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Fee fishing

Make some money by charging folks to fish in your pond

If your pond is a hot spot for fishing, cast your net wide and open it up to the public to make some money. There are many who will pay you for the opportunity to throw in a line and catch supper.  

Greg Lutz is an aquaculture professor at Louisiana State University's Agricultural Center. He says fee-fishing operations offer everything from pay-by-the-pound fishing to long-term leases. For this to work, there has to be something to catch, so the pond needs to be routinely stocked with keeper-sized fish.

"In the south that pretty much limits you to channel catfish, and as you move farther north and get into cooler climates, you’ll find people running these operations with rainbow trout," says Lutz. "Both of those species are pretty easy to find in the numbers that you will require and hopefully from a reputable supplier who’s going to provide you with healthy fish."

Other requirements include liability insurance, good water quality, and your time.

Lutz says the local market of fishermen often dictates how you will charge, but most of the time there is an admission fee.

"And then you will then have either a fee per-pound of fish or per individual fish that the people catch and bring home with them," he says. "In some situations, you’ll have a much higher entry fee with a ceiling on what you can catch. No charge per-pound or per-fish."

Lutz says the most successful operations are within 20-minutes of a metropolitan area. They also offer concessions, picnic areas, and sell tackle and bait – all those things that go into the fishing experience.

Learn more about setting up a fee fishing business

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