Commercial Fishing Equipment

Fishing rain gear with ”Heavy Duty” rain boots

factory crew on a fishing boat

#Equipment you need for this job can easily amount to $400 + if you don’t complete your contract (65 days in our case) you have to pay another $2000 for your flight to Seattle. If you quit after 2 trips – 25 days (in a bad season) on a #fishingboat, you might not get paid at all. #fishing #faces #tired #crew #fisherman #fishermen #tough #beringsea #people #alaska #clothes

In some cases these will be provided by your fishing company, and taken away from your first paycheck. If this option is available to you, and you do not have any experience, I would definitely recommend this. If you really want to get them beforehand, I recommend Seattle Marine Fishing Supply shop which specializes on fishing equipment and is located right by Fisherman’s Terminal Seattle.

The make Grundens is both tested by myself and commonly used among fishermen. The complete rain gear (pants + jacket including heavy duty wellies) is about $300. Boots must be insulated! They are more expensive but indispensable in the cold. Also buy them at least one size, preferably two sizes bigger, than your actual size.

If the boots are too tight, your feet will get sweaty no matter how good your socks are and you might get frostbites in the freezer hall as a of a fisherman
If the boots are too tight, your feet will get sweaty no matter how good your socks are and you might get frostbites in the freezer hall as a consequence. If the rain gear gets ripped you can buy a new one in Dutch Harbor.

As I mentioned before, I was extremely sweaty after my first eight hours, so even my rain gear was completely wet from the inside. Having an extra rain gear can improve your comfort while working. There are cheaper (thinner) and acceptable alternatives to heavy duty rain gear, where pants and jacket are half the price.

As for the sleeves – I recommend ones with neoprene cuffs. They help to keep your forearms dry. They are not necessary, but they will increase your comfort while working.


Wear clothed gloves under rubber ones. These will keep your hands dry for the most part and they are easy to change once you get the opportunity if they get wet. We got limited amount of these for free on the ship but sometimes there wasn’t enough of them, especially when the rubber gloves had holes in them and I didn’t have spare ones. Wet liners will eventually start rubbing skin off your fingers. We could buy more of them on board too. There are alternatives to cotton white ones we had, available in stores I have mentioned earlier. I would recommend them as they might increase the comfort while you are working.

Rubber Gloves

We got a limited amount of rubber gloves per trip for free. That was just about enough, but of course it was possible to buy more onboard. I cannot guarantee that all places work the same so you will have to ask your employer when you are being hired.

Hearing Protection

smoke break on a fishign boat

Breaktime – no cigarettes allowed when working! Here we sort the fish by species in the bins ahead of us. The faster we process the catch, the more money everyone makes. Slackers beware! #fisherman #fishermen #beringsea #fishing #fishingboat #alaska #face #tough #hearingprotector

The sound was very intense in the factory section of the ship, and ear plugs or hearing protectors were therefore necessary. Both were available onboard but there were only a few of the latter. Hearing protectors suited me a lot better as I found earplugs annoying, but I didn’t always get my hands on a pair. Should you also dislike earplugs, I recommend buying your own hearing protector.

Hand Cream

Liners and seawater dry up the skin on your fingers – and sometimes, the skin pops right at the top of the finger. Sea salt goes right into that little hole to the meat of your finger, which hurts a lot. Moisturising hand cream can make your job much easier. I recommend Bag balm.