How to Become a Fishing Guide in Texas: The Ultimate Guide

Do you love fishing? Do you want to turn your passion into a career? If so, becoming a fishing guide in Texas may be the perfect option for you. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started.

We’ll cover everything from how to become a fishing guide in Texas to how to find clients and market your business.

So whether you’re just starting or are looking for ways to take your guiding business to the next level, read on for tips and advice that will help you succeed.

Is There a License Required to Be a Fishing Guide in Texas?

To work as a fishing guide in Texas, you will need to have a state fishing license and an inland waters stamp.

The stamp is required for all guides who take clients out on freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. You can buy the logo at most sporting goods stores or online.

The cost of the stamp varies depending on how long you plan to guide. For example, a one-day stamp costs $15, while a three-year stamp costs $45.

If you are a resident of Texas, you will also need to purchase a guide license. The cost of the license is $200, and it is valid for one year.

Non-residents can obtain a temporary guide license for $75. This license is valid for 90 days and can be renewed once.

How to Become a Fishing Guide in Texas

How To Become A Fishing Guide In Texas

To become a licensed fishing guide in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. You’ll also need to complete an approved training program and pass an exam.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) offers several different programs that will prepare you to become a fishing guide, including:

  • Fishing Guide School
  • Coastal Fishing Guide School
  • Inland Fishing Guide School

Each program is offered either an online or in-person course, and the cost ranges from $175 to $275.

Once you’ve completed one of these programs, you’ll be able to take the TPWD fishing guide exam. The exam covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Texas fishing regulations
  • Fish identification
  • Fishing techniques
  • Boat handling and safety

Once you’ve passed the exam, you’ll be able to apply for your fishing guide license.

How to Find Clients and Market Your Business

One of the biggest challenges of starting a fishing guide business is finding clients. There are a few different ways you can go about this:

Word of mouth – This is the most common way for guides to find clients, and it can be as simple as telling your friends, family, and coworkers about your services.

Online advertising – You can place ads on websites like Craigslist or Angler’s Mailing List, or you can create a fishing guide website or blog.

Trade shows – Attending local fishing trade shows is a great way to meet potential clients and promote your business.

Referral programs – Offer discounts or bonuses to customers who refer new clients to your business.

Once you’ve secured some clients, it’s important to keep them coming back. So here are a few tips for keeping your customers happy:

Keep your prices reasonable – Don’t overcharge your clients, or they’ll be less likely to hire you again.

Customize each trip – Make sure each trip is tailored to the client’s needs and preferences.

Be knowledgeable and helpful – always be willing to answer questions and help your clients learn more about fishing.

Provide a high level of customer service – go above and beyond to ensure that your clients have a positive experience.

With the proper planning and marketing, you can turn your love of fishing into a successful guiding business.

How Much Do Texas Fishing Guides Make?

Like most things in life, how much you make as a fishing guide depends on how hard you work and how good you are at your job. Generally, most guides in Texas charge around $200-$250 per day for a guided trip.

If you’re targeting large fish like bass or catfish, the price can go up to $400 or more per day. Of course, you can always charge less if you target smaller fish, but it’s important to remember that your time is valuable.

As a fishing guide, you’re essentially providing a service to your clients. And like any other service, the better you are at what you do, the more money you’ll make.

Can You Make a Living as a Fishing Guide?

Yes, you can make a living as a fishing guide. There are two main ways to become a fishing guide: working for an established outfitter or becoming your boss.

Established outfitters usually require some experience in the industry and hold specific certifications.

How Do I Get Started as a Fishing Guide?

How To Become A Fishing Guide In Texas

It would help if you did a few things to become a fishing guide. The first step is getting your license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

The next step is finding the proper business structure for your new venture. For example, you can choose to be a sole proprietor, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.

Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to research before deciding.

Once you have your license and business structure in place, it’s time to start marketing yourself. Create a website and social media pages and promote your services to potential clients.

It’s also a good idea to get involved in the local fishing community. Attend fishing tournaments and meet-ups, and network with other anglers.

If you put in the work, you can become a successful fishing guide in Texas.

What Is the Best Way to Get Paid for Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing guides typically get paid a day rate, depending on the location and how widespread the guide is. Some fly fishing guides also receive a commission on the equipment they sell to their clients.

Many fly fishing guides offer package deals that include lodging, food, and guide services. These packages often cost more than just the guide services but can be a great way to save money if you’re already traveling to the area.

What Is the Job Outlook for Fly Fishing Guides?

Fishing guide jobs are expected to grow by about 11% from 2016-to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth is mainly due to increasing interest in fishing and expanding recreational opportunities across the country.

As a fishing guide, you can expect to work in various outdoor settings, including rivers, lakes, and oceans. You may also be asked to lead trips in other countries.

Your work will involve helping clients catch fish by providing instruction on how to fly fish and teaching them the best techniques for their location and fish species.

Fishing guide jobs require a lot of outdoor work, so you should be comfortable being in the sun and rain for long periods.

In addition, you must be able to think on your feet and quickly adapt to changing conditions. Strong customer service skills are also important, as you will often be working with clients who have high expectations.

What Is the Cost of a Lifetime Fishing License in Texas?

A lifetime fishing license in Texas costs $1800. This price includes all of the fees associated with a fishing license, such as a trout stamp and general hunting license.

There are also several other options for licenses available, depending on your age and residency status.

You can purchase a fishing license online or at any authorized vendor throughout the state. Licenses are also available for purchase through the mail.

Where Can You Go Fishing for Free in Texas?

How To Become A Fishing Guide In Texas

The state of Texas offers some of the best fishing in the country, with plenty of locations where you can wet a line without spending a penny.

Whether you’re looking for freshwater or saltwater fishing, there are plenty of spots to choose from. Here are just a few:

In the Hill Country, try Hamilton Pool Preserve or Pace Bend Park. Both of these locations offer great opportunities for fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, and perch.

Suppose you’re looking for saltwater fishing, head to the Gulf Coast. Port Aransas is a mecca for redfish, speckled trout, and flounder, while Galveston offers excellent fishing for speckled trout, black drum, and croaker.

If you’re looking to fish some of the state’s larger rivers, the Brazos River is a great option. This river offers plenty of opportunities for bass, catfish, and carp.

No matter what type of fishing you’re into, Texas has a spot for you. So get out there and start fishing.

What Is the Expiration Date on a Texas Fishing License?

A Texas fishing license is suitable for 365 days from purchase. You will need to have a current fishing license in your possession while fishing or hunting. There are no exceptions.

Children under the age of 17 do not need a license to fish, but they must be supervised by an adult who has a valid fishing license fishing in public water.

How Much Does a Texas Commercial Fishing License Cost?

The cost of a commercial fishing license in Texas varies depending on the type of license you are looking for. There are several different types of licenses, including a freshwater commercial fishing license, an estuary commercial fishing license, and a saltwater commercial fishing license. The prices for these licenses range from $35 to $250.

Benefits of Becoming a Fishing Guide in Texas

There are many benefits of becoming a fishing guide in Texas. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Making a living doing what you love
  • Getting to fish every day
  • Meeting new people and making friends
  • Experiencing new places and learning about different cultures
  • Having the opportunity to teach others about fishing
  • Being able to share your love of fishing with others

These are just a few of the many benefits of becoming a fishing guide in Texas. If you are passionate about fishing and want to make a career out of it, becoming a fishing guide is something you should consider.

Not only will you be able to do what you love every day, but you will also be able to help others experience the joys of fishing. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your career as a fishing guide in Texas today.


If you want to become a fishing guide in Texas, there are some important steps that you need to take. First and foremost, make sure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide a quality fishing experience for your clients.

Next, get yourself certified by the state of Texas. Finally, market yourself effectively and build up a strong client base. You can become a successful fishing guide in Texas with hard work and dedication.