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Meet Battle Fish Charters and the veteran behind it all

Tupper Lake is a community built around the water surrounding it, with the Raquette River ribboning its way through the town, and large lakes and ponds dotting the landscape. Andrew Beaudoin, founder of Battle Fish Charters, can attest that this place might just be the epicenter of fishing in the Adirondack Park. Learn more about his business in Tupper Lake, and you’ll be booking a guided trip on the water in no time. 

Andrew holding a fish

The guide

Growing up in rural western New York, Andrew grew up on fishing, being introduced to it at an early age by the Cub Scouts, and the joy it brought him back then is the same joy he feels fishing today. After spending years as a paratrooper, he and his wife spent their 8th wedding anniversary in the Adirondacks, stumbling upon Paul Smith’s College along the way. It was the college that ultimately led him to anchor here in the Tri-Lakes area, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife management. Ever since he’s been operating a guiding business where he combines his wide-ranging skill sets to create a meaningful experience for anyone who embarks on a trip with him. Just recently, he was voted by the public as Best Guide in the Adirondacks, part of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise's Best of the Mountains Readers' Choice contest. 

An aerial view of a waterside village

Why Tupper Lake?

I asked Andrew why he’d set up shop in Tupper Lake, and what was so special about this particular place to him. From a local perspective, he says that just about every resident knows how to fish, and that’s no lie. It’s a community of anglers that are out rain or shine, summer or winter, casting for anything from bass to walleye. Andrew also believes Tupper Lake to be the crown jewel of Adirondack fishing, where you “can catch native brook trout on the 2WT fly rod, or look for giant tiger musky while kayak fishing”. He also spoke to the incredible community of businesses in Tupper Lake, which adds to the well-roundedness of a trip with Battle Fish Charters. Spending a half-day out on the water can be supplemented with a visit to The Wild Center, food at The Woodshed on Park, and a beer at Raquette River Brewery

Someone casting a fishing rod

The business and its offerings

Battle Fish’s fleet of kayaks is diverse, with options for remote-controlled, pedal-powered, stand-on, biyaks, and more. It sets Andrew and the business apart, being able to access nearly every water type, from the large lakes and petite ponds to the winding Raquette River. You can book solo trips with a guide, go on a couple’s trip, or go with up to 20 people during the open water season! Andrew attests that the “adventures are very customizable”, which dovetails well with the diversity of the fishery and the interests a prospective client may have. 

The storefront

Andrew opened the shop last year in Tupper Lake, where he handcrafts and sells fishing rods. He invites folks to come in and make their own, or pick something out that’s been handmade by a local veteran in Tupper Lake. This focus on veteran-crafted products is a through-line of his business, with him being a disabled combat veteran and a vocal advocate for the community. The shop has soft plastic baits made in-house by a local veteran, hard plastics painted by another veteran, and all of Andrew’s rods and other fishing goods sold at the shop. You can even book a trip while you visit the shop. 

A guide with a group of kids

Battle Fish University

Battle Fish University is Andrew’s way of getting a guide program back to Paul Smith’s College. Here’s Andrew himself speaking about this incredible new program, which incorporates his love for helping combat veterans find themselves in meaningful positions within the workforce:

“It feels right to help bring a guide program back to Paul Smiths college. A lot of being successful in this field has little to do with fishing. I would argue classes in Marketing, entrepreneurship, & hospitality are more important. 

The start of Battle Fish University can, in part, be attributed to having four strokes in May 2022.  My family and I did everything we could to keep the guide business alive without me guiding. While recovering; I was presented with the opportunity to film “The Veteran’s Playbook.” The film crew loved my story; it gave me hope I could do something really big. I think we’re all more capable than we realize. I have been working with professor and host Mike Caslin of the Veteran’s Playbook. Together, I hope we can help dissolve the negative stigma that follows veterans around. Did you know that less than 1% of veterans are considered successful small business owners? We all know how bad veteran suicide, homelessness, imprisonment, and marriage separation rates are. I think BFU can help fix all of that. 

Battle Fish University will start June 28 with a three-day two-night camp exclusively for veterans/soldiers. It is free for 38 participants. The camp will be hosted at Paul Smith Colleges’ 14,000 acre campus. Master guides will be teaching industry secrets. Professor Mike Caslin will be teaching entrepreneurship. YouTube star Paulie Martin from Get Reel bass fishing will be teaching the importance of social media. Guides will be on hand to create booking websites. I hope to encourage campers to explore future education with Paul Smith’s College. Furthermore we can train soldiers/veterans to become their own small business owners; taking home a piece of that battle fish franchise to successfully run.”

A guide with a young kid on the ice

It’s clear that Andrew, and his business, are positively benefiting the local community. He’s igniting the love for fishing in locals and visitors alike who book trips with him, supporting local veterans in business and mental health, and interfacing with local college students to enhance their experience in the outdoors. He translates his leadership and experience in the armed forces into a truly special guiding experience where he can tackle any situation that arises and can lead clients through unfamiliar situations. He’s what you look for in a guide. Book a trip with him, follow his active social media, and come visit Tupper Lake!