One of my winter projects this year is to study for my tidewater fishing guide license. Currently, I am a registered Master Maine Guide licensed in the hunting, fishing, recreation and sea kayak categories. Each category has its own corresponding exam, and the master status is awarded after 10 years, with a minimum number of hours in the field per year (More information on the process is available on the Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife site).
When I successfully pass my tidewater fishing guide exam, I’ll have all of the guide licenses the state issues except for whitewater rafting. I don’t consider whitewater rafting to be the same type of license, though, as the licensing process is different and the industry, rather than the state, controls the testing process. For now it’s not on my radar, but in a few years, it might be fun to pursue. I’ll probably have to go whitewater rafting to do so, which is something I’ve never done.
I don’t plan to buy a big outboard and start offering fishing chargers for striped bass, but with the tidewater license I’ll be able to legally assist people who are fishing on our kayak trips. When studying for my sea kayak exam, it was specifically mentioned that you were not allowed to aid people in their pursuit of fish. Getting this license will clear up any gray areas surrounding the issue.
I’ve always liked how the outdoor industry is run in Maine. As a registered Maine Guide, I can guide anywhere in the state. I also don’t need to maintain sport-specific certifications in order to guide. These days a person could spend all of their time chasing certifications and recertifications, especially if they were actively guiding in multiple sports. Canoeing, sea kayaking, fly fishing, archery, etc., all have organizations and certifications. While I agree continuing education is a good thing, chasing the certs and jumping through hoops is not my idea of a good time.
Perceptive readers likely noticed my use of Pokemon in the title of this post. It is my weak attempt at using popular culture to be hip and with it (two things I’ve rarely, if ever, been accused of). So yeah, just me spicing things up around here.