Tips to Start Commercial Fishing?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by larkin, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. larkin

    larkin New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Almo Ky
    Does anyone on here commercial fish?

    If so I would like to start, I am needing money. Well dont we all? But I need a job and dont want to work in fast food. So me and a friend thought we would try commercial fishing, does anyone have any tips or know how to get started?

    Any information will help.
     
  2. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Messages:
    979
    State:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    I don't have any info on commercial fishing, but I sure you will get some replys. :0a10:
     

  3. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Same here, I'm personally agaisnt most commercial fishing, not all of it but most. Hey though, it's not my business what someone else does.:)
     
  4. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    I would call your state wildlife for of all to see about all the rules for commercial fishing in that state. You just can't go out and catch alot of fish and then go sale them not here anynow. And line up a buyer or two before you even catch the first fish.
     
  5. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Well this alt to get good in a hurry. LOL
     
  6. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I would work at Mc donalds before I would take fish from public waters to make a profit.
     
  7. larkin

    larkin New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Almo Ky
    Thanks guys for the replys.

    I figured some people would be contriversial about this, but hey everyone has their opinions.

    My opinion is to make money doing something you enjoy too, LOL

    Thanks for input though.
     
  8. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    And we're off!:0a22:
     
  9. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I'll say again,

    Opinion's are like armpits, everyone has them, and most of them stink....LOL:rolleyes:
     
  10. Gone Catfishing

    Gone Catfishing New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Kansas
    I don't know if you'll get ANY supportive advice as far as commercial fishing on this board. Most of us here fish for enjoyment purposes, or as a hobby and will be against taking from the public for profit.
     
  11. explayer

    explayer New Member

    Messages:
    372
    State:
    Tucson AZ
    You Can do whatever you want.

    I woukld not do this when you can make money in anything you want but ANd don't have to work in fast food
     
  12. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I do not know much about the subject except... an old buddy of mine opened up a pay-lake a few years ago (closed now, Walmart bought the property.. go figure) and bought his fish from a commercial fisherman who worked the Ohio River.
    So now, I always get a good chuckle when I hear folks say they only fish pay-lakes so they can get "clean" fish.
     
  13. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.

    You gotta be kidding, I hope any way.
     
  14. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    Mississippi River
    The Mississippi is one of the greatest rivers in the world. Drainage of this river and its tributaries embraces nearly one-third of the land surface of the United States. It is more than 4,000 miles in length from the headwaters of the Missouri River tributary to its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico.

    The river was discovered by DeSoto in l54l. Marquette and Joliet were the second white men to see the Mississippi when they reached the mouth of the Wisconsin River in l673. These voyagers were warned by the Indians before going onto the river that it was inhabited by demons and giant fish that would most certainly destroy them.

    Mark Twain believed Indian traditions were based on the presence of giant sturgeon, paddlefish and catfish. In "Life on the Mississippi," he wrote of having seen monstrous-sized catfish "six feet long, weighing 250 pounds." Even today, traditions and myths survive among river people of giant fishes and other river creatures of fabulous size.

    When white men first visited Iowa, the Mississippi was a major source of food for the native Indians. The great burial mounds along the Mississippi River contain evidence that prehistoric tribes depended greatly on this "Father of Waters" for stable food supplies of both freshwater mussels and fishes.

    The Mississippi River borders Iowa for more than 300 miles, entering the state between precipitous bluffs that rise four to six hundred feet above the river level. Bluffs diminish in size and spectacular appearance from Bellevue southward. The river meanders east and west through numerous side channels, chutes, and sloughs across its two- to six-mile wide valley. From north to south along our entire border, the river becomes systematically wider -- but shallower. The river bed is primarily sand and mud, with few bedrock outcroppings, the most notable of which are the Chain-of-Rocks at LeClaire and Dubuque and the falls just above the mouth of the Des Moines River.

    Waters of the Mississippi become muddy during flood conditions. Much of the time, however, it is quite clear, this being particularly true in late summer, autumn and winter. Our part of the river flows about two miles per hour during normal water stages, although current speeds of up to five miles per hour are common during high water periods.

    The Mississippi River in its original appearance consisted of a seemingly unending series of pools separated by shoals, bars and rapids, with a channel or series of channels between -- much like our larger interior streams today. These channels were obstructed by rocks and snags which, during low water levels, separated into many side channels of narrow width and little depth until the stream took on a "braided" appearance.

    Initial engineering on the Mississippi River occurred in l824 when Congress authorized improvement for navigation by the removal of snags and other channel obstructions. As early as l836, improvements were carried on by removal of snags and steamboat wrecks from the rapids at Keokuk and Rock Island. Shortly after this date, a canal and locks were constructed in the river at Keokuk. In l905, an act of Congress permitted construction of the Keokuk power dam. An act two years later authorized provisions of a six-foot channel for navigation from the Missouri River to Minneapolis by "construction works, dredging, diking, canals and locks." In l935, additional legislation was approved which authorized a nine-foot channel over the same river reach by means of locks and dams supplemented by dredging. The present dams now controlling the river resulted from this act. Engineering and environmental studies are currently being conducted to ascertain the feasibility of a twelve-foot navigation channel with year-long navigation.


    Eleven permanent channel dams affect the river bordering Iowa, starting with Lock and Dam No. 9 at Lynxville to Lock and Dam No. l9 at Keokuk. Other Iowa dams are located at: No. l0, Guttenberg; No. ll, Dubuque; No. l2, Bellevue; No. l3, Clinton; No. l4, LeClaire; No. l5, Quad-Cities; No. l6, Muscatine; No. l7, New Boston; and No. l8, Burlington.

    The river was originally inhabited by unbelievable numbers of clams (freshwater mussels) of various kinds. This abundance of clams was responsible for the establishment of a huge pearl button industry, the largest in the world, centered at Muscatine. Prior to dam construction, millions of tons of shells were taken, but since the nine-foot channel was established, suitable habitat for mollusks has largely disappeared under heavy deposits of silt, and the remaining button industry is supported primarily from man-made materials. By the early l930`s, commercial clamming had virtually disappeared along the Mississippi.

    Development and use of prepared clam shell pieces in the culture of pearls revived clamming in the mid-l970`s, but clam harvest was nowhere near that at the turn of this century. The reported catch of clammers licensed in Iowa waters of the Mississippi in l976 was less than 300 tons, which held stable into the l980`s. Most of this harvest was exported to the Orient for the seeding of pearl clams in the culture of these valuable jewels.

    From an infant industry in the early river settlements, commercial fishing grew as the population in the midwest increased. Rapid transportation facilities and refrigeration, plus the introduction and establishment of carp in the l880`s, put commercial fishing on the Mississippi River into a "big time" class. Commercial food-fish catches from the river provide a large proportion of the freshwater fish species consumed in the midwest and along the east coast today. Value of the fishery in Iowa exceeds well over one million dollars each year.

    The fishing industry on the Mississippi supports wholly or, in part, many families. Over the past forty years, the annual catch of fish has not changed a great deal. The average commercial fish harvest for the five-year period l943-48 was about three million pounds, the catch being made up of 47 percent carp, 22 percent buffalo, l5 percent catfish, l0 percent drum, and 6 percent other species. During the thirteen-year period l970-82, total catch was slightly over 3.l million pounds each year. Species composition was 34 percent carp, 27 percent buffalo, l7 percent catfish, l5 percent drum, and 7 percent miscellaneous species. The most dramatic change has been the number of commercial fishermen licensed. Prior to l970, seldom were there more than 400 licenses purchased. But in the mid-70`s, that number increased systematically until by l983 over 2,250 Iowans were licensed to commercial fish -- most in the Mississippi River. Over the years, the number of full-time commercial fishermen has declined to only a few, while the number of part-time operators has increased dramatically.

    Most of the commercial fish species are taken with nets and seines, although large numbers of catfish are caught on trotlines both in the river channel and in the backwaters and chutes. Commercial fishing is strictly regulated, with fishermen being required to license all gear and equipment and report the number and kinds of fish taken. Catfish populations, which are intensively fished, are protected from overharvest by a l5-inch minimum length limit. Prior to channelization of the Mississippi River, angling was undoubtedly much the same as that carried out in the larger interior Iowa streams at the present time.

    With construction of the six-foot navigation channel in l907, large numbers of wing dams and channel training structures jutting out from the shore into the current to deepen the channel were built. This profoundly changed earlier angling activities. Considerable fishing was done on the wing dams, where large numbers of crappie, northern pike, walleye, and smallmouth bass were taken. The wing dams, along with extensive shoreline riprapping, provided lush feeding grounds for fish, and they had a tendency to congregate in the areas where small forage fish found food and shelter. The six-foot channel probably had very little effect on fishing in the rapid chutes between the numerous islands in the Mississippi. Here, too, large congregations of foraging game fish were the source of excellent fishing.


    With establishment of the nine-foot channel dams, most of the wing dams were submerged. Also, most of the rapid chutes between islands and even the islands themselves were inundated by backwaters, forever destroying many of the formerly productive game fishing grounds.

    With the navigation locks and dams creating a series of lake-type pools in the river, there was a decided change in the make-up of fish populations. Fast-flowing water fish species, such as smallmouth bass, declined in abundance, and fishes that preferred more pond-like habitat, such as crappie, bluegill, walleye, carp and freshwater drum increased in abundance. The new channel dams also changed favorite locations for fishing.

    Best fishing for species such as walleye, sauger, and paddlefish is directly in the tailrace of the navigation dams, especially in late spring and autumn. The popularity of fishing below the dams is accounted for by several basic factors that influence fish behavior. In the first place, for the large part of each year, the dams represent a physical barrier to fish movement -- mostly in the upstream direction. For some distance below each stucture, the bottom is scoured into a series of deep holes containing diverse fish habitats, giving a particularly favorable bottom environment with highly oxygenated water. These conditions afford excellent environment for forage fishes and other forms of fish food. Predacious sport fishes concentrate in these havens of easy feeding. Most of the dams are easily accessible for fishing either from the shoreline or by boat. Boat ramps and parking facilities are located within a short distance of all Mississippi locks and dams. There are a total of 58 launching facilities on the Iowa side of the river. Public lands usually stretch a considerable distance downstream and are open to fishing. Some restrictions for safety are in effect at all dams and must be obeyed.
     
  15. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    Introduction
    Aquaculture, the practice of growing finfish and shellfish under controlled conditions, is not a new concept. The Japanese, Chinese, Romans, Egyptians, and Mayan Indians of South America farmed fish for food and recreation prior to 2000 BC. They constructed ponds and raised fish much as fish are raised today. Both freshwater and saltwater fish are currently raised commercially throughout the world. Other fisheries-related products, such as shrimp, crayfish, oysters, clams, and frogs, are also raised commercially. Although many fish are reared commercially, the vast majority of fishery food products eaten in the United States are produced from wild stocks captured in natural waters, not farmed.
    Fishery food products are a potential answer to the growing problem of world dietary animal-protein shortages. Fish are able to convert their feed into flesh about two times more efficiently than chickens and five to ten times more efficiently than beef cattle. Feed conversion rates of fish are higher than other common commercial animal protein sources because: (a) fish can utilize foods that are not used by most land animals; and (b) they require less energy from their foods to live. Moreover, fish can use the entire three-dimensional environment of ponds, from top to bottom and sideways, for living space, while terrestrial animals are confined to the two-dimensional surface of the ground. Consequently, the proper combination of fish species, adequate fertilizations, and careful feeding can result in yields approaching 6,250 pounds per acre compared to approximately 1,000 pounds per acre yield from beef cattle production. The potential for commercial production and the lure of high profits have accelerated the interest in fish farming and other types of aquaculture.

    Establishing a commercial aquacultural enterprise involves a four-step process that should be strictly followed by the prospective aquaculturist
     
  16. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    Step 1 -- Planning
    An exhaustive planning stage is necessary before any large capital investment in aquaculture is made. This step is particularly important when deciding on the feasibility of any costly venture. The planning stage involves a detailed evaluation of the biologic, economic, and legal feasibility of raising a particular fish or group of fishes. Both economic and biologic considerations are of equal importance in the United States. Legal constraints can also severely limit the potential for aquaculture in certain areas.
     
  17. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    An aquaculture venture will be economically feasible if a fish or fisheries product can be produced at a cost competitive with other animal-protein sources and can be sold at a reasonable profit. Economic considerations can be divided into demand, finance, production, and marketing.
    Product demand involves the relationships between the amount of product that consumers will purchase, the selling price, the price of competing products, the size of the consuming population, and the income of the consuming population. Many fish and fisheries products command high prices as luxury food items, but these items are characteristically in short supply. Since demand for luxury foods is normally limited, increased production would result in reduced product revenues. Other fish and fisheries products which command lower prices must compete with meat products. Until these aquacultural products can compete favorably in terms of price with chicken and hamburger, the size of the fish-consuming public will remain relatively low.

    Financing is also a very important economic consideration. Private sector financing can be characterized as conservative. Rarely can the private sector be persuaded to finance projects where risks are high, profits uncertain, and past experience to guide decisions unavailable. Capital for aquaculture is often difficult to obtain from private sources. Public financial assistance does not currently include aquaculture; however, some programs available to agriculture have been extended to include aquaculture.

    Production economics involve various direct costs which can be divided into systems costs, production costs, and processing costs. These factors can be outlined as follows:


    Systems costs
    Initial facilities investment
    land (ponds, raceways, wells)
    buildings and equipment (tanks, filters, pumps)
    alternative power sources (solar, electrical, fossil fuel)
    Maintenance
    Depreciation
    Taxes
    Interest on working capital

    Production costs
    Fish stock (eggs, fingerlings, spawners)
    Chemicals (disease control, additional fertilizer)
    Feed
    Labor
    Water pumping, heating, oxygenation
    Fuel (operation and transport)
    Miscellaneous supplies
    Harvesting
    equipment (nets, lifts, tractors)
    labor
    holding and/or transport facilities

    Processing costs (if applicable to product)
    Direct cost to producer
    Shipment to processing facilities
    Most aquaculture ventures are extremely labor-intensive. The cost of labor usually represents the most limiting factor in terms of production costs. Less labor-intensive aquaculture ventures are normally limited by high feed costs. Poor understanding of the nutritional requirements of fish and fisheries products results in rigid diet formulations. The costs of diets can skyrocket if a particular necessary ingredient becomes scarce. Processing can be considered a production cost if existing processing facilities are not available to the producer. Processing costs, as well as the multitude of state and federal regulations governing processing, can pose a significant constraint to prospective aquaculturists.

    Marketing involves the movement of goods from the producers to the consumers. New aquaculture industries can have significant marketing problems. Ideally, the marketing network for food items involves processors, distributors, and outlets. Although a producer can bypass processors and distributors, bypassing these middlemen will greatly increase costs and risks. Because of the additional risks involved, it is desirable to work through an established marketing network that can adapt to a new aquacultural product.

    Establishing a market network for a new aquacultural product requires a continuous, year-round supply of the fish or fisheries products sent to the processor. Until a year-round production system can be assured, a processor will be hesitant to invest in expansion or conversion of existing equipment to handle the new product. Processors prefer to contract for products from producers on a strict schedule basis to avoid slack periods of production. Market development will be restricted if supplies are seasonal. Unfortunately, the temperatures in temperate climates restrict growth rates and promote seasonal yields. Year-round supplies can only be obtained by holding market-size aquatic animals to meet processor demand or by raising the aquatic animals in controlled temperature systems.

    Distributors transfer live fish from processors to outlets or from producers to outlets. Problems associated with such distribution include low quantity and poor quality. Inadequate distribution (product handling and storage) of live fish can result in a consumer preference for well-processed, frozen, imported aquaculture products. Improper handling of live fish results in fish deaths, impaired taste, and ultimately reduced future sales.

    Outlets for aquacultural products range from recreational fish ponds (live fish) to groceries and restaurants (processed food items). Outlets for processed aquacultural food items will purchase their products based on quality and costs. Consequently, imported products can often outcompete domestic sources because of established processing and distribution facilities and reduced labor costs.

    Catfish production serves as an example of the economic constraints that face the potential fish farmer. A recent economic analysis of catfish production in ideal areas (level land, adequate ground water, and a growing season of approximately 210 days) indicates that a well-trained catfish producer-operator who performs all labor functions can expect net cash returns on an annual basis of $6,264.21 from a single crop of fish on 80 acres of land. By necessity, the successful catfish farmer is usually characterized by multiple agricultural activities that include production of soybeans, cotton, rice, cattle, etc., or by extensive acreage devoted to catfish production on a year-round basis. It has been reported that less than 10 percent of the U.S. catfish farmers make a sustained yearly profit (average investment yields returns of 8.3 percent) even though certain individual operators have realized returns as high as 55 percent on their initial investment. The availability of low-cost foreign fish products has had a severe impact on the commercial catfish farmer. Processed, packaged, and frozen channel catfish shipped from South America often cost less in New Orleans than the break-even price for pond-raised Louisiana channel catfish sold live at the pond bank. Growth in channel catfish farming has been restricted largely to the Southeast because of regional demand. Consequently, the acreage devoted to catfish farming has stabilized at approximately 50,000 acres.

    The complexities of determining the economic feasibility of an aquacultural venture dictate that a professional economist design and perform the initial analysis. Before an economist is hired to survey the economic feasibility of a particular aquaculture venture, it may be advisable to determine the preliminary biologic feasibility of raising the desired fish or fisheries products in a particular area. Not all fish or fisheries products are suitable for culture in certain areas. Environmental constraints such as water quality, water temperatures, and the length of the growing season dictate where an aquatic organism can be raised commercially.
     
  18. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    Water supply is a critical environmental constraint and restricts site selection for an aquacultural facility. Desirable water supply characteristics include relatively constant flow, constant or acceptable water temperatures, high levels of dissolved oxygen, low levels of harmful gases, low siltation levels, limited possibilities of introducing diseases or wild fishes, and no chemical or organic pollution sources. Based on these characteristics, water supply sources can be ranked from most to least desirable as springs, wells, streams, lakes, and reservoirs, respectively. Surface runoff is usually an unacceptable water source for commercial ponds because of seasonal limitations and pollution potential. Any potential water source should be adequately tested, both in terms of quantity and quality, before any facility expenditures are made.
    Commercial production of aquatic organisms is often limited by water temperature and/or the length of the growing season. The body temperature of an aquatic organism is approximately the same as the water temperature that affects its activity and growth. Therefore, the water temperature must be at levels which promote growth during a significant portion of the year to enable commercially economic production of the animal. The level of temperatures that promote growth differs among types of aquatic animals. For example, trout require lower water temperatures than channel catfish for optimal growth. Temperatures below the optimal levels prolong the time required to raise an aquatic organism to market size and, consequently, raise production costs. Temperatures above the optimal level for growth will stress the aquatic organism and result in disease and often death.

    Although fish and fisheries products in general have higher feed conversion rates than most terrestrial animals, not all fishes are suitable for intensive culture. Additional biologic constraints limit which aquatic organisms can be raised at commercial densities. Lack of knowledge of the reproductive biology, nutrition, and diseases of specific aquatic organisms represents the major biologic constraint to their culture.

    The reproductive biology of a potentially cultural aquatic organisms must be well understood. Control over its reproductive biology is essential for commercial culture. Culture of wild captured stocks is entirely dependent on the unpredictable availability of wild fry or seed. Control over the reproductive biology of a desired aquatic organism allows the aquaculturist to produce offspring at desired times and in desired numbers.

    Nutritional requirements represent a major factor in determining the suitability of an aquatic species for aquaculture. As mentioned earlier, the price of feeds based on rigid formulations can fluctuate severely with ingredient availability. This problem cannot be avoided unless the nutritional requirements of an aquatic organism considered for aquaculture are understood so ingredient substitution can be made. The nutritional requirements of fish and fisheries products are not well understood even for fish like trout and channel catfish, currently under intensive commercial culture. Some fish and fisheries products require natural feeds consisting of algae, insects, minnows, etc. If these animals are raised commercially, their natural feeds must be raised as well.

    A third biological constraint to aquaculture is disease resistance and control. When aquatic animals are raised intensively they are crowded into a limited area, which tends to promote the spread of disease. If diseases cannot be identified and treated quickly, the entire stock can be lost in a few days. The potential of disease-caused disasters to aquaculture makes knowledge of diseases and their control mandatory.

    Advances in reproductive control and disease control will improve the commercial potential of established as well as new aquatic species. Selective breeding and advanced systems technology will also have positive effects on eliminating many of the current biologic constraints on the development of aquaculture.
     
  19. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    Various local, state, and federal laws can also restrict the development of aquacultural enterprises. These fall into a variety of categories including land-use laws, access laws, water-use laws, environmental laws, health and safety laws, and permit procedures and requirements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is the lead agency in aquaculture.
    If the economic, biologic, and legal aspects of the planning stage indicate that the proposed aquaculture venture is feasible, the prospective aquaculturis