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Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Find a job on a fishing boat, or sign on a deckhand.

Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby lightstays » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:24 pm

I know this has been asked before but I think the responses are different depending on one's situation so here-a-goes:

I'm a very fit, mature, financially stable, easy to get along with 35 year old from the lower 48 interested in commercial fishing work this spring/summer/fall. I don't have commercial fishing experience but I do have sailboat delivery experience. I know what it's like to be up for 48 hours and not have decent sleep for weeks at a stretch. I don't get sea sick (ok, I did once in 15 ft seas) and I can cook very well.

My q's:

Is 35 too old?

When is the best week to catch the Bristol Bay salmon season?

What other fisheries do people recommend? I've read that herring fishing out of Togiak is good.

And I know this ranges wildly and that "the good old days" are over, but what could I conceivably make over, say, 3 months on a successful boat, or boats, making a greenhorn percentage?
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby Once and Future » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

First off, the users of this site do not practice our fishery (trolling with hook and line) in Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay is a gillnet fishery. Both fisheries use deckhands.

Bristol Bay, from my limited knowledge, peaks around the 4th of July. I think fishermen start arriving around early to Mid June. I went there one year for a look-see. I chose to go to Naknek. You fly into the village of King Salmon and take a taxi van with others to Naknek. There was a lodging place there called something or another "Roost". A woman was running it and her father was an old timer with a lot of contacts that could have got me on a boat if I wanted to.

In general, I would say the Bristol Bay fishery is much shorter with a chance to make money more intensely in a shorter window. As far as how much money you could make, I will refer you to a book that I have been intending to buy to lend out to curious people. I think I first heard of it on this forum. It is titled something like "How to go to Alaska and maybe get a job as a deckhand and maybe even earn some money". I will search for it and if I find it I will reply to this thread with a link.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby Once and Future » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:32 pm

Well, here is a link to the book so you can at least learn the proper title. Not sure why this is so hard to find. (Maybe it is not very good?)

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Big-Bucks-Guide ... 28.c0.m279
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby lightstays » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:09 pm

thanks
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby JYDPDX » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:18 pm

I might be in need a deckhand for this summer trolling season in SE AK (july 1 - september 20). Email me if you are interested.

josephjamesdaniels@gmail.com
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby Salty » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:16 pm

Joe, need an old fat guy for a week or so that needs some fresh ideas? 64 years trolling, bad knee, broken ribs, neck, and a few crushed vertebrae. Diagnosed with "Fisherman's elbow (a combination of tennis and golf elbow). Significant hearing and some vision loss. Minimal dietary needs other than lots of food and coffee. Clean of drugs and sober for several hours.
Probably should keep away from VHF and phone/texting devices. Can bring gear for my side.

Deckhand Advice, the preceding is an example of how not to get job offers.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby JYDPDX » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:39 pm

Anytime. In exchange for "fresh ideas" you can show me all the things I'm doing wrong :)

I have often considered taking a year off and disguising myself as a greenhorn to get a job with a highliner and see how its really done.

Do you guys hire greenhorns?
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby Salty » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:46 pm

Almost all my deckhands the last couple of years have been green. Seriously contemplating going solo the rest of my trolling career.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby fveureka » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:11 pm

"How not to get a deckhand job" would be a great thread.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby kjwelder » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:45 pm

I've fish bristol bay 5 seasons. Id say you arent too old. Hit up Craigslist help wanted between now and june. Try to meet the captian in person before flying to alaska.
Another entry level fishery to try is trolling. Wages vary widely depending on fish prices, boat, crews... you probably arent going to make much the first.season.
But, you can network with people, have an adventure, and set yourself up to get on a good boat and make some money long term.
Good luck.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby Salty » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:30 pm

Or, you can jump ship after a few good years, buy your own setup, and start high lining the guy who trained you.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby WRHardie » Wed May 07, 2014 9:55 am

Classic thread! I will say for the gillnetters I've talked to (from Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and PWS) they all want you to plead your case as to why a 30+ year old can do it. They seem to want youngsters and don't think we "older guys" can keep up. But then how does some 18yo with no experience and his mind worrying about whether Jody is taking care of his girl at home keep up? I got a good laugh at some of those guys' replies, only fishery I've heard of where a career fisherman loses out to the high school quarterback. Trolling may be "entry level" for us guys from the lower 48 but what draws me in is you guys pride yourselves on delivering the highest quality fish to the market and to me that is paramount to making a ton of money. In my experience you can't look at your pay as what you make but what you'll learn.
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Re: Looking for Deckhand Advice for 2014 Season

Postby curmudgeon » Wed May 21, 2014 7:54 pm

WRHardie
PM me with your regular email please. I can't seem to get PMs to you to send. (they send to others fine, but not you. Go figure...)
Thanks!
Mike
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