I started this post last year and would like to refresh this thread and see if I can find someone for THIS YEAR! Actually, it ended up being such a fun and, in some ways, odd experience that I wrote a little story about it. Check it out http://www.travelerphotography.com/writing/short_stories/kitefishing.html
Anyway, I am once again on the hunt for someone to work and kite with me in my remote setnet fish camp on the Ugashik River in Bristol Bay, Alaska. This is on the very edge of "the bay" where it transitions into the Bering Sea so is pretty much a quiet wilderness, especially compared to the crazyness that is the rest of Bristol Bay. Although I have been fishing for years, this last summer was my first summer in this location so I was unsure about the kiting. To my delight, it turned out to be world class, as far as I am concerned! The wind blows 15-25 knots a few days a week minimum and sometimes seven days a week! Most of the kiting we do is on a large, shallow, warm (for Alaska anyway) and totally flat calm lake behind my cabin. There are no trees anywhere and the soft tundra all around is the best kind of surface to get spanked on should you get hauled out of the water trying a trick. This was the first place I have ever had the nerve to try board taps on the shore.
The kiting is great, but of course the job comes first. As I said in my original post, I am looking for someone with all or most of the following attributes: physically strong (you don't need to be a weight lifter, just used to working hard with your body), very used to and experienced in outdoor physical labor, very good and positive attitude, no bad tempers, mellow disposition, learns fast, has experience with small engines, and of course, kites. Some optional and desirable skills include: experience with boats, sport or commercial fishing experience and sick kiteboarding trick skills (cause I want to learn more tricks!). You do not need to have commercial fishing experience, though sport fishing experience is nice so you are used to dealing with fish.
This is am amazing opportunity to make some money, kite in the wilderness in Alaska and in general have a killer, crazy, once in a lifetime experience. Every time I go out to fish for the summer I feel blessed to be able to have that experience in a place few people ever get to see. Its also very hard work (especially when we fish 12 hrs and 6,000 pounds then go kiting afterward!) and it really should only be considered by people who have lots of experience doing hard, physical work with their hands outdoors.
If you are interested, just email me with some images of you out and about, at least 3 references that can speak to your work ethic and experience working outdoors (I will personally call all of them) and some information about yourself (interests, experiences, desires in life, whatever).
Here is how the pay works: You are paid 10% (sometimes more or less depending on experience) of the total catch minus a 5% city fish tax (5% off total, not your %). Your food, lodging and flight from King Salmon, Alaska to Pilot Point, Alaska ($700) is paid for. You are responsible for getting yourself to Anchorage, Alaska and for some limited gear (fly-fishing-style chest waders and boots, rain jacket, Extra Tuf boots, lots of warm socks and layered non-cotton clothing, personal items, commercial crew fishing license, etc). You also need to bring some bedding materials including a sleeping pad (or foam) and a sleeping bag. We live in a warm cabin but your responsible for making your bunk your home. Money wise, for the owner and crew, commercial fishing can be anything from a money looser to a massive, almost ludicrous money maker, and everything in between. This is because there is no real way of knowing how many fish are going to come into the river (fish and game make educated guesses) and what the price might be per pound. But this last season we did well and the price was very good. Although we have no idea what the price might be this coming summer, the run, according to Alaska Fish and Game, is supposed to as good as last year––5 + million fish for the Ugashik River. Catches for my operation and those around me can be anywhere from 20,000 pounds (maybe less on a bad year) to 45,000 pounds or more (maybe higher on a very good year). This last year we got $00.95 cents per pound.
The season is very short in Bristol Bay. I expect a crewman to be at fish camp for a minimum of 35 days, but more realistically it will be about 45––from roughly June 15-Aug 1. The peak of fishing is usually right at the end of June through the first week of July. On both ends there is lots of "scratch fishing," which is fishing but not making huge hauls and then there is pre- and post-season work such as getting the camp setup and ready in the spring, readying gear, mending nets, working on small engines (outboards, 4-wheelers, etc), etc.
For more info about the job see the original post.
Email me with the details listed above and describe why you are qualified and want to do this. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
. A perk of the job is that I'll get you a pro deal on any gear you want through my shop/school for 6 months after the season.
Thanks for your interest and thanks to all of you incredibly interesting (and sometimes downright strange) kiters who contacted me about this job last year!