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The Highliners


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The National Resource Council describes a "highliner" as a fisherman who is regarded as having a fishing operation with high catch and profits. Fishermen use the term "highliner" as a means of respect and recognition for fellow members of their fraternity of the sea.

Taking her out

I became interested in the various methods of fishing while reading the novel, The Perfect Storm, by Sebastien Junger. His well crafted work chronicles the joys, sorrows and dangers of working in such a wild and untamed workplace as the open ocean. The "longliners" were the subject of his novel. Longliners are vessels specifically designed  to accomodate longline fishing. The men and women who work on these boats are often referred to as "longliners" as well.  They are the fishermen who travel great distances, in sometimes adverse weather and rough seas, putting out and then reeling in many miles of fishing lines. These horizontal fishing lines are set out with weights, hooks and bait spaced along the line. It is not unknown for a longliner to let out 20 miles or more of line before the process is reversed and the lines with their catch are hauled aboard. The difference between success and failure can rest solely on the ability of the captain of the vessel. It is his job to ensure the lines are set in an area where they are likely to find the large schools of fish (such as tuna) that they are seeking. The rewards can be high but danger is always present. Getting caught up in a baited hook being reeled overboard has sent men over the side hurtling into the depths of the ocean alongside the weighted bait. It was through this novel that I became interested in these forms of ocean fishing and the courageous men and women who risk their lives with every voyage.


Link to All female highliner

Link to Highliners..the classic novel of commercial fishermen

Link to a bygone era. The Adventure.....a "highlining" schooner

Link to jobs in commercial fishing in Alaska...see Seafood/Fishing jobs at the site