From rivers and inlets to lakes and coastline, the opportunities for Florida fishing are limitless. Each area in the state boasts some great spots so the trick is to identify a place that suits your needs.
If you need a boat to reach your ideal spot but don’t have one, you can look at fishing charters. Popular shoreline spots like piers, bridges, jetties and other structures not only offer convenient access but some great action as well.
For example, Jacksonville Beach Pier offers a good chance to land king mackerel. For instance, the season for several species of grouper closes for certain months of the year.
Check out its seasonal fishing calendar that lists the best months to catch various species depending on the area of the state you’re in. If you want to head out to the deep sea, any charter captain will tell you there’s no bad time.
If you want to experience the thrill and excitement of offshore fishing or just head out in a small skiff in the grass flats but lack a boat, it can be a good idea to use a guide or book a charter. They’ll also provide you with rods, reels and tackle so you don’t have to bring your own gear.
Reading Time: 4minutes Florida is the biggest market for charter fishing in the world. Today, you’ll discover what licenses you need to become a legally operating charter captain in the Sunshine State.
Florida is the most popular sport fishing destination in the US, and the world. There are major differences between being a licensed saltwater and freshwater guide in the state of Florida.
To legally operate saltwater charters, you need more licenses than for freshwater. Note that in order to apply for this license, your boat already has to be ‘commercially registered’, which means you need to have the Boat Registration from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you want to fish legally in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico (9 miles out or more), you need a Coastal Pelagic permit and/or a Reef Fish permit. All charter boats must be registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The price of registering your boat depends on its size, and whether you are a resident of Florida. In any case, we strongly recommend every charter captain to insure their boat.
To be a legal freshwater fishing guide, you don’t need any specific state guide licenses. Moreover, you only need a USCG captain’s license if you fish in ‘navigable waters’, meaning waterways with (commercial) traffic.
If you fish in non-navigable freshwater, you do not need a USCG Merchant Mariner Credential in the Sunshine State. However, you do need to have your boat registered at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
However, this information should not be considered professional or legal advice. Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula.
So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville. Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwanee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwanee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destiny, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee ’s Lake Alcuin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself. Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order.
Florida ’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic. Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish.
The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce. As a professional BASS Online fishing guide /boat captain, you get to join a TEAM of like-minded anglers enjoying a career in a real business.
Surrounded by an unbelievable daily working environment in the fishing industry. Helping others appreciate the value of fishing and participating in conversations regarding the outdoors on a daily bases.
As you might imagine, showing customers where “the big one lives” may not be the ideal job for the security-minded person. Consequently, may not be the reason you went to college, and I am sure your degree wasn’t bass fishing related.
This is why a lot of fishing guides are involved in a business outside the fishing guide industry for additional income and security, usually in the form of retirement pensions or some kind of off-season employment. This is also why BASS Online is the leading and largest guide service to work for, we offer consistency, dependability, cell-phones, industry discounts, retirement and so much more.
BASS Online cuts the learning curve for new guides, with years of experience, knowledge, and data. The sheer fact that we have more fishing guides on the water daily, in more locations than anyone else…allows us to produce more and bigger fish…we guarantee it.
We are able to shorten your learning curve with our TEAM approach and get you profitable quicker. Maybe fishing is the only activity that you feel you want to do, all the time and that doesn’t get you bored.
Although it’s possible to save on your expenses by purchasing used equipment, boat, etc., guiding isn’t exactly the kind of business that can be started on a frayed shoestring budget. “You’ll need a new or used vehicle (truck or SUV) that seats three to four people.
As well as about 15 rods and reels of various sizes and styles, an assortment of terminal gear, tackle boxes, line, hooks, etc… perhaps as much as $1,000 worth of fishing supplies, above and beyond the cost of your automobile and boat. And for good reasons: “Probably 85% of your customers will be inexperienced anglers, and such folks tend to wear-out equipment faster.
Also, with the boom in the bass fishing industry, anglers want to use the latest technology in equipment. The customer is much more informed these days, so don’t insult them with the cheap stuff.
Making a living in the fishing industry does nothing more than give you a greater responsibility for the surrounding environment…if your fisheries go away, so does your job.” All of whom will require patience, kindness, and a good deal of encouragement throughout the trip.
You will have older clients who would like to do most of their fishing from a chair, children who drop or even break rods and reels which happens with eager anglers. And even with experienced anglers in some form of the memorable moment, you will have a customer go into the water.
Needless to say, patience and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity are important attributes for all GREAT fishing guides to have.” The ability to adapt and work with all these customers under the best and worst conditions will surely help your goal of being economically independent as a fishing guide.
In the old days, you could write articles and do other industry activities to produce additional income. Because of technology and competition, these options are no longer available as most guides will do them for FREE.
Life as a full-time guide doesn’t always produce enough income for year-round living expenses. Why this surely doesn’t hurt your business, in most cases it provides a lot more benefit to the publisher.
The time it takes to write the articles, generally does not provide the ROI that it would if you were working on other parts of your business. Your decision to learn all aspects of fishing in your local area will have the largest impact.
As well as becoming a fly-fishing expert will help offset some downturn of the simple economics alone. For a while, most guides managed to be specialized in one area for one species, the industry no longer allows for such singular fishing abilities.
“Since we began the guide service in 1992, several other aspiring hopefuls quietly entered the profession. But many guides, marinas, tackle shops, groups, and fishing organizations have now joined forces with Bass Online-knowing Florida ’s largest and most successful guide service network is around to stay and it’s better to join them than compete with them.
It’s called word of mouth, good or bad it works the same and now compounded by a thousand with social media can hurt business for all! So, they have you write reports, they get the FREE content and in return, they promise you, customers.
We also have quarterly reviews and mandatory yearly meetings to evaluate the overall statewide business and local regions. We covered a lot of the bases in the early paragraphs, we try to evaluate each person differently.
It does not cost anything to become a fishing guide in our service and you only pay us when or if you accept a fishing trip. When I visit Florida, my friends and I travel to different lakes and the service is always the same.
Friday, September 13, 2019 “Researching Guides on Google, rand into this article and wanted to leave a comment for all future readers. I have fished with this outfit for years now and many guides, they have a secret sauce that everyone else wants.