How to Be a Fish Bum
Quit your job and just go fishing. It’s worked out for these six dream-living guys
You know those bumper stickers that read “I’d rather be fishing”? These six guys don’t need them, because they’re out fishing while you’re cooped up in the office. Don’t be jealous, though. Their stories might inspire you to throw it all away and live hookset to hookset.
It’s Monday morning. After five hits of the snooze button, you finally get up. Maybe you start scrolling through Instagram over your rushed cup of coffee. Maybe you look at Facebook while on the toilet. Or perhaps the first half hour of your actual workday consists of social media catch-up before you start doing the actual work someone is paying you to do. It makes no difference. Within the first few swipes of your finger, he’ll be there, posting a sunrise-over-the-water shot captioned “another day at the office.” By the time you grab your bag lunch from the break room fridge, he’ll have bagged another trout, or smallmouth, or catfish. He is the fish bum. He’s the guy that—whether by professional or lifestyle choice—is always on the water while you are not. He’s tied in when you’re tied up. He’s the guy you love to hate, because he’s the guy you’d love to be.
Or would you?
To be a true fish bum, fish have to come first. That means things like a steady paycheck, health benefits, or a social life come second. Ask yourself: Do I like eating Ramen noodles? Am I okay with driving a truck that could die at any second? Could I handle the pressure of putting paying customers on fish day in and day out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have what it takes to live this lifestyle. If you’re still on the fence, we tracked down six die-hard fish bums from across the country to find out what it’s really like living hookset to hookset. They’ve quit steady jobs to stay on the bite, schlepped across the globe to keep lines tight, and downright hustled to stay bent. Do you make more money than them? Probably, but they’re having a hell of a lot more fun.
Flathead addict Matt Crowe waits for a pickup on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, Pa.