesota that have high numbers of tourists visiting specifically for hunting and fishing. Advertising your services with a strong online presence is another way to ensure success. Using an Online Booking and Payment system like Yentna makes it simple and secure to manage bookings both online and offline and start building your online credibility. Though it can take a while to build your customer base, you can expect a lot of business to come from customer referrals and repeat customers. This is excellent motivation to set yourself apart from other trip operators and provide every client with an unforgettable experience.


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