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Do you have to be rich to enjoy fishing?


Do you have to be rich to enjoy fishing?

Old 02-23-2011, 05:06 AM
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Of course not, I see poor people catfishing with cane-poles all the time.

However, regarding offshore fishing in a big boat, I am reminded of a quote from David Pascoe:

If you believe that large boats should be "affordable," then you are a victim of consumerism. Yachting is the rich mans sport. The industry has changed the name to "recreational boating" in order to increase the market. But good quality boats are not affordable, and never will be. If you're going to buy an affordable boat, you might as well buy an affordable airplane too. And cross your fingers.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:20 AM
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Our local marina has 75-80% of the big expensive boats sitting at the dock all weekend while the inlet is full of small boats out for the day. Go figure
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:26 AM
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I used to think so until I sold my offshore boat due to 3 back surgeries. I took up fly fishing and was surprised how much fun you can have in a skiff in skinny water for virtually no money. You would also be surprised how many other boat owners offer to take you fishing if you are willing to split the fuel and beer or help with an afternoon of maintenance. Personally I'll probably never own another offshore boat due to my back but I can't say that fishing has lost any of its fun. And BTW you can spend a lot of days on a fully crewed charter for the same price as owning a serious offshore rig.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:27 AM
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My wife and I bought a used 14' jon boat with an electric trolling motor and a 9.9hp outboard and trailer for $1300. We sold the outboard for $1000, so the total investment in boat, trolling motor, and trailer is $300. We paid just about that much in taxes and fees to get everything registered, tagged and titled properly. Our fishing gear on that boat comes from Walmart. On a nice summer day we can launch a block from our home and catch 30-40 keeper sized white perch, yellow perch, stripers, blue fish in a morning of fishing. This is cheap and easy fishing. The fish we catch in a summer probably cost us about 10 cents each.

We also own a 22' Pathfinder with a 225hp Optimax and all the electronic bells and whistles. Retail on this boat and gear pushes over $60,000, and it costs about $50/hr to operate when all fees, insurance, fuel, maintenance, storage, etc., etc. are factored in. The fish we catch from this boat cost more like $100 each.

Moral: You can fish cheaply or you can throw money overboard. It's your choice. I have as much fun in the jon boat as I do in the Pathfinder, but each is good for a certain kind of fishing.

P.S. Fishing kayaks are catching on big in many places. They seem like a good idea for someone on a budget, they can get places no power boat can, they provide a little exercise, no trailer or slip required, and there's not much about them to depreciate. Guys in kayaks were hauling out monster Stripers from under the Bay Bridge last fall.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:29 AM
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I think you are rich if you enjoy fishing, wealth is not required.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:30 AM
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To Quote Alan Jackson:

It was just an old plywood boat
With a 75 Johnson with electric choke
A young boy two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:14 AM
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You use what you can afford, but now that I own and have used a great boat for years it would be hard to go backwards.

My favorite fishing memory though was shrimping with baited drop nets off the coast guard pier on the Ashley River near Charleston SC harbor in 1976 with my oldest son, who was 4 at the time. We used to fill up a cooler with fresh shrimp on a rising tide while all the coasties watched us. We'd give them a bunch when we finished and my son would use some of the small shrimp to use as bait with his Zebco reel set up and catch redfish off the pier at the same time. I was in the USAF then and the Coast guard would let us out on the pier at that time, after about a year they wouldn't let us fish there anymore, but it sure was fun while it lasted! It used to cost me around $2.00 for some smoked herring at the commissary for the bait we tied to the bottom of the seine net. AHHHHH the Good Old Days!
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:05 AM
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You don't have to be rich at all.

Check out this thread I started a few years back. Tons of members on this board have boats that cost only a few thousand dollars.


I could go on craigslist today and find a dozen boats that would be fun that all cost under $2k.

This was my last boat that I bought for $1500. It was a great boat I wish I would have kept it

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:16 AM
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The answer is yes, if you want to enjoy "big boat" fishing experience. Cost of storing a big boat (Ocean, etc) at a marina is alot add to it the gas and maintenance.

You can get a 26 ft Bayliner boat for 20K and have a good time fishing.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:35 AM
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Don't get into fishing to put food on the table cheaply. That is why there are seafood counters. Weigh the expenses against all the other hobbies and you can go about as crazy as you like. There are always the Joneses in every arena.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:51 AM
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No, you dont need to be rich to enjoy fishing but a few extra bucks do help specially the older you get
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:07 AM
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I guess it's like anything else we do.

I'll speak for myself here.. I am not going to be able to own (at least not now) a 36 footer with trips. I am also not going to be able to go 75 miles offshore and fish every weekend. That is money I just don't have. But, I have NO animosity towards those that do. More power to them. And I also know several of the guys who do this have fishing "partner's" to share the cost.

However, what I do have is a nice (to me) boat that meets my needs. I have good gear that was affordable to me. My family, whom I love, have a great time fishing for flounder and red fish. Hopefully we will get some offshore fishing in this year. The oil spill wiped my offshore fishing out last year. But I envision many 10-20 mile trips with my gas sipping F150 this season.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:07 AM
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Fishing is kind of like life. You start out with a Snoopy rod catching bluegill at 4 or 5 and you become an addict. For me, that was Lake Jerry in NY. I'd spend summers with my grandpa there in their cabin and fish all day, every day. At night, we'd take his small aluminum boat out to the center of the lake and catch bullheads. One day, I became the lake's top angler, catching a 17" perch. I remember everybody coming by to look at it in the bucket and telling me what a big fish it was. By then, I couldn't kill the silly thing and let it go back into the lake.

I used to drive my parents crazy. Anytime we'd be in the car going somewhere, on a trip, wherever, any mud puddle, canal, farm pond, drop of water I spotted along the way elicited the same words - "That looks like a good place to fish!"

I'd ride my bike 20 miles during the summer months to fish Neshaminy Creek at Dark Hollow in PA. I knew that creek for miles, every hidden rock, every current swirl, every place the red-eyed rock bass hung out, every inch of it. Where to catch grasshoppers and salamanders for bait. I'd fish to nearly dark, then pedal home with my catch for the day and Mom would happily cook it up.

My family was dirt poor growing up as a kid. I didn't know it, didn't care. I was as rich as I could be as long as I had my fishing rod and some hooks. That carried through much of my life and still does.

I got hooked on saltwater big game fishing. I don't think I've fished freshwater in several years now. Just a later stage of the addiction. What were bluegills are now snapper and gold-spotted bass. That 17" perch has become dorado, marlin, and 100 lb. grouper. Just like heroin, it takes more to satisfy the addiction than it used to.

Could I go back to being that kid again? Probably. If my world crumbled around me and I could no longer afford my current lifestyle, I'd be right back there with a spincaster and some bobbers, sitting on the edge of a lake or river somewhere. And it wouldn't bother me a bit because I'd be doing something I've loved my entire life.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:15 AM
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If you think it is expensive now, wait until the enviros get their way and we have Catch Shares.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:04 AM
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If you give me infinite time, I can acquire infinite wealth. But if you give me infinite wealth, I cannot acquire infinite time.

That's why those big boats sit there, day after day, week after week. They've got the money, they just don't have the time. If you have the time to fish, you may be wealthier than a lot of wealthy people.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:15 AM
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Boating and fishing is expensive but so is a week in the mental ward. That's the way I look at it.

Like other have said if you can afford it and love it then don't try to justify it. There is no way to justify owning a boat or thousands of dollars of equipment.

Better do what you love while you're here and able to do it. There is no voucher in life that gives you a chance to do it all later when you have more time and more money.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:47 AM
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We are around water, 90% of the time in the summer, my kids(3 boys) always figure out a way to go fishing. If we are at our inlet to watch boats, they get the poles; if they are on the beach, they make little poles out of sticks and have nets to catch small fish; if we are at the dock, they get crab traps and snapper rods; at home, they ask to go to ponds to catch whatever...and, when on our boat inshore, they ask for specific fishing, lets get fluke and cook it; lets go for stripers; lets go for blues and get the boat all bloody...if the ocean is too snotty, they ask to fish or crab in the river or inlet...and when back at the dock, back to crabbing, catching eels, and snappers.

Thats what I loved as a kid and now I have the fortune to watch my kids do it and love it whether we have a boat or not! So you dont have to be rich to fish...if you have a boat and get on the water, thats enough for me to have respect for you...same respect for the family who is fishing off the wall or on the rocks!

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Old 02-23-2011, 09:51 AM
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How I got started on this fishing Madness-----

Went out a few times with other people to see if I could handle the ocean.
Looked around for an affordable boat,good friend of mine sold me his 20' SeaCraft for $9,500 in 1984.

Ran that boat for a 2 years,did everything stupid a rookie can do,caught a ton of fish and always got home safe

Blew the original "tower of power" Mercury 6 cylinder,begged my friendly banker for a loan and repowered with a 175 Black Max.

Went back out again,caught a few more tons of fish,had a blast,taught my now wife the joys of offshore fishing,and always got back safe.

Ran that Black Max for 18 years,in 2005,put the boat on a cradle,tore out the now rotted transom,put on a new transom for a 25" inch motor,rewired the boat,changed out all the parts gone bad,went back to the friendly banker,got a 200 HP DTS Optimax engine and got back in the water.

Fishing ain't what it used to be,harder to catch good fish now,the Optimax motor sips fuel compared to the old Black Max.

My SeaCraft 20 is nearly 40 years old,since I did most of the hull work myself,I know she is seaworthy.
Total cost for a day's fishing is about $100.00 depending on how far we go.

I'm only a working stiff,but I don't go to Lost Wages,Nevada 3-4 times a year like some people I know,and try to live within my means so fishing,for me,is very affordable!

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:27 PM
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Used Ocean 50 Footer - 700K. Marina slip rental : 7K a year. Gas for each excursion: 400.

No, you dont have to be rich.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:44 PM
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So the question is, how in the hell do all us us (you) afford to do this and keep any benjamins in the bank?

Buy what is reasonable and will get the job done. Don't try to "keep up with the Jones'". Even if I could afford a 74' Sportfisher, or a 42' Yellowfin, I probably wouldn't buy one. It isn't practical to own. Neither is a 24' Regulator, or Grady White, or insert your own overpriced boat (and tackle) here. The point is to have some fun, relax, enjoy time spent with friends and family. Whatever method you have for doing that is what works!

I've seen so many threads on here about people catching this and catching that with their high-end rigs, and then find others who are doing the same type of fishing from something 1/3 of the price. So, for the average weekender, whose making financially sound decisions?
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