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To be become a charter captain or not?


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I hope to follow as Josh did, have to see what this holds as i start school in the fall and see if its possible with the classes i take in the fall. I really enjoy the whole charter thing, the day i stop enjoying it, ill start a new obsession. I did kind of have it set in my mind what i was going to do and i just wanted to see of it was the best outlook. So ill fish this summer and look into the captain classes in the fall when im going to school. That you all for the 2 cents that you all contributed.

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like i said earlier, there is no reason not to live your dream and go to school. the fishing season is mostly in the summer, but some of the best fishing is early spring and fall. but you can still work around those times as long as you just charter out part time or fill in when you get a chance and do some 1st mate work. if you want both bad enough it will work its way out for you. the best of luck to you, and keep us posted the next few years.

sherman

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I'm 24 and took my captains course last year around this time. I mostly did it for the safety and knowledge of boating. There was no fishing in the book. I went to school and graduated with a degree in construction. I don't have much intention to charter a boat until I master the real world first.

If you charter from April to September then what will you do for money during the off season? I know there will be shows and a few side jobs, but that ain't gonna cut it. Some people plow snow or move away to work elsewhere. If you get your captain's license then you could look for opportunities to utilize it like moving large boats or go to ocean water and charter or mate during the winters.

You could become a teacher and have summers off. That to me sounds like the best of both worlds. Make money during the off season and then make more money fishing. The only problem with that is finding a wife that will let you fish all you want in the summer. GOOD LUCK!!!

Maybe look into a job that you can save money on your boat with like a mechanic or something you could do yourself instead of always having to pay someone services for.

GO GET IT!!!

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Get more experiance. Like was said before, goto school and get a good job. I don't know 1 charter guy in my home port that doesn't have a "normal" job because being a charter captain doesn't make you rich. If you start running trips and for any numbers of reasons you don't fill the cooler you are going to hear knocks on you about your age. Clients, like all of us, are driven by the perception of a good time. I wish you the best and hope you turn your love into a great business.

Now this is the most truthful thing Ive read yet.

Get your degree and your capt. license , then pursue the dream of being a capt. after you have a secure job. In todays economy, your degree and job are the most important thing next to your family. And like some one said before, I now many capt. and they all have a full time job doing something else, any more unless you have a big bank role to begin with , it just supplemental income.

Like you, Ive always dreamed of being a capt., its just to risky for my taste.

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If I'm reading Matt's post correctly he was always going to school, just wondering if he should get his license now or not. The truth is there are few minuses in getting your license. The only ones I can think of are that you would have to fish tourney's as a pro and if you didn't keep it up you would have to pay for it again in the future. I think you know the pluses. As most have said, it's pretty tough to make a living fishing. But it can be done. It would be a lot easier to try when your young and don't have a lot of responsibility. Especially if you can start out running someone else's boat. While going for business would definitely be useful, you should also make sure you get a degree in a field that has high employment rates and pays well. Most of the guys who make it as full time fishermen made a good chunk of money in another career before fishing or have a second source of income to live off of. ie Their wife makes big money. Good luck with what you do, you seem to be pretty level headed.

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Well Matt, I guess I just read your post and really feel the guys here gave some great input for your future. The first thing I said to myself was similar, do both. By getting the capts. license you could substitute for other capts. on their boats when they are sick or not working at it much anymore. You might also be able to upcharge another $10-20 for each charter you run as a mate. Last question is what do you intend to study at college? If you have no thoughts on it, do as someone else said to start and get a business degree or business classes, like finance and accounting. These will stand you in good stead in any profession later to know how to handle your money correctly for a lifetime. Budgeting, spending wisely, making fair loans, is all a part of getting your adult life on track someday. While your fresh with hours and experience on the water, and have a lot of time to study the rules of the road, (pick up a copy or borrow a copy of Chapman's to start), get that capts. license this summer or asap thereafter while it's fresh in your mind and then renew every five years as the rest of us for life. It will be a lot harder to pass that test in say 10-15 years from now, cause the testing and requirements keep getting stricter. Good luck my friend. Oh yea, P.S. if you do go test for the USCG make sure you enroll and pass a quicky study course for capts' licenses, it's worth the $500, it's about a 4 day class, and it bones you down on all the current questions they are going to ask on the tests, some even have the actual USCG tests for classes. The book I mentioned is the bible of the boating industry, it's referred to a lot in tests and elsewhere, so make sure to get that, and keep it for life. But don't try to pass the tests alone w/o that course, it's vital to most whom pass the first time around.

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Well Matt, I guess I just read your post and really feel the guys here gave some great input for your future. The first thing I said to myself was similar, do both. By getting the capts. license you could substitute for other capts. on their boats when they are sick or not working at it much anymore. You might also be able to upcharge another $10-20 for each charter you run as a mate. Last question is what do you intend to study at college? If you have no thoughts on it, do as someone else said to start and get a business degree or business classes, like finance and accounting. These will stand you in good stead in any profession later to know how to handle your money correctly for a lifetime. Budgeting, spending wisely, making fair loans, is all a part of getting your adult life on track someday. While your fresh with hours and experience on the water, and have a lot of time to study the rules of the road, (pick up a copy or borrow a copy of Chapman's to start), get that capts. license this summer or asap thereafter while it's fresh in your mind and then renew every five years as the rest of us for life. It will be a lot harder to pass that test in say 10-15 years from now, cause the testing and requirements keep getting stricter. Good luck my friend. Oh yea, P.S. if you do go test for the USCG make sure you enroll and pass a quicky study course for capts' licenses, it's worth the $500, it's about a 4 day class, and it bones you down on all the current questions they are going to ask on the tests, some even have the actual USCG tests for classes. The book I mentioned is the bible of the boating industry, it's referred to a lot in tests and elsewhere, so make sure to get that, and keep it for life. But don't try to pass the tests alone w/o that course, it's vital to most whom pass the first time around.
Great advice! From what I have heard, they just made the test much harder in June. Besides the fact that you will have random drug tests all throughout college:thumb: That will keep you from doing any of that stupid experimenting. I try not to regret anything but , I went off on the wrong track when I was younger and it took me awhile to find my path. Anyways get it ( even if you don't use it). People will ask how long you have been a Cap and the longer that you have been will give you more credibility.
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man, you have some great supporters on here. even if you never really use the capt license after you finish school. you will always know in your heart that you got the license. then you can live your life doing what you went to school for. and still fish for fun. fun fishing isnt free, guys like me have to really streatch a dollar to be able to fish. most of my fishing gear came from overtime money, because i didnt get a great education, so i worked my whole life in a factory, or most of it anyway. so the better job you get the better toys you can buy. and even if you want to charter full time your going to need money to get started.

i,ll put it bluntly you,ll never regret getting the license, but you may always regret not getting it. then you can use the license as you want to. then after school you can do whatever you want. work at what you just went to school for. and still charter part time or just fish for fun. if you have your license, the choice is yours. and the more years you have as a capt the better.

and someone said get your license then when someone asks down the road how long have you been a charter capt, you can tell them. would you rather go out with a capt that got his license this year or 5 or 10 years ago. most people are going with the guy thats been a capt for awhile.

you are a young man and have your whole life ahead of you. you might as well get everything you can on your way through this life. just dont try to do to much at one time and burn yourself out. just put school first, then fish when you can. as a charter capt, as a first mate or just for fun. but get your license. and you,ll never look back and say i sure wish i had done that when i was young.

i know this post is way to long. but i have missed so many things in life because i didnt have enough education, and had a wife and 2 kids to support. but i still have no regrets, because i made choices that was right for me at the time. you have the chance to get so much right now and have no regrets in the future. get the license and get the education. then live life to the fullest.

sherman

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Hey Matt,

Since ive been through the exact same thing ill give you my two cents and exactly what im doing. I got my captains license when I was 18 while I was in my freshmen year in college. Most guys who were in my class were going a week at a time either taking off work or school, what I did was take the class a few times a weekend for 3 weekends that will give you enough hours. I know that is a little off topic of what you were talking about but really it will allow you the time for school during the week.

It took me five years to complete my bachelors degree even with a pre-med biology major and I never have once regreted gaining my captains license in that time. It looks phenominal on all applications and gives you an added level of maturity into your life stlye. The people you will meet and discover alone makes it worth while, even if your not actaully running a boat itself. Heck most of the time its more enjoyable mating on a boat with your license then it is running your boat at all times. You can give the main captain a break once in a while and still have the fun factor in fishing. I can tell you personally there are sometimes to many headaces into running your own business.

Eventually you have to look into the future before fishing, pays your dues now and enjoy the life when your done. Having the money and being able to buy the boat of your dreams makes it all worth while in the end knowing you got there working your tail off in school. Renewing you license is no big deal $95 every five years makes it worth having it even if your not using it! You will open more doors then you can ever believe, heck I put my qualifications on my application into Medical School and I can pretty much gaurntee no one else will have that on an application. It makes you different then everyone and gives you that upper edge!

Ok now I will get off my soap box lol, sorry if that was a little long but good luck either way you go!

Capt. Greg Sheremeta

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Hey Matt,

Since ive been through the exact same thing ill give you my two cents and exactly what im doing. I got my captains license when I was 18 while I was in my freshmen year in college. Most guys who were in my class were going a week at a time either taking off work or school, what I did was take the class a few times a weekend for 3 weekends that will give you enough hours. I know that is a little off topic of what you were talking about but really it will allow you the time for school during the week.

It took me five years to complete my bachelors degree even with a pre-med biology major and I never have once regreted gaining my captains license in that time. It looks phenominal on all applications and gives you an added level of maturity into your life stlye. The people you will meet and discover alone makes it worth while, even if your not actaully running a boat itself. Heck most of the time its more enjoyable mating on a boat with your license then it is running your boat at all times. You can give the main captain a break once in a while and still have the fun factor in fishing. I can tell you personally there are sometimes to many headaces into running your own business.

Eventually you have to look into the future before fishing, pays your dues now and enjoy the life when your done. Having the money and being able to buy the boat of your dreams makes it all worth while in the end knowing you got there working your tail off in school. Renewing you license is no big deal $95 every five years makes it worth having it even if your not using it! You will open more doors then you can ever believe, heck I put my qualifications on my application into Medical School and I can pretty much gaurntee no one else will have that on an application. It makes you different then everyone and gives you that upper edge!

Ok now I will get off my soap box lol, sorry if that was a little long but good luck either way you go!

Capt. Greg Sheremeta

Thanks a bunch Gred, always like to hear from guys that have went a did it. I still have time to think it out and plan the classes. I will send all of the captains/ ex captains a PM when it gets close to the time i get it so i can be just a little more educated going in.

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get your education, if you are really serious you will need to know how to run a business

and keep this in mind ...my grandfather, a very wise man, once told me to keep my passion separate from my career, but keep it a close second.

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I haven't gone through this whole thread, but one thing that bothers me is the future of the fishery. I'd love to do this full time, but the truth of the matter is can these lakes sustain this fishery we have until we retire? Will our governments continue to stock these fish with the state of the economy and all the budget cuts? If one of those things come true and you have no education what will you do?

I went and obtained my Bachelors. While doing so I fished my butt off! I think I fished more in college than I do now! LOL I would schedule my classes around fishing seasons. Once I graduated I found a job and eventually they paid for my MBA.

We fish tourneys or we charter every weekend from April-September now, and although I'd like to do it more I know that this full time gig I have M-F is what really pays the bills. Chartering pays for my obsession called fishing. No way could we afford the ride we have or the amount of days we fish each year without clients footing some of that bill.

I know a bunch of guys who fish for a living. Not one of them has someone supplementing their retirement like I do. On the flip side if you can find a sugar mama with a wealthy family go full time! LOL

Moral of the story is there is no reason you can't do both.

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Hey Matt,

I grew up in Ludington so I have been fishing my whole life. I know a lot of mates and captains. I always thought about it too but never did either. Now I work my butt off but still fish almost every weekend. Once you start working you will get burnt out no matter what you choose to do. During the summer I go to work just to get a break from fishing!!! If you can afford the liscense it doesn't hurt to have but work your way into it.

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I would have to disagree, I LOVE being a firefighter/paramedic and actually miss it on my two days off, even when I'm fishing!

Along the same lines though, I did get very burnt out when I was first mating. Fishing became nothing more than a job and it almost ruined me. Now I have a set chosen amount of time I will run charters and maintain a healthy bit of freer time. It is really hard to turn down or give away charters but I want to be able to give 100%.

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Personally there are several down sides to the captains license the first being it will raise you insurance cost and reduce the chances of talking your way out of a ticket. The second is it will turn a sport you love into a job where you will have to smile and be nice to people who don't care about you. A good part of being a captain is being able to keep everyone happy. As mentioned the best way to make a small fortune fishing is to start with a large fortune.

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