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How to Make Money Fishing (In Real Life)

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If you love fishing, let it be known that it is possible to make money in doing so, just like most hobbies out there.

While it will take some work, and it could make fishing no longer fun in some cases if you do it for too long, there are a variety of ways you can make money fishing, all of which I outline in this post.

Whether you’re an avid fisher who goes out a few times a week or do it for fun on some weekends, I think every idea below could work for you, one way or another.

If you want to earn a few dollars or even a living, let’s take a look as to how it can be done.

How to Make Money Fishing

Find a Fishing Tournament

This one is kind of obvious, but hey, in all of my guides, I try to cover it all, no matter how oblivious it may be.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert, you can always try your hand in a tournament.  And, no I’m not talking about the big tournaments you often see on cable TV.  Instead, you may want to take advantage of a smaller local tournament that may only have a $500 grand prize.  Known as “clubs,” these options aren’t as popular are your nationwide tournaments and can be a great stepping stone to start making money in tournaments.

To find these tournaments, you can do a few things.

First, check out the website,  It has a decent search engine that showcases tournaments around the world, and there may be one of interest.  You can also search for tournaments in your local area using Google.  Just search for something along the lines of “fishing tournament + your zip code” to see what comes up.  In doing this, you should be able to find something.

Aside from the option, here are a few more you may want to check out as well…

Out of all the options I note, this could earn you cash the quickest, especially if the tournament is around the corner.  But, like most tournaments, you will have to be the leader of the pack if you want to win anything, so I’m at least assuming you have some skills.

As a warning, however, don’t expect this to turn it into a full-time career right away, at least according to Bill Wilcox over at

Create a Website

This one can take some time, but when you start to receive some traffic, it can be one of the best passive income options out there.

Creating a website and optimizing isn’t all that hard to learn.  It’s taking the time to create the content and find the affiliate programs to make your money that can be the challenge.  As many people give up since they don’t see results in six months, it can hard at first.  But, from experience, I can promise you that things take off in the second year if you stick to it.  It’s a slow game, but it’s a big game changer.

99.9% of people who start just don’t finish or fizzle out, leaving more room for you.  It’s a shame because it’s one of best ways to make a living online.

Whether you want to talk about lures, hot fishing spots, the best fishing gear or everything in between, the fishing topics are endless.  There are a ton out there.

In the future, I really hope to write a very in-depth guide as to how to succeed online with your own website, but for now, I recommend some of the best FREE sources online, such as Backlinko, QuickSprout, Income School and the Authority Hacker, to name a few.  There’s no reason to pay a fee as there’s a ton of valuable information out there that won’t cost you a cent.

Take some time to visit these resources, and you should be succeeding in no time as long as you work hard at it.

Create Fishing Videos on YouTube

Hate the idea of writing?

That’s fine as YouTube is a gold mine for information as well, as you probably know.

Even though the platform is pretty competitive, there’s always room for more people.  It’s just going to take time and dedication to build a channel that gains a loyal following.

Like creating a website, creating and editing videos is a lot of work, but your hard work could pay off in the future once you build a brand.  It’s a great way to build a passive income all while talking about your favorite hobby.

Look at the very popular fishing YouTuber, 1Rod1ReelFishing.  As I write this, he as more than 1.3 million subscribers and close to 3.5 million views a month!  At $5 per $1,000 views, he’s making at least $15,000 just in ads to talk about what he loves, fishing!

To learn more about succeeding on YouTube, I recommend the very popular YouTube Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Following and Making Money as a Video Influencer.  This can jump start your YouTube career to hopefully six or seven figures a year!

Sell Your Fishing Photos

In the past, I wrote about more than 20+ companies that are willing to buy your pictures and/or act like a marketplace where you can sell to others.

In my research, you won’t get rich, but if you have the right portfolio, you could make $100~ a month, sometimes more if a brand decides to use your pictures as a marketing campaign.

Using this strategy, you could take your fishing pictures (if that’s your sort of thing) and consider selling them to others.  You can even view the marketplaces to see if there’s a demand for fishing-related pictures.

In a way, if it works out, you can make it a habit to take pictures anytime you’re out and maybe make enough to cover your fishing expenses.

Write a Book

This one kind of works like creating your own website, only that you will write a book instead.

Like the website, you will want to create a topic, whether it’s creating your own lures, finding the best fishing spot or everything in between.

Then, like a book you would read at the library, you will break it up into chapters and turn it into an electronic book, commonly known as an eBook in the reading world.

The cool thing about writing a book today is that you don’t need a publisher or a hard copy to succeed.  Nor do you need to find a retailer that will accept your book.  Instead, you can sell your book, once finished, on Amazon and wait for the sales to come in.  It costs very little to start up.  It will just take time.

Of course, you will have to promote yourself, but once you gain good enough reviews, the organic traffic can steadily come in, once again, providing you with a very nice income.

To learn more about this very topic, I recommend you check out the very popular, How to Sell Books on Amazon: The Stay-At-Home Mom’s Secret Guide to Selling Used Books on Amazon.  It’s a fantastic read that gives away some of the biggest money making secrets to selling books today.

Sell Fishing Lures

If you can make lures, particularly tying flies, then let it be known that there’s a market online, especially on the handcrafted site, Etsy.

Take a gander at the site and see what other people are selling.  While I was writing this, there were more than 250+ pages of sellers, which means a lot of competition. However, don’t let this stop you from joining the platform as there’s always room for more.

Aside from Etsy, eBay is a great choice or you can even try your luck at trying to get your stuff into a local bait shop.

Again, most of the options I list here are to give you ideas and won’t make you rich overnight.  But, if you work hard enough at it, who knows where it could take you!

Teach a Course

Whether it’s teaching locally or even online, there are a variety of ways to turn your fishing expertise into cash.

If you want to start teaching courses online, I recommend you look into a few websites such as Skill Share and Udemy.

In using these websites, you will upload your courses in its entirety and set a price.  Whenever a student purchase a course, you get paid after the website takes its commission.

Like writing a book, your ratings matter, so make sure you put some effort into it.   To learn more about this industry and how you can teach anything to anyone online, I recommend the highly-rated book, Course Design Formula.  It’s an awesome book that can teach you everything from creating an engaging lesson to setting up modules.

Like creating a website or writing a book, you won’t make money overnight.  Just keep that in mind.

Give Tours as a Fishing Charter Guide

Do you know your area well, particularly the lakes and where to fish?  Especially where big fish hang out?

If you’re shaking your head yes, then you may want to consider taking your boat out for tours and helping people catch fish.

This option is one that will take work as you will need the necessary licenses and insurance, but it could pay off huge as the average fishing charter is well north of $100+.  You will also need to factor in all of your business expenses.  It could cost you a lot to start up, but it could pay off huge in the future.

I didn’t find too much in detail as to how to start your own fishing charter, but I did find this somewhat highly-rated book on Amazon.  It may be worth reading if you’re serious about this adventure.

Start a Fish Farm

If you have property to do so, consider starting your own fish farm, wherein you can sell fish to the public or even connect with local businesses.  In today’s era, more shoppers are shifting toward the organic approach, making this a very lucrative opportunity.

Of course, you can’t just breed fish and start selling on Facebook as you will need a license.

If it does sound like something you’re interested in, Worldwide Aquaculture does a nice job getting you on the right path to starting your own farm.

Start a Tropical Fish Farm

This is similar to that of a commercialized fish farm, but you would focus moreso on the tropical fish population.

From goldfish to koi fish, there’s a market here, but it should be treated more like a part-time gig as there’s not much money into it.

Make connections with your local mom and pop pet shops and see if they may want to buy from you once you build a reputation.

Commercial Fishing as a Full-Time Job

If you don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit or you don’t want to wait a few months before you see your first paycheck, then you could always take a job as a commercial fisherman or something related to fishing, from guides to renting out equipment.  In some of these listings, I saw ads that paid more than $300 a day!

Much like finding a 9-5 job, you will have to use a job board, such as Indeed, or maybe use connections to see what’s available in your area.  As I write this, there were more than 11,000 fishing-related jobs in the United States, ranging from

Keep in mind that you may have to consider relocating if you really want to turn your fishing passion into a full-time career.

For now, I would recommend using Indeed to see what’s available nationwide.  And, if something catches your interest and you qualify, then you may want to consider applying.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, fishing can be much more than a hobby.  It can make you some cash as well.

Most of these ideas will take some time, but like anything, it can really explode once you build a brand for yourself.  In some cases, it could turn into a full-time job, who knows?

In the end, I hope this article helps you at least brainstorm some new ideas.  As always, I’m open to new ideas as well, all of which you can mention in the comments below.

Best of luck!

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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