Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Hi everyone let me start off by telling you that I love this website and all its members. It brings me a lot of joy when I cant actually be on the water. So thank you guys! 

Okay so I am 18 years old and just moved out on my own. Im working full time and haven't been able to do what I truly love very often. My passion is fishing I absolutely love it. Growing up I really had no one in my life who was into fishing so how i got into it is beyond me but somehow i got my self obsessed. All I do in the summer months (when im free) is fish. Im talking almost every day I would wake up at 5am to be on the water. If im not actually on the water im watching YouTube videos or reading as many articles and books that I can find on the subject. 

If I had to pick a specific target it would have to be bluegill but pan fish in general are what im really into. To be honest though all fish interest me and I hope to one day catch every type of freshwater fish in america. 

So what im reaching out to you guys for is some ideas of careers based around fishing. I'm talking anything as long as it has to do with something with fishing. I want to one day do what i truly love as a career. I have thought about trying to become a guide but I'm not in the state where i want to be for that and do not have the experience yet. I also have thought about going the other route and going to school to further help my goal of having a career in fishing. Maybe a fisheries biologist? 

I am open to any ideas. College or no college it doesn't matter. I am willing to work very very hard. 

I appreciate any feedback and thank you guys so much! 

Tight lines and good luck out there! 

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Mike brings up an excellent point...if you really want to actually fish alot, jobs like guiding, bait shop or marina operations tend to limit your actual fishing time tremendously. But there are options that can put a vocation and an addiction together.

Business degree and go into outdoors/sports marketing.

Journalism and be a fishing writer like Jim Gronaw.

Fisheries biology and work for the DNR

Get a boat and guide fishing excursions.

Study PR and Event Planning and plan tournaments.

Study engineering and design tackle and lures.

Create the next "big thing" - lure, article of clothing, stinkbait, etc.

Study software design and create a new and improved app

Study software design and work for one of the big fishfinder companies.

Learn engine and marine mechanics and repair boats.

Learn electronics and marine electrical circuits install/repair boat electrical systems.

Start a youtube channel and become the next internet sensation.

Wow thanks David those are all very good options and I will defiantly look into them. This was a big help so thanks again and tight lines! 

No worries.
You can fulfill your aspirations, or let someone use you to fulfill theirs.
I admire your pluck. He who dares, wins.

I will get back to you with a little more detail. But it just so happens that I am hosting a 15 yr old student all next week on that exact topic...exploring fishing related careers and how to pursue them. It should be a great week!

We will be covering a lot of bases, but mostly on entry level outdoor related positions and then look at writing, lure-making, still photography, bait shop employment and blogging and educational options.

Just got back from NCarolina so I'm a little bushed...I'll post something later tonight Brandon...

Jim

Hi Jim thank you so much for the response. Good luck next week I cant wait to hear back from you. 

Brandon

HEY BRANDON , I HAVE A FEW OBSERVATIONS FOR YA :
    YA GOTTA HAVE GRIT to do the fish thing for a living. NO I don't do it as a profession only a hobby. Since you are such a devoted fish follower I'd realize something right off the bat , I wouldn't count on getting rich fishing for a living . Most guys who think they are going to go out and tear em up at every tourney don't last long on the trail .
    Now maybe you are the best fisherman of the bunch , who knows , but luck goes a long way towards being successful at anything in life........
    As David said, I admire your pluck too, and good luck to you in what ever ya decide to do in fishing. David is a very smart fella and so are the others that answered your questions...I"m not trying to discourage you in any way , and it's great you are so focused at such an early age. I met a young kid this past spring and took insperation from him , JACOB HILL ..... He is a bit younger than you but vvvvvvvvvvvery savy when it comes to fishing . I fished with him and his Dad and was in awe the whole day at both of em . I"m 64 now and learned a lot that day from this young fella with the same amount of enthusiasm as you have . He's a member on here also and  the best young fisherman it's been my distinct honor to fish with and learn from.

   I think David is right about school too , can't hurt ! Could you imagine in 4-6 years you could have a vocation in life that you love and have the money to do all you want in the sport!!!! GOOD LUCK TO YA AND HOPE YA GET TO MAKE A JOB OF FISHING !!!

One last thing, Brandon.... true conviction is prepared to sacrifice. The artist starves for his art, after all.

Aspirations are separated from achievements by commitment and the unthinking willingness to do whatever it takes. Tooty suggests this very thing. Take this observation to heart.

Wow he sounds like a great nice fisherman. I would love to meet him one day. Ya right now im really just thinking about all my options. I don't think I would like the stress of a fishing tournament and im not a huge fan of using electronics to help so I probably couldn't even be a contender haha. Thank you again for the great responses. 

hmm thank you Mike Ill defiantly keep that as an option. Right now im really just playing the field and seering whats out there. 

Brandon...I was blessed to write about fishing at a very early age, having my first article published in Fishing World magazine at the age of 16, before I was out of high school. I had read many articles about fishing and realized that some of what I was reading just wasn't so. I sent a hard copy to the editor along with some black and white photos and to my great surprise, they accepted it.

That was a long time ago...1968 to be exact. But I will tell you, despite having been published at the local, regional and national levels, with almost 1000 published articles, I do not, or ever have , made a 'living wage' by writing fishing articles. I worked in construction and did carpentry work as a trade, then was hired at our local rec and parks department as a maintenance supervisor. At the two facilities I worked at, I was able to become involved in fishing related programs and projects, like organizing tournaments, stocking and shocking fish for survey info, creating fish habitat and teaching fishing classes while doing my other jobs as the maintenance chief at the park. I currently write for three publications on a weekly/monthly schedule and for the In Fisherman several times a year, along with teaching begining fishing classes for two facilties.

All of this was a great fortune for me, as I had no idea that any of this would evolve the way it did. I consider myself a fisherman first, and a writer a very distant second. As a retiree, I have had jobs at another state park working at the marina rentals in the summer and at a local baitshop.

David gives you a good outline of what to do. Seek educational, college courses that pretain to aquatics, marine biology or fisheries management. Pennsylvania is a state that currently is in great need of waterways patrol officers, and some law enforcement may also be in the mix of a job involving fishing. Other states may have similar needs.

Most of these types of positions pay livable wages and good benefits, and not much more. In positions that require dealing with the public, like I had for 22 years, I can tell you that the will be great days and days that are very challenging due to the nature of people and their expectations. I could tell you some wild and incredible stories during my years in the parks service...some of which were quite dangerous. I am not trying to discourage you, but just let you know what could be in store for you down the line.

Few 'outdoor writers' actually make a living at it full-time. Most who do are 'on-staff' positions at regional and national publications that have been long established. And those positions are difficult to locate and openings and job placement are not as frequent as you would like. Still, the free lance aspect of writing is available to us all and writers guidelines are published yearly for all the periodicals...check your local library for these guideline books that will give you lots of info if you have story ideas and articles for editors to consider.

For now, I would seek educational courses that would lead to a fisheries position. There are also many entry level/seasonal jobs in most states for DNR summer programs or assistance with other biologist, parks workers or instructors at various camp facilities that you might want to check out for entry level employment.

I wish you the best, and feel free to ask any questions you may have,

Jim

wow Jim thank you for such a great response. It sounds like you have been very lucky in terms of being able to do what you love. I really hope one day I can do as much as you. I will strive on, work hard and make something happen. I really appreciate all the feedback. 

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