Waking up to the smell of coffee, eggs, bacon, and some fresh toast is one of those things that every outdoorsman loves. Imagine the bliss of waking up to that seven days a week, three-sixty five, except you’re the one in the kitchen. Carl and Dianne are living the dream, if owning the best fishing lodge in Texas is your dream that is.
The Angler’s Lodge is where we drew inspiration for this one, after speaking with Carl and Dianne on numerous occasions we decided it was time to reboot this old category on our website and give a little information on this personal dream job of mine, owning a lodge.
We’ll start from the beginning, finding a location. This is one that we have struggled with and once you make the decision is VERY difficult to change. Obviously you’d prefer to have a lodge right on the water, but would being just a mile from the launch be terrible? The cost savings in flood insurance could make or break your company, but will it affect your business in a positive or negative way? This is a very short list of things you must ask yourself when thinking about where to locate yourself, next is how much land do you really need, enough for a hotel style place, will you store boats for extra money in the winter, will you run a tackle shop out of the lodge, will you want to expand in 10-15 years? The list is endless and something that lodge owners will likely go back and forth on, the problem is that there isn’t exactly a “right” answer since everybody is different in what they want to do and how far they want to go.
Once you have decided on a location then it’s time to decide on décor, layout, and if you’re doing food, a menu! When building a menu I would heavily suggest sticking to items you know extremely well with maybe a few slight tweaks. Most anglers will want coffee, that’s an easy one. The place where some people get lost is offering 30 different options for breakfast and you have upwards of 50 people wanting to eat before hitting the water or starting their day. Limit yourself to things like; waffles, pancakes, eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, and toast. These are all favorites that are rather hard to beat on any given day. If you’re feeling up to it throw in a “steak and eggs” meal for your top-end meal and you’d be more than covered for everybody’s appetite.
Good food is a great way to draw in locals as well for a morning rush-hour on weekends. I’ve noticed most lodges have some of the best food in the area, but then again I think outdoorsmen make the best cooks. A weekly or biweekly fish-fry doesn’t hurt either as long as you can stress conservation and try to only harvest over-populated species.
Another excellent way to supplement your income is to run a tackle shop out of your lodge, these shops are usually ran by professionals that understand the tackle and its uses intimately. The kind of knowledge these types of places bring is incredible, expect to see local tournament anglers visiting often for the latest information on your local body of water. Speaking of tournaments, another excellent way to fill rooms is to run a multi-day event in which a bonus is awarded if the angler or team stayed at your lodge for the duration of their trip!
The hours are long and the days are numerous but the rewarding feeling of making somebody’s trip memorable is hard to beat. If you’d like to check out one of these lodges give Carl and Dianne a call, they’ll take care of YOU on and off the water!