How to Become a Professional Fisherman

Asking most people about the sport of fishing will usually result in questions inquiring about how fishing is considered a sport and how to become a professional fisherman. Originating as a means of survival, fishing has transformed itself from a national pastime to one of the most popular participation sports in the country. Although luck allows the beginner to be successful, it takes considerable skill to locate and catch fish consistently. Given the right conditions, you will be able to become a professional fisherman with a lot of effort and a little luck.


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    Start small. If you are new to fishing, you will want to fish local ponds, rivers, lakes or streams with which you are familiar. You need to learn the basic elements of fishing such as how to tie a lure and bait a hook. You can only do this through practice.
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    Join a fishing club. Fishing clubs are a great way to meet others close to your skill level and above. The individuals in the clubs will have tips, techniques and will turn you on toward the bite. They often hold their own small tournaments.
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    Learn to master a species. Different types of fish require different types of fishing techniques. It is difficult to be successful at them all without mastering a few.
    • Certain species like certain baits. Don't fall into the trap of using catfish baits on bass, for example. There are thousands of manufacturers that make a wide variety of bass baits. Even the same bait in a slightly different color pattern can make all the difference.
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    • Many fishermen make the mistake of not understanding the importance of fishing line selection. Don't skimp on quality for a cheaper price.
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    Sign up for a small tournament. Almost every area of the country, no matter how large or small, has a body of water that is inhabited by one or a few predominant species. Master the art of fishing for these species. Sooner or later, there will be a small tournament for these that are your specialty.
    • You will need some small tournament wins in order to qualify for the top dollar tournaments.
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    • You will learn from more experienced tournament contestants and this knowledge will eventually give you an edge in your future career endeavors.
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    Find a professional fisherman. Most professional fishing tournaments use a pro-am type of field. There are normally two men to a single boat. The boat owner is the professional and is fishing for the big bucks. The co-angler is the amateur, or the inexperienced professional, that is fishing for the smaller, alternate purse. Many times, the alternate purse includes a boat and possibly a truck to pull it.
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    Get endorsements. You will need to get some endorsements in order to make your career as a professional fisherman lucrative. Tournament wins are nice, but you can easily spend as much on the quality equipment you need as you will win in any given tournament. Once you are endorsed, your name becomes viral and that is the true sign of a professional fisherman.
    • The fastest way to get endorsements is to market yourself to local bait and tackle stores in your area. These will not likely amount to much cash in hand, but if you adorn yourself and your boat with advertising stickers, these places might give you free equipment, if not money.
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    • You will have to win many local tournaments, and at least one major, to get the lucrative endorsements from the major brands and outlets. The more tournaments you win, the more the local shops will be willing to endorse you as well.
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  • Don't skimp on the equipment. If you cannot afford high quality equipment, save your money until you can afford it. Cheap, low quality equipment will only get you frustrated. You cannot catch fish if your line, rod or reel breaks. You cannot catch fish if you are repairing equipment.


  • Professional fishermen aren't above the law. No matter where you are, you must know the local and state fishing regulations. You must have a license in most cases. Most tournament fish have a legal minimum size limit, maximum bag limit and method of catching.

Things You'll Need

  • High-quality fishing rods
  • High-quality fishing reels
  • Fishing line and terminal tackle
  • Fishing boat with a high-powered engine and live wells.
  • Large arsenal of artificial baits in various sizes, shapes, material and coloration

Article Info

Categories: Fishing