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 Zoe.com...a 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