Thursday, August 19, 2010

How to Become a Licensed Fishing Guide

Starting a professional fishing guide business can be a rewarding experience. Fishing guides offer trips to enjoy traditional fishing, fly fishing, kayaking, nature tours, eco-toursim and other outdoor adventures.

Starting a fishing guide business takes considerable self study. Information about starting a business can be gathered in a number of ways, including gaining related work experience, networking with other business owners, taking business classes or reading business start up books.

Several elements of business may apply to starting a guide business. In most cases, doing research before launching a business is essential.

In the USA, any operator of a boat for hire is required to be licensed. These licenses are issued by the United States Coast Guard Regional Exam Centers.

Fishing guides may also need to obtain a TWIC card. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

Setting up a website for your guiding business is one of the most important decisions. The most important aspect of an outdoor guide website is its ability to generate business. To do this, it must be able to be found by your customers.

A reputable designer can explain all the factors that influence a website's search engine rankings, suggest which key phrases might be important and offer services to help your site perform well on Google, Bing and other search engines.

Websites for fishing guides often include an about us page, trip descriptions, directions, photo galleries, trip reports and perhaps even offer a few products for sale such as t-shirts, hats or custom fishing tackle.

Once a fishing guide website is live, it should be listed in industry resources such as this outdoor guide directory. Other methods of promotion include online press releases.

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