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I Love microskiff.com!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Listening to the podcast Captains Collective, that was recommend on another thread got me wondering. On average how many days does a guide spend on the water before becoming a successful guide? Given this person is a great fisherman and has the right attributes for a guide.
 

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360 days, 90 of which in the past 3 years...

But more seriously, there is no time stamp to it.
How comfortable are you that you can safely navigate the waters and handle any on board emergency(medical, mechanical, etc)?
How comfortable do you feel that you can entertain and put people on fish. You are going to feel pretty bad when that guy who saved up years for his vacation and begged his wife to let him book a charter skunks on your boat (hopefully).
How much do you like coaching and teaching? Remember you likely wont have a rod in your hand or be reeling in any fish. Can you take a hook in the hand from an inexperienced caster with a smile or watch a fish spook from a poor cast after poling all day to get a good shot and laugh it off?

Just some starting points as there is a lot that goes into it.
 

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Almost anyone can obtain a USCG captain's license, buy a skiff or other type of vessel, develop a social media presence, and set a daily rate. Many guides do this with just a few years experience on the water and barely adequate vessels and generate enough income to make a decent living. Expectations of clients vary widely allowing very different actual fishing experience guides to make a little $.
 

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[QUOTE="BrownDog, post: 606544,

How comfortable are you that you can safely navigate the waters and handle any on board emergency(medical, mechanical, etc)?

This is the part many aspiring guides skip, but should be the first thing you learn.
 

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I’d recommend becoming a skilled angler and be able to handle a boat, know your vessel and motor inside and out and be able to navigate safely before attempting to take money for guiding. There’s no time frame because that will come to people at different times because we are all individuals.
Where you fish, how you know how to fish and what type of fishing you plan on doing for money will all come into play. Don’t expect to go buy a boat, get your OUPV, set up a Facebook page and make a living guiding. There’s plenty of competition especially if you plan on chunking bait and taking googans on meat haul trips.
 

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I would think as many others have said. When you know your boat, and have a plan for emergencies both medical and mechanical, maybe have a few connections with other guides, know your area waters very well, are ready to entertain and most of all enough years to know the patterns of the fish you will putting clients on. I would say two to three years minimum to get the patterns down.
 

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I think I'm a pretty good angler and I have a lot of time on the water in my lifetime. I would love to make a living on the water, but guiding is a heavily people oriented profession. I'm a dick and I hate most people so I just don't think it would work.
That’s why you go part time and choose your clients! o_O
 

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When I closed the restaurants my dad tried to talk me into running redfish trips for a living. The heavy social media requirements are a big deterrent for me and I don't like the government looking around in my piss whenever they feel like it. The long hours and lifetime of experience handling people's bullshit gave me unbreakable patience and I'm pretty handy with a wrench so it wasn't the worst idea in the world.

I feel like you can teach anyone to fish but if they can't keep their shit togeather when the client or boat starts to break down then even the best fishermen in the world is going to fall apart.

The only way I'd become a guide is if I could find someone well established to apprentice under. I might be 36 but I'm not above starting from the bottom.
 

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Brandon, FL
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I would have to first define the word "successful".

There are people who can spend every day on the water, see every type of condition and yet still manage not to catch fish on a consistent basis. Then there are guys who can fish periodically and load the boat. 10% of the fisherman catch 90% of the fish.

Filling the boat with paying customers is not an easy task. On one hand you have to be on the water fishing for 8 hours a day and then you have to be advertising the other 20. If you are starting out then you are a marketing person not a fisherman.

To me success as a guide would be when you got to the point of 125-150 days of paying customers who come back every time. Another 75-100 that you serve via your marketing plan and try to convert to regulars.
 

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Lip Ripper
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My area has somewhere around 450 registered inshore guides, most of which are running around in a 21-23' bay boat dunking bait by the Jetties. Sure, most people coming in from out of town are going to enjoy being on the water, drinking beer, and pulling on whatever decides to bight.

I was out with one of these guys for a company event last year. He was fresh out of college using his dads hand me down 2017 22 Sea Pro. About 2 hours into us sitting there he realizes that running his two gps', stereo with multiple amps/speakers, and live well pumps was draining his battery. Yes, just one battery. I helped him move one of his trolling motor batteries back to attempt to crank the zuke 250 but the trolling motor battery didn't have enough juice. He had been anchor mode while we were out there and didn't charge the batteries last night because "usually i can get two days out of those." While we were waiting out there for his dad to come give us a jump (yep they worked for the same guide service group) he starts cleaning one of the fish that my co-workers wanted to keep. I had to let him know that if DNR were to pull up while he was doing that, he'd be in for it and that they don't care that we just have idle time.

There are a lot of really great guides here, some more for anglers and others just to take folks fishing that usually don't have the opportunity. But, There really should be more to regulating "guides"
 
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