How to Become a Fishing Guide

Learn how to become a fishing guide with these tips and tricks from fishing expert Ken Lauer.

| July/August 1979

When Ken Lauer returned from Vietnam he had two goals in mind. The first was to get out of the city . . . and the second was to do a little fishin'. So the veteran up and moved to Buxton, North Carolina . . . a tiny village located on the narrow sand strip that makes up the state's Outer Banks.

Ken spent several years gaining an intimate knowledge of the inlets, sloughs, and "hot spots" along the 70 miles of shoreline stretching from Oregon Inlet to the southern tip of Oracoke Island. And — when he felt that he knew the area as well as anyone around — Lauer turned his piscatorial passion into a profession and  taught himself how to become a fishing guide.

A Job to Promote Happiness and Health

As you might imagine, showin' folks where "the big ones" are isn't an ideal job for the security-minded. Ken notes that nearly everyone involved in the business has an outside income, usually in the form of retirement pensions or some kind of off-season labor.

"A professional guide has to depend upon the fish and the weather for his or her livelihood ... and these two factors make for a pretty chancy business."

Also, Ken feels that you must fish your area for two or three years — on an almost weekly basis — before you'll know the shore well enough to consistently produce fish for your clients. It takes that much time to learn to drive the beach . . . to "read the water" . . . to know the various depths and sloughs . . . and to "psych out" just where and when the lunkers will show up.

"And since the beach changes constantly," our fisherman-turned-guide comments, "you can never stop learning!"

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