How To Become A Commercial Fisherman

The call of the wild captures the attention of many. While some go out into nature once in a while, others spend their lives out there working. One such path to spending your days outdoors is becoming a commercial fisherman.

When you walk into the grocery store or market, you see fresh fish chilling on ice. These fish don’t just magically appear—they are often caught out in the oceans and seas. The process for capturing these fish is not easy, and this is where commercial fishing comes in. Commercial fishing involves fishing using nets, traps, or dredges out in open water, usually a sea or ocean. Crews will head out to sea searching for whatever seafood is in abundance. They’ll haul in as much fish and other marine life as they can to make the most profit.

Just know that commercial fishing is far from leisurely fishing. It’s a grueling experience that can test the limits of both the mind and body. Expect to spend many days aboard a ship with little sleep, rest, and basic comforts. Also, commercial fishermen understand navigation, boat maintenance and operation, as well as standard fishing procedures.

Interestingly enough, the life of fishermen and related jobs have been featured on TV shows like the “Deadliest Catch.” While these do give a good insight into the job, they are just reality television. If you want to become a commercial fisherman because you saw it on TV, you may want to reconsider. Sadly, many fishermen die regularly each year out at sea when conditions become too rough. Additionally, there aren’t many formalities in this line of work. Don’t expect great benefits, if any, such as vacation time and leave.

That said, becoming a commercial fisherman can be highly rewarding, both financially and mentally. You will make a lot of money in a short amount of time, develop life-lasting memories, and you will also be given a tough life test that will make you a better man.

Why Become A Commercial Fisherman?

Commercial Fisherman on Boat

There are a few reasons guys become commercial fisherman. Yet the reason that stands above them all is money. While commercial fishing won’t make you rich, it pays a good amount of money in a short period of time. Plus, if the pay was lousy then most guys would not put up with the conditions aboard a fishing vessel.

If you want to become a seasonal fisherman, then figure out how you can accommodate this line of work into your schedule. If you have a few months off every year, then you could put that time to good use and get aboard a fishing vessel.

Tips For Becoming A Commercial Fisherman

Because there isn’t a short supply of people looking to be fisherman, there are some hurdles that you’ll have to overcome to get on board a ship. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Meet the right people

Canine Fisherman

Fishing is a very tight-knit industry. It’s a generational line of work, and crew members often are related to the captain of the ships, or are connected through them somehow. Although there isn’t much in the way of networking in this industry, look to contact different fishing ships, or even head out to places where fisherman gather for socializing.

2. Be in the right place

To meet the right people, you have to be in the right place. Certain states and cities have more fishing than others. If you live far inland on dusty plains, there aren’t going to be any fishing vessels. Make sure you live in or near a city on the water, especially in an area where there is a lot of commercial fishing. Hang out by the fish market and docks if you feel compelled!

3. Learn the information

Learning fishing comes from spending time on the water, not the classroom. But if you want to really learn the details of the industry, boats, navigation etc. then consider taking a course on commercial fishing. The Coast Guard has a list of approved resources via Additionally, you should make an effort to do some research online about the topics. A quick Google search should yield some information about fishing in your area.

4. Know the technology

Although most of what you learn will come from actually fishing, it’s a good idea to learn the technology you will encounter on the boats. Technology will include navigational tools, radio communications, fish finders, and even the ropes and nets that are used.

Getting Your First Job

Fishing Vessel

There are a couple of ways to get your first job. If you’re bold and live near a commercial fishing dock, then simply make your way down there. Inquire to deckhands, captains, and everyone in between if they need an extra hand. While you may get a lot of rejections, you may find yourself in luck with a menial job aboard. This is nothing to fret at because it’s a great way to start. Just be prepared to start ASAP as fishermen can’t be waiting months to fill out paperwork when they’re in desperate need of another deckhand.

If you’d rather not try to get a job through just showing up, check out job boards looking for fishermen. For example, if you live in Alaska, check out Alaska Job Finder. Search for positions in your local area, or be prepared to go where there are a lot of positions available.

Experience is certainly preferred, but not entirely necessary. The need for an extra hand on deck outweighs your credentials. That said, if you don’t have luck right away finding a job then continue to pursue the proper certifications, take courses, and increase your general knowledge of the field—doing so will only increase your odds of getting a job.

Commercial Fisherman Salary

It’s hard to nail down an exact salary for commercial fisherman—it’s not exactly a corporate type setting with everything well tracked. Another reason for this is that the fishermen are paid a percentage of what the entire ship brings in. This can depend on a number of factors such as the weather and the price of fish. But to do the math, if a ship brings in $150,000 in a 8 week season, and a fisherman’s cut is say 10%, they’ll make $15,000. Not bad for a couple months of work.

It’s hard to peg an exact hourly wage to this job for several reasons, including the aforementioned way in which it’s split. Income will definitely vary year to year. It’s also not the most stable line of work.

Starting Your Own Business

Enticed at the prospect of starting a commercial fishing business? There’s certainly a lot of money to be made, especially depending on what you catch, where you’re located, and the time of year.

That said, there’s a lot that goes into a business like this. Not only does it require investments and overhead costs, but there are a number of licenses that one must obtain. You must do your due diligence in making sure that you have the proper licenses and adhere to other regulations, as this industry is closely scrutinized.

Of course, if you have little experience in commercial fishing then you’ll probably want to hold off. It’s essential to not only understand the profits of an endeavor like this, but also how to operate a fishing vessel.


The rewards of commercial fishing do not come without risks. Commercial fishing is in fact one of the most dangerous occupations according to the CDC, with dozens of fishermen dying yearly. Of course this varies depending on the conditions you work under, but it still should be made clear.

Despite the danger, it’s still an appealing line of work. You spend time out in the open water with hardworking men, you challenge yourself mentally and physically, and you get paid well. If this sounds appealing then becoming a commercial fisherman is something you should seriously consider.

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121 thoughts on “How To Become A Commercial Fisherman”

  1. I did this for two summers back in High School.
    Much better money then anything else that you could make at that age, and a hell of a better experience then working ****ing retail.

  2. I was a pro fisherman. Lots of military, meathead and otherwise “tough-guys” find out they don’t have the stamina to make it. You need balls of steel. There are benefits but the decision should not be taken lightly. It’s not for everyone. The sea gives but it takes too…

      1. In Dutch Harbor, I saw Leopard Seal come out of the water to take a crewman off of the float (think “dock”). The seal had the man by the ass and was swimming away as the poor bastard screamed and sputtered. Another crewman grabbed a .243 and dispatched the seal before it could finish the job.

        1. I hope the man was ok. Those leopard seals always look reptillian to me. Proper top predators.

        2. The doc loaded him up with antibiotics. The dumbass decided to get really drunk that night and the synergystic effect had him puking his lungs out within 15 minutes.
          He lived to fish again. He was a Sand Point native, and fishing might have been the only life he had ever known.

        3. They are wickedly smart. I would sometimes throw them dead Sculpin from the bycatch. I took great care to avoid contact with them. Harbor Seals were much gentler, and occasionally they would permit me to hand feed them.
          There was a Sea Otter at Ikatan who became so acclimated to the feeding that he would kind of slither up my arm, touching me with his snout and feet before he took the fish. He was very interested in anything he could see me doing.

    1. I watched as a big tough young guy directly out of the Marines completely broken on his first opener. He got his feelings hurt, got sloppy and fell over in 30′ seas. His crew recovered him as we stood by. When his boat got back to the harbor he immediately jumped on the float with his gear and never came back.

      1. I’ve seen soldiers fresh out of the military find themselves in conditions they didn’t expect on several occasions. I took a neighbor fresh out of the Marines on a hiking trip. We hit the trailhead and he was very enthused–kept saying “I got this” and “lets move”. I told him the last part of the hike was brutal and to take it easy. He said stuff like “fuck that” and “let’s go pussy”. None of this bothered me, he was a fine person and getting fucked with is part of the fun.The last two hours of the hike he was real quiet. After we set up camp he told me he was glad they didn’t have that “hike” in the Marines because if they did they would have made them do it every day. I’ve done the same thing with Army guys too. It’s part of their training to make them think they can do anything demanding.

        1. I met a Spetsnaz defector working in the Peter Pan Cannery at King Cove. He had kind of a smart mouth and really relished teasing me about what pussies Americans are.
          During a closure he and I climbed Mt. Dutton. He had no trouble keeping up, and had great outdoor skills, with one notable exception.
          On the Aleutian Peninsula Alders cannot grow standing up, as one would expect to see a tree. The snow and ice bends the trunks parallel to the ground during the winter. Many small branches arise from these horizontal trunks, and they create a tangle that is impassable, even to bears.
          As we were hiking across the plain to the base of the mountain, we unknowingly trapped a large bruin in a spot boxed in by intersecting Alders. He was about 20 feet away from us when he let us know he was there. We had not seen him in the hummocky Salmon Berry and Rhubarb tangle. The bear snorted and stood up facing us. He was one of those big coastal Kodiak SOBs. My companion had always mocked me when I told him about the respectful distance I keep between myself and bears. He had lots of experience with Asiatic black bears and other smaller Spp. throughout the world. We watched this one stretch slowly up till his frothing snout was about 9 feet off the ground.
          I had a 12 ga., loaded with alternating slugs and double ought, slung muzzle down for our protection. I rolled the the sling off my shoulder, slid the safety forward, and brought the weapon to bear, the muzzle following the slow rise of the animal’s exposed neck.
          Our Spetsnaz hero (a great guy, by the way) was behind me. With a bit of a quiver in his voice, he said, “Shep, I run away now…”
          “If you do, I’ll shoot you first.”
          My skipper, who was also a bear guide, had taken pains to impress upon me that a bear might or might not pounce on you if you are standing your ground, or backing away slowly. The are very likely to run you down if you turn and make like a jackrabbit. No human can outrun a healthy Grizzly.
          We backed quietly away. The animal dropped his front legs to the ground hard. He followed us out of the alders, arching his back, shaking his head from side to side, shitting and slinging snot. As soon as we were clear, he parted company with us.
          We summitted that day. After we had gained a little altitude, and could look back upon our path, we saw several bears, nose down, following our trail independently of each other. We took an alternate route back that evening.
          On the way down we found wreckage from a C119 which had crashed into the mountain in the ’50s.
          …and of course I teased my buddy quite a bit after that.

        2. You are very kind. The AK stories are easy to tell. Life there was intense, and I remember it vividly. I still dream about it. My time in the Aleutians helped me to get all of my shit back into one pile, and to regain Alpha status.
          I’ve got a lot of stories to tell about Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and a little island North of Venezuela one day.

        1. Needed a trigger warning or something, pussy? You came to the wrong guy.
          Oh, and Godwin’s law FAIL.

    2. I worked on a shrimp boat in the Gulf. You just can’t tell who is going to pan out. It’s a real bummer to be out on a trip and have a deck hand crater.

      1. You’ve got that right.
        I’m kinda strange, but I would really enjoy a vacation where I learned to operate a shrimp boat or just an otter trawl.

        1. I had a real good deal with my Captain. We made good money. Hard work, though. Thing is, some guys just don’t think fast enough, or simply can’t work and think when they’re bone tired. We could be in some serious shrimp, and make a trip in 72 hours……but that means no sleep, basically.

        2. I get it. When we were on the fish, each crewman would make about a thousand dollars every time the money bag came up. It takes about an hour to set and retrieve a purse seine if it is open for 30 minutes. My best personal hour was around $1,500.
          When the fish are there, you need to fish. You can sleep some other time.
          Crewmen who don’t have the discipline to work and think when they are bone tired are a hazard to the health and wealth of the rest of the crew.

        3. Yeah, being out in salt water can be dangerous. Lots of ways to get killed. I used to live on real strong coffee and camel cigarettes. Lots of places where we would drag had major shipping…..a big old freighter wouldn’t even really notice killing us at 3 am in a new moon.
          Yep, tying up torn up nets whilst you’re just about to haul up another drag, boy howdy…..good times

        4. I’ve overhauled many nets, both on the deck and at the net loft. Where did you fish?
          Once we watched as a monster whale swam right though the set of our skipper’s brother. That big boy pulled that boat over so far that the mast touched the water before self-righting. Our boat took the next set. As we were waiting their crew retrieved gear and held up the net so we could see the damage. A full sized pickup could have driven through the hole. The whale didn’t even slow down, except maybe to breach and laugh at what he had done.
          Of course, you learn to make bars when you learn to overhaul nets. That crew only missed one set for repairs. Two hours later they were back in action.

        5. Gulf Coast…Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. Interesting times…..Turtle excluders, etc. Made good money, but ended up Plumbing instead.

        6. My wealthiest friend is a plumber. He exclusively does new construction. Business goes up and down for him, but he is always running between 70 and 130 trucks + a couple of big ass backhoes. That guy really enjoys living. He is also very generous to our Scout Troop.
          I remember reading in Commercial Fisherman about the advent of the TEDs in different areas. I’ve never put my hands on one, but I’d like to see them in operation.
          Maybe when work settles down I’ll be able to make a friend in LA, MS, or AL who will let me go to work with him for a week.

    1. This was first thing that came to my mind:
      I coulda been a fisherman. Fishermen, they get up, they fish, they sell fish, they smell fish. Reminds me of this girl I used to go with, Yvonne, she smelled like fish.

    2. That show is DISGUSTING! It advocates RAPE, MISOGYNY, MURDER, RACISM, DRUNKENNESS, ANIMAL RAPE, WOMYN BEATING, etc. No wonder it was created by a SELFISH, GAY MAN-CHILD with a 13 year old’s physiognomy.

  3. Forget commercial fishing. Charter boat captain is the way to go. Take stupid shlubs like me a couple miles offshore and bait my hook for $300 a pop.

    1. On my recent vacation I met a guy. He was an American living in the Caribbean. He told me that at 18 he went to the navy. Learned about boats and shit. Whatever.
      At 21, after his discharge, he packed up his stuff and took what savings he had and headed down to the islands. He found an apartment and began going down to the docs. His knowledge of boats and boating (which he says he learned 100% in the Navy and didn’t have a family with a history of boating) got him a decent job that paid the bills.
      Here he is, nearly 20 years later, taking tourists out tubing or parasailing or water skiing. He doesn’t own the boat or the company. He just wakes up in the morning, readies the boat, takes it out, spends the day on the water with people who are in a generally good mood because they are on vacation and earns plenty of money to cover his living expenses and even put a little away.
      No one fucking told me this was an option when I was in high school. Everyone told me about college and what I could major in and blah fucking blah fucking blah. No one said “hey lolknee, go do a quick stint in the navy and then dick off to paradise and just enjoy the rest of your life”

      1. I’ve been on quite a few boats and have never ran across an unhappy captain in my life.
        Haha, if guidance counselors were honest, we wouldn’t have office drones to pay those charter captains! Seriously though, my parents are typical baby boomer “live to work people” and whose only advice was college/schoool is the way ahead. Can’t resent them too hard for them (just a little), I’m not unhappy. However, now that I know better, I hope to give any future progeny good advice on how to “work to live.”

      2. Heh.
        You at least had that.
        Look at it this way.
        Back when I was a wee lad, I had an interest in cars, engines, and all that stuff. Not just chrome and shit. I was reading repair manuals and understanding them before I even owned a car. I had an engineering book on superchargers that I read cover to cover at 15.
        So when I got my first car, a ’72 Dodge Challenger, I had some ideas on what to do with it. I didn’t want to pimp it, I wanted to make modifications to it that were somewhat unconventional.
        Now, what did my dad, who I cannot fault (I’ll get to that) say?
        “Where are you going to go with all that speed, son?”
        Logically he was right. Procedural-wise, he was dead wrong.
        The right thing to do would have been to see “ah, the kid has an interest, I should take him to a place where others have that interest, like the race track or drag strip”.
        What could have been, I wonder? Would I be one of those engine builders whose name you see attached to car models (Like Saleen, McClaren, etc?). Would I have gone deep into automotive engineering? Or maybe I would own a performance garage at this point? Would I have raced cars maybe?
        Who the fuck knows.
        But I cannot fault my dad. What did he know?
        All he knew was, his dad died early. My father was 3 when his father passed away. That meant “poor Italian-American family in New York”.
        You know what that means? It meant “steady paycheck is a holy grail”. That’s what it meant. It meant that it was perfectly normal to drag your ass out of bed every day “because the pay is good” no matter how big the ulcer in your stomach and how bored and miserable you were. My father never went to high school, because he was poor and didn’t get a chance. Heck he didn’t learn to read until after the heart attack forced an early retirement. To his credit he raised 4 kids, none of which turned out to be fucked in the head(OK I’m the outlier), addicts, criminals, etc.
        So what did he know? He didn’t know much, because the lens he had on life was narrow.
        And that’s what you were hit with. Don’t take it personally. It happens.

        1. I am very comfortable calling you “brother”. I hope you have a son of your own with whom you may share your life’s experience.

      3. ” No one said “hey lolknee, go do a quick stint in the navy and then dick off to paradise and just enjoy the rest of your life”
        We were all brainwashed to some degree, by society, family etc to go to university, to get a good job etc..etc.and do what others is think is best for us…
        Reality it is only a man himself can decide the course of his own life and be satisfied.

    2. Hairstylists make more money on average (celebrity hairdressers make the most) for less stress.

      1. She would be more attractive if she read a few books. A bit of intelligent spark would go a long way toward concealing that thousand cock stare.
        Is she being skull-fucked by the zombified hind quarters of the pony she had when she was six?

        1. She would be more attractive if she had a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake of her choice.
          Daily at a minimum, over the course of several weeks. There’s eating disorder afoot there, too.

        2. She would be more attractive if she had a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake of her choice.
          Once daily at a minimum, over the course of several weeks. There’s an eating disorder afoot here, too.

        3. I guess if you rolled her over you wouldn’t have to look into her empty soulless eyes.

    3. At Wanenmacher’s last Saturday my son met an Alaskan guide. At 16 my boy already has two summers working at camps in. The guide would like to see a resume from him when he turns 18.
      The work involves taking customers fishing for salmon, halibut, Dolly Vardins, flounder and some hunting.
      The boy makes his own decisions about stuff like that, and I let him live with his decisions. My inner voice is screaming for him to take this opportunity while he is in college and can have summers away. We’ll see what happens.

      1. You’ve got some really great attitudes about raising your kids, Shep. Your children are lucky to have you as their father.

        1. Thank you Jed. I think teaching, especially my time with special education, really helped me in that respect.
          For about 8 years I worked for a man who had four of his six children die before I met him. One died around the age of 24 when I knew him. His wife, whom he loved dearly, had passed away the year before. I learned a lot about kindness during that time, and was very lucky to have had him for a mentor.
          He had a way of making the people he loved feel good. He cherished any time he had with anyone he cared about. He knew every dirty joke ever written, and was an acute observer of the mental state of those around him. He was a guy I went drinking and dragging women out of bars with, who knew how to act respectably when I settled down and started a family.
          I learned a lot about compassion, being a good father, and respecting other people from him. He was a good ear during my depressions, and a great friend when times were good.
          He had a nice place at Okemah Lake when my family was young. He would have us out at least once a month to fish and cook together. My wife and kids loved him.
          He passed away suddenly 15 years ago. The funeral was remarkable. I have never seen so many grown, successful men weeping openly together.
          I still think of him while I fish with my kids.

    4. I’m saving up my money to either buy a boat and get the permits I need to charter a boat for sea fishing here in Rhode Island, or I’m planning on going north to Maine and building a cabin in the woods to avoid the SJWs and survive a SHTF the scenario. I gave up TV 8 years ago and am “mortified” by how much everything has changed since – no more sexy commercials, everything’s PC correct with horrible production values and yucky gloomy hipster filters everywhere to go along with the feminist Marxist propaganda, seems the internet’s going to hell too considering how awesome it’s been for the last two decades.
      In either case, I must say that the article authors site is not very well developed – it offers very little practical fishing advice and is of no help to the seasoned angler. Instead, find sites that cater specifically to either a region, species or mode of angling you wish to pursue; for the New England region is a great resource.
      Here in RI, I know of a very good man by the name of Dave Pickering, and have met him on occasion fishing both the freshwater and sea here – small state. Reading his blog has helped catch my first bonito and false albacore – they are elusive members of the tuna family that stray in close enough to shore to caught from the surf. Follow Dave at (saltwater blog) and (carp blog) and learn how to fish for carp wherever or for a myriad of saltwater gamefish in the Southern New England area.
      Another great guy to follow is John Skinner from Long Island. He has a YouTube channel and has written several books on saltwater fishing. I’m posting one of his videos here:

      1. You’ve got the right idea, doing your homework in advance.
        I think your skipper will be lucky to have a greenhorn like you, just don’t expect him to ever tell you.

  4. In ’94 I sent resumes to about 80 Salmon permit holders. I obtained their addresses from the back of Mark Maricek’s book. I think the title was “How to Become a Commercial Fisherman”.
    Those addresses are on record and available from (A)laska (D)epartment of (F)ish (&) (G)ame.
    I had a few skippers and permit holders call to say, “I liked your resume, but thank you, no.” I did receive exactly one offer, which I accepted. Fishing was a tremendous adventure. I’m glad I did it, and I hope my son does as well.
    My advice for the young man who gets an offer:
    1.) Be humble. You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, and this is easily apparent to everyone you’re going to meet in AK.
    2.) In most of those small towns, everyone is related to everyone else. If you’ve never lived in a small town, know that you need to keep your damned mouth shut with regard to other people’s business.
    3.) You are a long way from the law. Don’t count on its protection. It is very easy to kill a man and dispose of a body in AK. Be on your best behavior at all times. Being a stand up guy with a good reputation carries a tremendous amount of weight in a fishing community. There are precious few available women in most remote parts of AK. If you try to steal someone else’s girl, it probably will not work out well for you.
    4.) Bars in AK are far more violent than bars in the lower 48. I is not uncommon to see a fight every hour or so. If you are in a bar after about 7:00 in the evening, there is a very high probability that you will be a target for some giant methed out crabber looking for a fight.
    5.) When you are returning to the lower 48, you may have an opportunity to visit the Alaska Bush Club in Anchorage. Go in with only the cash you are willing to part with while you are sober and still capable of rational thought.

      1. THATS RIGHT!
        Our iteration was that when you were out, you don’t lose you girl, you just lose your turn!
        Thanks for that!

      1. …and most of those poor saps haven’t seen an attractive eligible woman for three months by the time they make it to the doors of the Bush Company.
        For a commercial fisherman, or any other red-blooded real man, the rush resembles an alcoholic gambing addict with unlimited credit, being turned loose with a bottle of good Scotch on a Saturday night in Vegas.
        Put the folding money you are willing to spend in your pocket while you are still sober, and leave your wallet at the hotel.

      1. I hadn’t really thought about it, but you are right. My Grandmother operated a Peach/Apricot/Plum orchard. For the last three years she owned it, she needed help during high-activity times of the year. I would go spend a week or two at her place maintaining equipment and running her Mexican crews. Every bit of 1-4 would have worked equally well in Johnston County, OK, where it was an 8 mile drive to the closest place to buy a hamburger.
        The consequences for not knowing how to act come more quickly and are more severe in rural areas.

        1. Yeah, I could really relate to keeping your mouth shut about other folk’s business. Pointed a 30-06 at more than one city person because they couldn’t understand the concept of asking permission to pheasant hunt on property that was not their own.
          I’ve lived in large cities, but I still prefer small towns to this day.

        2. I live in a nice place in OKC right now. My kids are 15 and 19, both at home. Once they are educated and self-sufficient, I’ll sell and get out of town. I’d like to get back on to my own section, carve out about 15 acres for myself to screw around with, and lease the rest to a cattle operation.
          I’ve had it with the city myself. I don’t want to grow old here. I’m not wild about dealing with small town politics and hurt feelings either. It would be really nice to be remote with a few good neighbors.

        3. Shep, I was born and raised in Tulsa. When my brother and his wife left OSU and got married, they moved of OKC. They raised my nephews in Midwest City.

        4. Same, same. Have a good woman who wants to get ten or so acres of our own and move out of KC metro. Somewhere far enough out that we can actually see the stars at night and I can have my own gun range. Just a matter of finding the right spot as the four boys are all out on their own now.

        5. I was born in MWC. My wife’s siblings and parents live in BA.
          I grew up in Del City. Yeah, its like dat. (snicker)
          I liked Del City when I was growing up. People have this perception that it is a rough place, but it is about on par with any other post town. My kids are growing up in the old money neighborhood for OKC, and it is very nice for them. Still it makes me a bit sad that they are missing some of the gritty fun and rough and tumble I had as a boy.

        6. Like doing donuts in the Target parking lot like my nephews did with their common buddy.

        7. I lived 3/4 miles north of there on Rulane. I bought a little frame house there after my divorce.

        8. I could walk to the Fair. When they shut down the Midway, I could still hear the cows.

        9. No, but I did.
          I don’t even know if that is still a thing.
          We would turn around in the Sonic by Del City HS and at the one on Air Depot.
          It was a lot of fun.

        10. In Tulsa, it was Peoria between 21st and 51st. Actually had the cops chase a date and me out of
          Woodward Park.

        11. Oh, Hell, Yeah, Shep! The least three years in a kind of small place, have been my most contented in years. Except maybe on a small base, which was like a small town, anyway.

        12. Whoops! World is in da house! 🙂 Nothing can keep me from loving you, BH.

  5. Know and be able to tie a bowline and a clove hitch behind your back while sick to your stomach, cold, and wet while someone is yelling at you about how you’re gonna get someone killed if you don’t do it right.
    If you make it past Greeeeeeeeeen Hooooooooorn, you will be a much better person when you return. Don’t kid yourself though. This job breaks a lot of people whom one would not have expected it to break.

  6. Understand that most contracts require that you split the boat’s fuel and grocery expenses from your share. If you are getting a 10% crew share on a boat with 5 people, you can expect to pay 20% of the grocery bill and 20% of the fuel bill.
    Most skippers will not release money to you on an “as earned” basis. Typically you can expect to receive half of your pay to date from the cannery (they keep the records). You are paid the other half ONLY if you complete the season.
    You will feel tremendous pressure to perform from not just your skipper, but from the other crewmen as well. If you are dogging it, you can count on vicious abuse from the other guys. Their pay depends on your performance. There is no limit to the misery they will put you through if you wuss out and start to get into their pocketbooks.
    If your crew believes you are goldbricking, they will screw with your food, throw your personal gear overboard, allow you to become injured, directly injure you, and maybe worse. These men, including the skipper are here for a single purpose, to make money. They did not come to these rough conditions in this remote place to baby your candy ass. They do not labor under the legal niceties that restrain a drill instructor, and there is no one to listen if you try to trot out a victim act. If your backup plan in AK is to be a pansy, just stay at home and out of the way of the real men.

  7. “Trevor Jacobs – Trevor is a fishing instructor has been active in the sport since the age of 5. He is the owner of Fishing Tips Depot.”
    You people are a bunch of disgusting man-children trying to escape from reality with childish pursuits like video games, hiking, fishing, carpentry, sports watching, etc. No wonder why half of you are virgins and the other half your wives don’t want to have sex with you. FISH AND ALL OTHER ANIMALS ARE NOT HERE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT AND CONSUMPTION. People like you should spend less time ripping the lips and gills of fish and more time honoring the WOMYN MINORITIES, REFUGEES and IMMIGRANTS that are BEATEN, ABUSED and STARVING in the countries YOU have built
    Angling – The Neglected Bloodsport

    1. Cupcake, this article is not about sport fishing.
      Millions would starve if there were no commercial fishing.
      Reading comprehension really isn’t your thing is it?

        1. Not taken by American boat. Judging by the fluke clips and the removal of their “melons” I’d say these were caught by the Japanese.
          Tell it to their consulate.
          We threw bycatch to these guys. Nobody I knew would harm them.

        2. Dogs have been domesticated, and are much more intelligent than a fish.
          Although I may have a quarrel with eating octopus. They’re about as intelligent as a dog.

        3. I’m hungry now….think I’ll go down to my local Chinese Restaurant and have a little of both!

        4. I’ve caught and cooked octopus. I hate killing them because they are smart and have a very strong desire to live.
          Too bad they are so tasty.

        5. If I remember my biology right, each tentacle has a dedicated nerve cell cluster that acts as a primitive brain. So octopi kinda have nine brains!

    2. You know, it’s actually really funny. I DO have a garden. And I fertilize it WITH fish. So I guess there are other uses for fish out there! Thanks, my feminist friend!

  8. “John The Fisherman”
    When he was young you’d not find him doing well in school,
    His mind would turn unto the waters.
    Always the focus of adolescent ridicule,
    He has no time for farmer’s daughters.
    Alienated from the clique society,
    A lonely boy finds peace in fishing.
    His mother says “John this is not the way life’s supposed to be.”
    “Don’t you see the life that you are missing?”
    And he says…
    When I grow up I want to be,
    One of the harvesters of the sea.
    I think before my days are done,
    I want to be a fisherman.
    Now years gone by we find man that rules the sea.
    He sets out on a dark May morning .
    To bring his catch back to this small community.
    He doesn’t see the danger dawning.
    Four hours up, oh the ocean swelled and swelled,
    The fog rolled in it started raining.
    “The starboard bow.” “Oh my God we’re going down!”
    The do not hear his frantic mayday.
    And he says
    When I grow up I want to be,
    one of the harvesters of the sea.
    I think before my days are done,
    I want to be a fisherman.
    “I’ll live and die a fisherman.”
    Calling John the Fisherman.

    1. HI, Here’s a pic of your GLORIOUS LEADER DOUCHE V along with a couple of his other MISOGYNIST CLOWN FRIENDS!!!

  9. First off ban the posters with LaTex scripted screen names………………. In my teens I would crew for a handful of competitive sailing and commercial fishing voyages. If you do not feel a unique traditional push towards the sea and camaraderie of being afloat don’t do it. A boat/crew must be at peace with the ocean and internally if it is to excel. It is all about the team in boating. Where is the ROK vacation yacht? An ocean worthy vessel of debauchery and pillaging in third world countries? Safely in international waters post post-landfall.

  10. Understand if you fish the Great Lakes even at a low level, know the Canadian Governement doesnt do shit to audit their tonnage and the ecosystems are devastated to to their neglect from 5-15 years ago. It’ll be a long time if they ever recover where American men can take their sons and have success on a regular day in day out basis due to the massive overfishing. Slap on a wrist was all they got.

  11. Learn a bit about hydros and the basics of how to repair them. They fail at critical moments, and you’ll be the hero if you can get one back up and running before all of the fish swim away.

  12. Once you’ve settled in, figure out who smokes salmon and who makes salmonberry wine.
    Make yourself available to help with the fish cleaning and smoking as well the collection of berries. Be willing to do these tasks by yourself, providing material for the local guy to process. Everybody is very busy during season, and any help received in obtaining or processing these delicacies will likely be rewarded with finished product.
    The smoked salmon is not like lox. It is smoked Aleutian style until it has a very low moisture content. The smoke residue inhibits bacterial growth, as does the hypertonicity created by the drying. The meat will keep for months. Even if it looks awful don’t be afraid to try it. Lots of people who normally don’t like fish love this stuff.
    Salmonberries are my all time favorite fruit. It is hard to describe the flavor intensity and sweetness to someone who has never had them. I would eat them until I was just sloppy and stupified as I walked across the tundra. Most of the nasty bacteria and protists one has to worry about in the lower 48 just aren’t a concern in AK. The wine is wonderful, and with a little luck your new local friend will give up a bottle from the previous year for every five to ten gallons of berries you bring him. It takes 15 to 30 minutes to pick five gallons of berries, depending on how thick the brambles are. My personal preference is for Salmonberry wine to have no added sugar or other fermentables. It is better when it is drier.
    Even if you don’t like the smoked salmon, trade for some if you can. There are certainly cannery girls, especially the Asians, who would like to get into your stash. When combined with a couple of glasses of local wine, you’ll be in like Flynn.
    If this is your first time to go to a remote location and work with lumberjack types, let me give you a bit of insight. Anywhere men go where things are tough, local economies spring up among groups of friends. Transactions are primarily goods for goods, rather than goods for cash. Even if you don’t drink and don’t care for native style smoked salmon, you should procure these items in AK. They are high value and compact. They can be stored in your tiny space on the boat. They can be readily traded for other items that are difficult to obtain. They can also be used to form friendships or repair relationships with your other crew members. You will piss off a deck boss because you did something stupid and dangerous which could have gotten someone killed. An hour or so later you can pull out a bit of smoked salmon for yourself between sets. Offer the person you offended a piece. This will go a long way to knocking the edge off, letting him know you are a good guy in spite of your mistake, and helping you to become a part of a functional crew rather than the Greeeeeeeeeen Hoooooooooooorn nube dumbass.

  13. Tips from a City Slicker.
    Quick qualifications. I worked precisely one summer as beach crew on the Cook Inlet for the set net industry, not for a boat like you see on the reality tv shows.
    1. IT IS NOT EASY! Worst summer of my life (I was about to enter my sophmore year of high school). I grew up in the city. Specifically Seattle. I was raised by Conservative parents, and was working on an extended family’s private business. I had an amazing work ethic compared to my environment. It was entirely inadequate for what I experienced. I was developing Neo Masculine principles for my life 12 years before I ever found this site 3 years ago. This summer tested me more than Basic Military Training did (or maybe this experience prepared me mentally for it). And I was ONLY beach crew. Friends in Seattle commented how much bigger I was and how my character had changed (meaning more masculine before I knew what that actually meant).
    2. Survive and earn and also LEARN. As another comment mentioned, the people you will be working with, have probably grown up in the industry, and they are there to make money. They don’t have time to give you advanced training or coddle you in any way. And to them, “Coddle” means telling you “Good job” after making it through a storm alive. That is not hyperbole, that is reality. Storms are an active part of life out there. You avoid them as much as possible, and they are deadly, but you signed up for it. There is no reason to congratulate someone on surviving a hard part of life.
    3. My family members who live the life STILL tease me about my softness more than 15 years later, and seeing the man I’ve become (embracing what we’re calling Neo Masculine values on this site) invite me to come back and maybe even run my own crew after my first year. This is an honor I refuse. I appreciate that they value my mindset so much, but I have realized my own limits. I appreciate that people value a man who has learned how to behave correctly if his life is on the line, I have no desire to place myself in those kind of situations.
    It takes a different breed to do this kind of job. If you think you aren’t capable, you probably aren’t. As a comment somewhere else said, military men often don’t hack it in this career. Try that first, if the mental and physical challenge are overcome easily, THEN try this.

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