Commercial Fishing?


#1

I got home and noticed I had a missed call from a company called Deep Sea Fisheries out of Seattle. I looked online and saw that they run catcher/processors in Alaska.

I’m guessing they called to offer me a job(they didn’t leave a message)

Anyone here have commercial fishing experience?

Pay is percentage of catch- any idea what the percent might run?

Any tips if I get the job?

I’m a little nervous as I’ve only worked inland and near coastal on cruise ships- this would be a totally different ballgame.

Thanks in advance-Anthony


#2

Have you ever watched “Most Dangerous Catch” on TV? Cold, wet, smelly, tired…


#3

It makes you wonder if fishing was so good, why have the cameras? Money?
I heard the Commando has some nitwit ex-fisherman…


#4

I would suggest a fishing charter that has beer.


#5

Anchorman, It’s the C-Champion with the nitwit ex-fisherman…


#6

So I’ve heard. Just got the name wrong. I didn’t even get the “C-” right lol. Tracy might figure it out after they lose all the good people. I’ve seen that more than once, unfortunately.


#7

He already lost me:-(


#8

Be ready to turn down the job if it doesnt suit you. Percentage of the catch can be brutal, every minute you stop to rest, its like dollar bills falling out between your fingers. Which can mean 36+ hours of nonstop fishing, and if its a catcher/processor, you may be stuck in a hold full of haddock up to your ankles in haddock sperm feeding the fish into a Baader filet machine.
If you watch The Most Dangerous Catch, it sort of romanicizes things… Those boats are consistent “Highliners”. Do you know the fishing record of this vessel? Is the Fishmaster any good? You could have a mechanical malfunction and go home broke.
But then again, you could make some pretty quick cash. I did this gig for too many years, and I have to say I learned more about genuine seamanship in this industry than anywhere else. A real character builder too.
People always asked me if the work was hard. I would always say, “After two weeks youre not so sore, and physically up to the task. after that, its all mental stamina”.
Mental Fatigue can really fuck with your mind. If you go this route, Be mentally strong, keep your wits about you, be safe.


#9

Fishing. Sometimes you catch the fish, sometimes you catch zip.
I used to commercial fish… and on the other side of the dock were the guys on workboats; tugs, dredging, oil, survey etc. They always had money and drove nice vehicles.

Me? I was just hoping to pay the rent and buy food if we caught fish. The workboat guys always had a paycheck at the end of the day.

For me, crossing over to the other side of the dock was an easy choice and the working enviorment is a hell of a lot safer. You guys that are on this site, I don’t have to convince you, you already know. It’s the young guys who might be confused by the Crab Trap shows on the Discovery Channel, that I’m concerned about.

Fast forward, thirty years later. Most of the fishing guys I knew are dead or in jail. The workboat guys have nice homes and retirement packages, pensions, 401 k’s, etc. The best move I made was walking across the dock to the workboat side.

I’m not saying you can’t do right for your family by commercial fishing, many have. But it’s a tough game. Goverment fishcrats and declining fisheries make it tough for the working guy. Walk across the pier and embrace a paycheck and a future!


#10

Thanks guys. To be honest- there are lots of other routes I’d like to go instead. But… my phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook-lol!

I expect if I go it will be extremely hard, cold, wet, smelly- etc.

The only two things I really expect for sure are to work my ass off- and to learn.

After watching deadliest catch I think I’ll sleep in my gumby suit too :slight_smile:

Thanks again-Anthony


#11

EBB TIDE Said,
<strong>"… Fast forward, thirty years later. Most of the fishing guys I knew are dead or in jail. The workboat guys have nice homes and retirement packages, pensions, 401 k’s, etc…"</strong>
Never were any words so true. My step dad owned a small dragger in Oregon. Most my friends out of highschool (1972) went to Alaska for crab and those still around later worked on the various JV fisheries. 37 years later… ya get to see how peoples lives turn out. Ive seen exactly the same thing EBB TIDE describes:
2-3 DUII

2 repoed/totaled 4x4s

2 ex wives

$20,000 back child support payments

$30,000 back taxes owed IRS

A few of your original teeth.

Currently on medical pot, disability for the bad back, and food stamps.

Fishing isnt what most normal people can do as a longterm career.

Bob


#12

Take the advice from a Bering Sea vet from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s…unless you are young and want the “adventure” of fishing on the “edge” stay away from Deep Sea Fisheries. They are just another operation run by your typical fish pimp! You will come home after 3 or more months after a Bering Sea winter or working on the process line, you’ll have inflammed tendons, sleep deprivation, lack of personal hygene, Dutch Harbor stare and painfully few dollars for all of the suffering. Some of those poor sods working the “slime line” are barely making minimum wage and they are only there with a prayer that somehow they’ll get promoted to working on deck where they’ll make a buck or two more an hour.
When I went, times were so very much different than they are today and I did get to live some real adventures in some amazing places but the fishing industry that was then is not there anymore. Also, do not believe one bit of all that nonsense they peddle on Deadliest Catch…that ain’t reality just like Survivor ain’t really people “surviving” on a desert island!
It’s really something when the looking back at the career starts to take over from the looking ahead…the beginning of old timerdom
…ah, them’s were the daze!


#13

Hahaha! Knotship! bob! …
I almost forgot about coming home with the “Bering-Stare”. Like I said, it can fuck with your head or drive you to drinkin’…


#14

Never did hear back from ordinaryseaman…I wonder if he look the job after all the pleadings from us here for him not to? Why don’t the young listen to the advice of those who blundered down the same path years before? If he did go then I will hope that his experience turns out to be a positive one filled with happy future seastories.
anyway, hey Stellar…where was it you were when you worked up north? Crab, salmon, Pollak fish? Did you work on the Stellar Seas? If you were on her, then you got to sail on the only fish processor which I would actually consider my life not in grave danger leaving the dock aboard.


#15

Nope- didn’t take it.

I called them regarding the job. The guy I spoke with said HR was interested in talking to me- but was too busy. So I called/emailed back- and have heard nothing.

I did listen guys! And I do appreciate how hard it is.

But- haven’t worked for months- need to make money and get sea time- so will look at anything- even fishing.

After not hearing from almost anyone I’ve applied with (I’ve gotten a few “we may have something soon”), and not hearing back from PMI or MSC- I’ll take anything I can get!

I appreciate all the imput.

Smooth sailing-Anthony


#16

Anthony…I am really glad that you didn’t go out with them. That company is really a bottom feeder in the Alaskan fisheries and I just don’t think that they would have been a good experience for you. If you do want to try fishing in Alaska, you’ll probably have to start on the process line which is not fun by any shape of the imagination, but that is pretty much the only path to the deck.
Have you been to see Trident Seafoods in Ballard? They have the biggest fleet in Alaska by far. There is also Coastal Transportation also in Ballard. They have their fleet of little freighters going north. They pay low and the work is hard, but those little vessels go into some very interesting places in Alaska and in the end are more of a seafaring job than gutting cod.
Whatever you do, do not take a job with the Fishing Company of Alaska. They are worst in an industry of bad companies.
Btw, what small pax vessels did you work on? I may know a few guys and gals you sailed with.
cheers


#17

Thanks knotship. My ex first mate recommended Coastal- and I’ve applied there. Haven’t tried Trident.

I worked in Hawaii on The Pride of Hawaii and Pride of America as well as Majestic America Line’s Empress of the North,Queen of the West, and Columbia Queen- in Alaska Oregon and Washington. Had a lot of fun - met lots of cool people. Saw some beautiful places.

Unfortunately Majestic America Line is out of business and NCLA doesn’t hire OS’s.

I have heard the horror stories about being a processor or “combi”.

But- gotta do something…

Thanks again for all the words of advice and encouragement-Anthony


#18

Anthony, do you like to cook? You could get a job as a cook with Sause Brothers in Honolulu. The thing is, with them you get plenty of deck time too (all overtime!) and can work toward your license while cooking if towing interests you. They’ll like the fact that you have seagoing experience already. Call Brad Rimmel or Kaipo Pomaikai at 808.521.5082. With the overtime you’ll make nearly as much as a Mate. Tell them Doug Pine sent you. I’d do just about anything to keep you off the fish boats.


#19

Knotship
Interesting you should mention Coastal Transportation in Ballard. Ive seen their boats next to the bridge. Look like some safe old school european cargo boats.
I was talking to their secratary Penny today about saiing as an AB and plan a visit this week. She wasnt very helpful and kept repeating, send your application and the Port Captain will call you if interested we are very busy.
Would you recomend them? Any thoughts? Have they lost any boats or do they burn through crew?
Bob


#20

Dogpine- thanks!

I’ll call the guys in Oahu.

I don’t really know how to cook- but I’ve worked as utility galley- and learn fast. Willing to do just about anything to learn/ get more sea time.

I sent an email to Brad Rimmel awhile back- telling them that I was trying to get into PMI’s workboat mate program- and looking for work. Never heard back…

Wish me luck. Thanks again!

Anthony