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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Solicited some advice from an Indiana Co. I'll just cut'n paste the conversation here and ask if ya'all have any more or better advice.

Q. I've checked this out in a few other states and in Indiana I can't seem to come up with any specific rule or requirements.

If I was to hang out a shingle and somebody was paying me to take them fishing on any public lake or river to fish from my boat, what laws would I be breaking or license or permit would I need?

What about providing a hunting guide service that also involved guiding on Fed ground such as HNF or state MSF? Would it be different on private ground?

A. You would then have to follow the guidlines for a Passenger for Hire watercraft, which would include several things, including a permit and an inspection by a CO. There are actually several laws that could be violated if you were to do this without a first obtaining a permit. Contact DNR Permits section for further info 317/233-6527.

There are not any hunting guide permits that I'm aware of.

Q. Where would this government office be that a person would go to in order to obtain the proper paper from the proper government agency in order to have the government's permission for an exchange of legal currancy between private individuals for their mutual fishing satisfaction on their own personal watercraft?

Which BTW they have already paid the government a fee for the personal priviledge of just owning, and another fee for the priviledge of traversing a block of concrete next to the water and another fee and permission slip for the opportunity to drop a string and a hook in to God's gift of water and another tax on the fuel and roads to get there and an inspection and permission slip to traverse those roads blocking his way of getting there otherwise.

A. Jack,

The government office would be the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.


Disregard my previous post.
After reading my original reply to your question, I realized that I may not have been very clear, so not to pour salt in the wound, but
you'll need the following:
1) Passenger for Hire registration/inspection.....they run anywhere from $30-$100.
2) Indiana Charter Fishing Boat Operators license.......$100 annual fee.
The best advice that I can give you is to contact your local IDNR-Law Enforcement District office, and tell them what you want to do, and they can put you in contact with the proper individuals. The local offices are listed in the Hunting & Trapping Guide, or you can call the Headquarters office at 317/232-4010 to find out what district you are in.
Good Luck, and have fun being a guide!

Q. Is this all to do with it being a motor boat or would the same thing apply to float trips and canoes?

So Indiana has no specific permit required for hunting guides?

Is there another federal fee to operate a fishing boat in Indiana? Would the Indiana fees and permits cover you on the Ohio or be just good where the Indiana fishingn licenses are good?

A. Jack,
1) It aplies to any boat on public water, carrying passengers for hire.
2) There are no special permits for hunting guides in Indiana.
3) There are only a handful of officers in each district certified to conduct Passenger for Hire inspections. I'm not an inspector. Most of the questions that you are asking on here are questions that you should ask an inspector. Again, I would direct you to your local DNR Law Enforcement office, tell them what you want to do and they can put you in contact with the right people.
If you would like to read some of the laws about Passenger for Hire boats, and the Charter fishing boat Operator's license, look up the following on the web:
Indiana Code 14-15-6 and 14-22-15
Indiana Administrative Code 312 5-14-1 and 312 9-7-17.
If you are serious about this, I would read the laws first because there are several requirements listed.
*Too many for me to list, and you would probably answer most of your questions just by reading the statutes and rules.

Q. Thanks.

You are right, the code is what I needed. Now I know enough to know, what I didn't know but still need to know.

A. Clear as mud?
Good Luck!

Now ya'all are a long way from Indiana so I'm never going to be any competition. Got any suggestions?

I still have to work full time but I'm looking at retiring in a year or two and figure if I'm gonna fish any way, well you got to learn the water some how if you are ever going to guide and the IRS gives you 5 years to start showing a profit?

How about poking a stick in and giving this mud a stir. I know about enough about the business, regulations, insurance stuff of catching fish to know I don't know much. I read a little on a dock in Tennesee that sounded like you needed some kind of federal stamp to operate a guide service on Dale Hollow reservoir? True/Not? Do you guys know anything about that? I would think you would if it was federal but that was a few years ago I read that.

If you've got a "Wish I hadn't done that..." I'd sure like to hear it.

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First thing you need to know is none of us Guides are getting wealthy from guiding alone! Some years I make $5K some years I make $20K and be sureof one thing, anytime you are making money SOMEONE else has their hand out waiting for their share!
I pound nails, cut firewood, sell bait in winter, and sometimes pick up a "winter" job in retailing to pay for all the stuff I need just to be able to guide!

Go someplace and HIRE a guide for a day of fishing, then hire a guide for a day of hunting. If you are very happy with what the guide does for you, then you know what to do to keep your clients happy. If you're not, fix HIS problems in YOUR business!

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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't even got that far yet. So far it looks to be a about $200 in bribery and extortion charges to the governour before I can float a boot down the river if some one would pay you to do that.

If all it does is reduce what it costs me to fish, it's a step in the right direction if I never make a profit.

Does that look familiar or similar to what ya'll have to do?

What do ya do about insurance on your boat? Don't tell or does it raise the cost much?
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