How to become a professional fisherman

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are thinking about becoming a professional fisherman, first decide what arena you prefer: offshore commercial fisherman, tournament fisherman or charter guide. There's a wide range of opportunities available to you in this field. Let's look at some basic steps.

Develop your love of fishing into commitment to make a living at it. There's a difference between hobby fishing and professional fishing. It takes hard work and long hours of practice to become a professional.

Study the behavior and habitat of the type of fish you plan to make your major focus. A professional fisherman needs to understand feeding and mating habits, whether you are catching fresh-water fish or marine fish.

Join a local fishing club if you plan to become a professional tournament fisherman. Watch the senior members. Seize every opportunity to fish with them. Learn from them. Club membership can help you get into the tournament circuit. Once you establish a winning track record, sponsorships will open up for you.

Think about becoming a charter guide if you want to fish for a profession. Increase your skills and knowledge about fishing. Opportunities can open up at coastal resorts. Charter boats seek professional fishing guides for their clients.

Consider commercial fishing if you enjoy the sea. If you are the adventurous type, the Professional Fish Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador can help get you certified as a professional. Commercial fishing provides food for the community. It's a valuable service and can give you a sense of pride and job satisfaction. There's also a certain level of job security. People need to eat.


Contact the Professional Fish Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador if you are considering a career as a professional sea fisherman.


Prepare to spend some money before you make money as a professional tournament fisherman. Entering tournaments can be expensive. Amounts vary, depending on whether it's a weekend, one-day or one-week tournament.

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