My business is to provide people the opportunity to sample the exciting and challenging fishing available at the southern end of Lake Michigan. This page is dedicated to showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to do that and to highlight the trips and fun my customers are able to experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Licenses used to be Certificates "suitable
for framing." Now they are a booklet, similar
to  a Passport
Every person who operates a boat for commercial purposes is required to have a federal license. The document is often called a Coast Guard license, since it’s the USCG who handles the licensing and does most of the enforcement work, but the license is actually a captain’s commission in the U.S. Merchant Marine.

The U.S.M.M. is a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Navy and the merchant mariners can be (and have been) pressed into service during wartime.

Getting licensed the first time requires proof of sea service, proof of passing both CPR and First Aid training courses, a background and security check, passing a drug screening, taking a physical exam and passing written examinations dealing with seamanship, navigation, boating rules and regulations.

Oh, and paying a hefty fee to the government.

Renewal is just as cumbersome and requires all of the above along with proof you have been consistently enrolled in a random drug screening consortium. As long as you don’t let your present license lapse, the renewal doesn’t require retaking the written examinations.

 Oh, and there’s another hefty fee to the government due.

I earned my first commission in 1997 and renewed in 2002 and 2007. Do the math. This is my renewal year.

I started the ordeal of filing the paperwork in October and just received my new license.  So I’m good for another 5 years.  I’ll start saving my nickles.

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