Make Money Fishing: Ultimate Guide

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Last Updated on October 23, 2022 by Chris Panteli

Make Money Fishing

Fishing is hugely popular. You might enjoy fishing as a hobby or fishing to make a living.

In the US alone, the fishing industry is worth a whopping $11.5 billion. Fishing tends to be resilient when the economy is suffering. There are a couple of reasons fishing always does well even in challenging economic climates.

First, fishing can be a cheap hobby. During the fishing season, all you need is a cheap fishing rod and some bait to get started.

Second, fish is a popular food that many people enjoy eating. Studies show that roughly 80% of Americans eat fish on a regular basis. That means professional fishermen are always needed to catch the fish for others to eat.

Do you want to know how to make money fishing?

Yes! Well in that case you’re in the right place. 

Anyone can start making money from fishing using one of these ideas. Even if you’re new to fishing, you can start your own business today and make money fishing.

Are you hooked? Then let’s go (no more fishing puns, promise).

Can You Make Money Fishing?

Can You Make Money Fishing?

Yes! You can make money fishing. Every option listed in this post is legit. How much money you make will depend on you.

Your experience, the fishing business you start, and how much time you can invest in your business will all affect your earning potential.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average wage for fishing jobs in the US is $28,530. That’s just an average though, there’s plenty of potential to earn significantly more.

Excitingly you don’t have to pick one option. You can do more than one of the fishing jobs listed below.

For example, you might decide to start running fishing boat trips. You could also blog about those boat trips to create an extra income stream. Plus, if you take lots of photos on the boat trips, you could sell the photos for more money. That’s three potential income streams.

When choosing a fishing job ask yourself these questions first. How can I make more money fishing? Can I work on more than one income stream at a time?

Once you’ve got your answers it’s time to start working on your plan.

How To Make Money Fishing

Fishing is a hobby loved by many. Taking off to the Columbia River to catch wild salmon. Spending a beautiful day at Hells Canyon Dam on Snake River catching a range of different fish. Or catching bass at Priest Rapids Dam. You don’t have to be a professional fisherman to enjoy a fishing trip like these.

Turning your passion from a hobby into a job is a great way to make work more enjoyable.

Plus, your passion and knowledge for fishing will shine through to customers. This could be good for business as customers love dealing with people that enjoy their jobs.

Arrange Fishing Boat Trips

Fishing boat trips can be a lucrative fishing business. You’ll need a boat of course. Plus, you may need gear for the group including bait, lures, and poles.

Tours could be promoted for different groups. Trips for kids or beginner fishermen can be offered to learn the fishing basics.

Experienced fishermen might organize fishing trips for a fun day out. If you live in a popular tourist area this can be a top way to earn money. 

Charter boats often cost about $200 an hour. Charging $40 per person per hour can earn you $240 per hour for a group of 6. If the trip takes 5 hours, you’ve earned $1200.

Arrange Fishing Boat Trips

If you get bookings like that 5 days a week, now you’re earning $312,000 per year.

Even once you’ve deducted expenses and taxes, you should still have a healthy profit.

To start your own fishing charter boat business, you’re going to need money. Buying a boat is your first and biggest expense. It may be possible to save money here by buying a second-hand boat.

Other expenses include:

  • Dock fees
  • Insurance
  • Fishing license
  • Business permits
  • Misc. fees such as legal or accounting fees

Once your business is up and running, there will be ongoing costs to plan for. These include:

  • Fuel and oil
  • Bait, tackle, and ice
  • Utilities
  • Boat maintenance

Become A Professional Fisherman

Professional fishermen are always in demand. This isn’t the type of fishing that’s recommended for fishing hobbyists.

You can work for a commercial fishing company or start your own.

Working long hours at sea is expected. You’ll work in most weather conditions including storms. Plus, you may be away from home for weeks at a time.

Become A Professional Fisherman

The average pay for a commercial fisherman in the US is $39.824. Your experience, skills, and employer will all affect your wages. 

You can always supplement your fishing income in other ways. For example, by starting a fishing blog.

Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program

Every year the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife runs the Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Program.

The Sport Reward Fishery program is run to protect juvenile salmonids from being eaten by the Northern Pikeminnow. 

Every year from May to September you can earn serious coin for every Northern Pikeminnow you catch. For those 5 months, the average angler earns $27,836. The record earnings for that period is $119,314. Not bad for 5 months of work.

Blog About Fishing

Blog About Fishing

Starting a blog about fishing is an awesome way to start building a passive income.

Think about this. When you want fishing advice, information, or have questions about fishing what do you do?

You look for those answers online. Usually, you’ll find other fishing enthusiasts that have a dedicated fishing blog.

By starting your own fishing blog you’ll help other fishing enthusiasts. And make yourself some money.

Make Money Fishing: Ultimate Guide

There’s no end to the things you could write about. Here are a few suggestions to start with:

  • Fishing gear
  • The best fishing spot
  • Fishing tips
  • How to make your own fishing lures
  • Fish recipes
  • Fishing in video games like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing

It can take time to build a blog up, but once you start getting regular traffic you can make money.

Blogs make money in many ways including:

  • Ads
  • Affiliate links
  • Selling physical or digital products
  • Sponsored posts
  • Subscription fees

If running a blog doesn’t appeal to you, why not start a fishing newsletter?

You could produce a newsletter weekly. Even charging a monthly subscription fee of $5 can give you a decent income. You only need 500 subscribers and you’re earning $2500 every month.

Platforms like Beehiiv let you start for free. You can write about the same fishing topics but on a smaller scale.

Breed Fish

Breeding fish is a viable business idea. You’ll need to make sure you know what you’re doing and have the appropriate equipment.

Fish farming can be lucrative. Especially if you sell certain types of fish. Tropical fish like guppies are easy to breed and profitable. 

Minnows are another profitable fish you can breed. These are often in high demand as they are used to make bait.

Breed Fish

Depending on your state laws you may need a license to sell fish. Make sure you check all relevant local laws before starting this business.

Enter Fishing Competitions

If you’re confident in your fishing skills, why not enter fishing competitions?

You can win prizes of various sizes for things like catching a unique fish or making the largest catch.

To find fishing contests you can:

  • Search online
  • Check local newspapers
  • Visit local sporting or fishing stores

Could you win a lot of money from fishing tournaments? One fishing tournament announced the 1st prize of $1 million in cryptocurrency. If you’re a competitive angler, you could win big bucks at a fishing contest.

If you’re serious about your fishing, then you could join one of the professional fishing leagues:

These are professional leagues which means you can earn serious amounts of money. That does mean it’s not for amateurs. If you’ve got the talent and the equipment, you could become a serious player on the US fishing circuit.

Make Fishing Lures To Sell

Make Fishing Lures To Sell

If you can make fishing lures to a high standard, then you can sell them.

Check with your local bait and tackle shop to see if they will sell your fishing lures. You can also try selling your own fishing lures on Etsy, eBay, and your own website.

Social media is another way to sell fishing products such as a fishing lure. Facebook marketplace or Craigslist could generate sales.

If you’re an avid fisherman and well known in the community, then fellow fishermen may buy lures from you. Word of mouth may help boost sales more than traditional advertising.

Open A Bait And Tackle Store

Fishermen always need plenty of bait. Opening your own bait and tackle store may cost a bit at first, but you’ll always have plenty of customers.

You can breed your own worms, maggots, and crickets for sale as bait. Breeding your own stock is one way to save money.

To get started you need to pick a location for your store. The closer you can get to fishing spots the better. That’s because you’ll get a lot more walk-in business.

Open A Bait And Tackle Store

Now you’ve got to figure out how much money you need to get started. Here are some costs to consider when opening a bait and tackle store:

  • The building rent and utilities
  • Industrial refrigerators
  • Rods, fishing line, flies, and lures
  • Live bait
  • Other fishing equipment
  • Permits, licenses, and insurance

Starting your own bait and tackle shop will cost at least $5,000. By the time you buy stock, advertising, and staff it might cost as much as $10,000 to get started. 

That’s not a small change. Yet, a business like this can be extremely profitable. Especially if it’s near a prime fishing spot.

Self Publish Fishing eBooks

These days platforms like Amazon KDP allow anyone to self-publish their own eBooks.

You could write and self-publish your own books about fishing. Here are a few possible titles to give you inspiration:

  • Fishing for beginners
  • How to make money fishing
  • Facts about fishing
  • A complete fishing guide
  • The dos and don’ts of fishing

Don’t worry if you’re not a confident writer. You can always hire a writer to write the book for you. Freelance writers can be found on Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.

Recommended: Writing Short Stories For Money: 27 Best Sites That Pay

Sell Fishing Photos

Sell Fishing Photos

Do you take lots of high-quality photos when you’re fishing? If so, you could be sitting on a goldmine.

You can upload any photos you take to stock photo sites. Those photos can then be bought by others. That generates a sweet passive income for you.

Stock photo sites to sell on include:

You could also pitch your photos to fishing magazines or websites. Building direct relationships can mean higher earnings. Magazine or website editors may start sending you requests for specific photos. If you can deliver, then those photos will be worth a higher fee.

Recommended: 14 Best Apps To Sell Photos And Make Money

Start A YouTube Fishing Channel

Anyone can start a YouTube channel. The best part is that it costs nothing to start.

If you can create engaging videos that attract viewers. You can make money from your fishing channel.

Some ways YouTubers make money from their channels are through:

  • Ads
  • Sponsors
  • Affiliate links
  • Selling merch

Videos can be about whatever you want. Record videos of yourself fly fishing, making fishing lures, or going on fishing boat trips. 

You could use your fishing channel to give fishing lessons. That’s a popular style of YouTube video. Extensive how-to collections showing all the basics of fishing right up to more expert advice.

By turning yourself into YouTubes expert fishing advisor you’ll attract more viewers. More viewers mean more profit for your fishing channel.

Teach Others To Fish

Teach Others To Fish

Lots of people want to learn to fish, but don’t know where to start. That opens a terrific opportunity for fishermen like you to teach others.

You could offer one-on-one fishing lessons or start a fishing camp. A fishing camp gives you the chance to earn more. Teaching 5-6 fishing students at once will pay more than 1. Plus, you can reward payments by giving a small discount on future bookings. That’s a great way to earn repeat business.

To find students you could leave flyers in local bait shops, sporting stores, or colleges.

Local online groups are another great way to offer your services. Nextdoor, Facebook or Craigslist could all be used for free advertising.

If you can’t teach fishing in person, why not create online courses for sale? You could sell fishing courses on platforms like Udemy. This is a great way to create a passive income stream.

What Equipment Do You Need To Make Money Fishing

Getting your fishing business started may need some initial investment. For example, if you want to run boat trips, you’re going to need a boat.

If money is tight right now, there are low-cost ways to start your fishing business. A blog, YouTube channel, or selling stock photos costs nothing, to begin with. You’ll just need a computer or smartphone.

Once you’ve got more money in the bank, you can start investing in other fishing business ideas.


How much money can I make from fishing?

Fishing income will depend on what you’re doing. On average fishermen earn $28,530 a year in the US.

However, creating many fishing income streams will boost your earnings.

Can you get rich by fishing?

It’s possible to get rich by fishing. Winning some fishing tournaments can net you millions of dollars in winnings.

Some blogs and YouTube channels are also known to earn their creators millions of dollars. There’s no reason why that couldn’t be you too.

How do I turn my fishing hobby into a career?

Fishing is a viable career path. All you need to do first is choose which path you want to start on. If you’ve got the money, then a fishing charter boat business may be ideal for you.

Others may prefer to work as commercial fishermen first or enter tournaments. Then use those experiences to teach others. There’s no one size fits all answer. Pick what’s best for you and start doing it today.

Make Money Fishing

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