Working on a fishing boat in Alaska

Working on a fishing boat in Alaska is surely not for everyone. You need to be a hardy soul to endure the extreme weather conditions, rough seas, long hours and cramped living quarters, but those who can stomach the lifestyle are rewarded with great pay and free lodgings.

And despite the fishing industry have its ups and downs; there will always be a demand for hard working individuals to crew the fishing boats with many captains happy to take on students with little or no experience.
So if you enjoy the great outdoors and don’t suffer from sea-sickness, how do you go about securing adeckhand job on a fishing boat?
Where and when
Well, first off, do some research on the internet to find out when the fishing season starts and ends for the different areas you are interested in. For example the salmon season begins in July in Southern Alaska.

Practice your cooking
Everybody loves good food and probably none more so than a group of hungry fishermen. If you’re a great cook then straight away you will increase your chances of securing some work aboard a boat.

Prepare your kit
There will be limited storage space onboard the boat so you will have to pack lightly and wisely. Bear in mind the weather can be harsh, even in summertime, so bring warm clothes and durable footwear.

Arrive on site
Most jobs will not be advertised on the internet so the best way to find work is just to show up in town a couple of weeks before the season starts and look for work. Head over to the boat yards and try to speak to the captains directly to see if they need any extra crew. If you don’t have any luck, visit the fish houses and canneries to look for any wanted ads. Captains may also post a wanted-ad in the local post office, supermarket or coffee shop so try there also.
Work hard and reap the benefits
The fishing industry is a tight community where hard working employers are sought after. If you knuckle down and gain a reputation for getting the job done you will quickly become a valued member of the team. Wages are normally paid at the end of the season and will depend on how much fish has been caught. In a good season, deckhands can take home as much as $20,000.


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