Commercial Salmon Trolling Forum

Walking the docks

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

Walking the docks

Postby acn1 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:35 am

When is the best time to walk the docks?
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Re: Walking the docks

Postby Once and Future » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:07 pm

What state to you plan to walk 'em in? Do you have to travel to do it?
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Re: Walking the docks

Postby acn1 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:02 pm

Alaska and yes I will have to travel.
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Re: Walking the docks

Postby Once and Future » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:46 pm

Right now, commercial trolling is closed. There will be some hatchery openings in sometime in April, with spring openings coming for a few days at a time carrying through May and June. Which leads up the the King opening July 1st, soon followed by the coho season which usually runs through most of July and August, tapering off in September. You would have to get awful lucky to get a deckhand job this way. I can't tell you if you would get lucky in the spring, or waiting until nearly July.

There was a young fellow on here a few years ago, before this particular heading was created, who wanted a deckhand job. Posters told him to get off the internet and pound the docks on foot. He followed their advice, but was ultimately bitterly disappointed. So it is hard to tell you when the time is best, the odds are long no matter what.

And then, what if you only get one offer, and the captain is a jackass? I was in your shoes 30+ years ago, and got lucky/unlucky by signing on with a jackass. Which is a common problem. Because sane/amiable captains usually have a grandchild/nephew/acquaintance that wants the job. If everyone who knows the guy personally doesn't want to be alone on a boat with him, what does that tell you?

But, here is a real tip: If you are walking the dock and you see a captain, but he pretends not to see you, keep walking, unless you don't mind getting blasted at. A captain who is looking for help, and likes your looks, will present welcoming body language to you.

And, here is the rub. Captains and deckhands both have their limitations. We captains are not clever enough to be able to tell the fakers from the genuine guys at a glance, even though we think we are. And prospective deckhands often think they would be a great deckhand, but they don't really know what kind of crap, necessary or unnecessary, that their captain will throw at them.

And I guess the ultimate tip is be mentally prepared that you may not get an offer, after a lot of effort. And it may not be fair at all.
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Re: Walking the docks

Postby acn1 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:51 pm

Thanks for the information. Hoping for luck.
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