If you’re a fishing captain or guide, you need to rethink what packages you offer to get ahead of your competition. Here’s an easy way to make money fishing by offering a unique fishing experience to your customers.
If you run a fishing charter business or guide service, you have surely struggled with this at some point in your career. How do I get anglers to choose my fishing charter over my neighbors’? And how do I get them to come back to me next time?
As a fishing guide, you want to provide your customers with the best possible experience. You want to put them on the fish so they’ll return, and even more so, they’ll tell everyone they know you’re the best choice out there. Word of mouth puts people on your boat without spending a dime on advertisement. It’s a win-win situation: your clients get an unforgettable experience, you get a blooming fishing charter business.
A great way to achieve this ideal situation is by having your own signature fishing trip. You know, that package that no other guide in your area offers. Others even tremble at the thought of trying it, because you’re the only one that can run that trip the way it should be done. Sounds good so far?
Now you might be thinking, yes, sounds pretty good. But how do I find that trip, my trip?
Well, you’re in luck, because we’re going to guide you there. We can’t tell you what your signature package is going to be, only you can. But what we can do is show you the way to the spawning grounds.
Why is this hard (but easier than you think)?
It’s hard because it’s more than just a sharply priced package that is in every other way the same as the trips your competition offers. It’s easier than you think because you can find your unique trip by relying on your own strengths. And, by applying the advice provided in this post.
So, you thought about how to price your trips. You looked at your competition, considered the price of fuel, and factored in possible referral fees from marinas, tackle shops, fellow captains, or FishingBooker. Comparing, calculating, and balancing is all important: you are a businessperson and need to be smart about how you run your business.
Another part of being smart, however, is relying on your own expertise and allowing it to work for you. It’s hard to prove that you’re an exceptionally good guide who will put people on the fish like no one else. To do that, clients would have to go fishing with everyone in your area, or at least thoroughly research everyone’s review and reputation. Most people miss the skills, time, or both, to do that.
That is why you can give them something else that shows you’re unique: you can offer a trip no one else does! And you’ll still get to apply your business skills, because you’ll still have to consider what customers you want to target, and which ones are likely to visit your area and go fishing with you.
Even though it can be a tough fish to fry, designing your unique trip will kill two birds with one stone. First of all, you’ll get a special, new package that is fun for your clients and you. Secondly, if done well, this is going to make you money and get you more returning customers. Think about it – they’re getting something no one else can offer, so the only thing they can do is come back to you.
How to find your signature fishing trip
You should be aware that your unique trip is a bit of a long-term project. It’s new, after all, never been done before. You shouldn’t expect it to be your best-selling trip the first month or season you offer it. However, the second season should be better, the third even better – until it gets awesome and you make money fishing with your exclusive trip.
- Know your area. What does your location offer? Which fish are swimming in your waters but don’t get the attention they deserve? Do you operate in an area where there’s great ocean fishing, but also awesome lake fishing?
- Know your clientele. What are anglers who visit your area looking for? To find out, use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to see what people are searching for on the internet. Another great resource is, of course, your existing customers. Talk to them, find out what they’d pay for time and again.
- Know your competition. Don’t copy other guides; remember, this is your package.
- Know yourself. What are you good at? Which fish do you love hooking, and which fish love being hooked by you? More concretely: can you catch the fish that you want to catch? Are you willing to trailer your boat? And how far? It’s important that this is a challenge, but don’t attempt to run a trip that cannot deliver. It will disappoint your customers and it will frustrate you.
- Combine. You know your area, your customers, and especially yourself, like no one else does. That’s why you have to combine all these elements into finding the best fishing trip for your business.
How to follow these steps: an example
We will now give you an example of how the process of finding your signature trip can work. Bear in mind that the content is largely hypothetical. It’s an illustration, not a suggestion or even a real possibility. You are the expert for your area and your skills, not us.
- Location: You charter in the Tampa Bay Area.
- Clientele: You find out through Keyword research that a lot of people search Google for ‘Bass fishing Tampa Bay’, ‘Striper fishing Tampa bay’, and ‘Tarpon fishing Tampa Bay’. You ask your customers if they’re missing anything in the fishing charter offer in Tampa Bay, and they say they wish they could go Tarpon fishing in the bay for half a day, and then bass fishing on Lake Tarpon the rest of the day.
- Competition: You check if any of your competitors offer something like this. They don’t.
- You: You’re an expert at hooking the Silver King, and you started out as a freshwater guide fishing for Bass. You can trailer your boat those few miles to Lake Tarpon, no problem.
- Combine: You’ve got yourself your unique, ultra-special trip!
We warned you, didn’t we? Of course, it’s not going to be that easy. It’s going to take longer and it’s going to take more effort, but the outcome is going to be a whole lot more realistic. Again, this was an illustration of the process, not an example of an actual trip. Although, if you think we accidentally hit gold, be my guest and use it!
This same method can be applied to find your signature trip, wherever you may fish, whatever your specialties are. Lake Erie, Gulf of Mexico, Madeira, or Tasmania. Marlin hunting, noodling, or flounder gigging. You name it. Using this scheme, you can find your personal golden trip.
By the way, your unique trip will not replace all that you’ve been doing so far. It will not become your only trip, because not every angler wants to have the same experience. Think of it as a way to get ahead of the competition, but also to challenge yourself to do something new. You’ll be finding new avenues in the fishing industry. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding, and, dare we say, lots of fun!
Last but not least: the marketing
There is one more thing that can never be omitted from any plan to grow your business. That’s right: you have to sell that trip! Luckily, we’ve written up a list of tips for marketing every aspect of your fishing charter business. Check it out!
Do you have a special fishing trip you offer? What do you think are the most important things to consider when creating this kind of package? Let us know in the comments below.