NANFA-- FW: job hunting...

Jay DeLong (
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 07:56:06 -0800

See below for a couple of messages. One was from webpage visitor Andrew J.
Hunt asking about professional fishing job, and the other is a response sent
to him by Elmer Guerri. I'm sharing these in case anyone else has any
advice for Andrew, and to show Elmer's response.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

-----Original Message----- From: A.J. Hunt Sent: Monday, February 25, 2002 4:59 PM Subject: job hunting...

Hello, My Name is Andrew J. Hunt. I am currently enrolled at Lake Superior State University and my major is teacher education. After three years here, I have discovered that I really don't wish to pursue this any further. All I can see myself doing is fishing for a living. I have held a fishing rod in my hand since I had the strength to reel in king salmon. I would like to be a field tester with the hopes of accomplishing my dream of being a charter boat captain. I can think of nothing else that I would rather do. More or less, I can't think of ANYTHING else that I could do than fish for a living. God or some unforseen force gives everyone a gift, and I know I have been given the gift to fish. This is something that I wish to act upon and really do what I really want to do. So I please ask that if you have any information as to what I can do or whom I can speak to so that I can make my dream my reality, I would appreciate it.

Thank you A.J. Hunt e-mail:


From: Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 6:40 AM To: Subject: charter boat captain dreams


Jay DeLong of NANFA forwarded your message to me.

I have been involved in the fishing tackle manufacturing industry and in outdoor writing for years. I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Fishing Hall of Fame.

I believe you have a good dream, but it will take lots of hard work to achieve it. Fishing Charter Boat Captain is a job that requires some sort of apprenticeship, in order to reach success. You can get the experience/apprenticeship by becoming a mate on an established boat, or by setting up a side business (in addition to your day job) where you begin doing charters on weekends, holidays, vacations, etc. (But, make sure to keep your day job!!!!!)

I recommend getting on as a mate on an established Captain's boat, especially if you are considering saltwater fishing. There is a lot to learn.

Also, learn allyou can about navigation, sonar, Loran, GPS, and safety on the water, not to mention Coast Guard rules and regulations (for both saltwater and freshwater).

I am impressed with the success of a fellow outdoor writer Mike Schoonveld of Morocco, Indiana. He fishes Lake Michigan. Contact Captain Mike. Make a date to fish with him on his boat.....and pay him for the day. Tell him from the start that it is your intention to become a Charter Boat Captain and that you are willing to pay for several days with several captains in order to pursue your goal. His e-mail address is and his telephone number is 219-285-2123. His address is 6312 W 100N, Morocco, IN 47963.

Mike is a devoted Captain and highly respected for having the courage to leave a successful non-fishing related job to go out on his own and charter. He is a gentleman and a very successful fisherman.

The part you desire about being a "field tester" is really greatly misunderstood, largely due to the efforts of some fishing tackle manufacturers who have created a seemingly glorious but, in reality, a non-existent category called "field tester" to promote their goods through a widely dispersed group of dedicated anglers whom they believe others in their respective areas may respect. The traditional "field tester", so created by the industry, gets a discount on lures and gear, tries to get as many reports and photos published in local papers, sends in reports to the manufacturers, and have little more than a passing effect on real lure and equipment design.

The real "field testers", in my opinion, are the established and respected guides and captains who are on the water 100-200-300 days a year, and they first of all establish their reputations, and then the real manufacturers go to them. You will know you are truly a "field tester" whose opinions and ideas are important in the industry when the manufacturers come to you and solicit you, and when they provide you with clothing and equipment at no charge, and especially when they send you clients for your business. The folks who reach that stage are indeed the ones the tackle and gear manufacturers listen to.

If they just send you patches and flyers to hand out and give you token discounts on their products, you may be on-your-way, but you have not yet arrived.

After you get involved a little more, and after you spend some time with several established Captains, contact me again, and I'll be glad to give you a few more names of some who have succeeded and some who have failed.

My most important piece of advice is that you be willing to pay-your-own-way, up front, with those established captains who can really help you. The field is full of folks who want all they can get for nothing and who are looking for the "freebies". For those who are rally serious and willing to spend the time learning and foot-their-own-bill, there will be plent of help from those in the fraternity you are aspiring to join.

And, one more thing. Don't get bogged down to one type of fishing in one area. As you spend time in your "apprenticeship", fish with as many people as possible in dfifferent parts of the country and on different waters for different species.

Set a timetable for learning, and you will find some great breaks along the way that will likely accelerate your timetable and get you to your destination.

Lots of time. A personal investment. Lots of hard work.

I hope some of this has been helpful.

Good Luck.

Elmer A. Guerri 8401 North Lakewood Place West Terre Haute, IN 47885 phone 812-535-1230.

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