DECK HAND FOR A DAY
THE MOST AUTHENTIC ALASKAN FISHING EXPERIENCE IN KETCHIKAN, ALASKA!
Step back in time aboard the F/V West. This beautiful, 40′, vintage salmon troller was built in 1920! A time near the end of the Alaska Gold Rush when rough-and-tumble adventure seekers risked their lives to harvest the bountiful seafood of Southeast Alaska!
This is Not a fishing tour. This is an authentic commercial fishing experience. A real, hands-on adventure where you, the deckhands of the day, will be tasked with taking the helm, setting gear and hopefully landing the salmon!
Once you’ve been geared up with commercial fishing gear to keep you warm, dry and safe on the water, your experienced Captain will check your commercial fishing licenses and issue a safety briefing onboard. Then it’s time to shove off! As a resident of Ketchikan and the owner of the West, you’ll be able to ask any and all questions about life in Southeast Alaska, the history of Ketchikan and how to troll for salmon as you make your way down the Tongass Narrows to the fishing grounds. No seasonal charter captain here. This vessel is Captain John’s home, nobody knows the West better than he does. (Except maybe his first mate Bobby Ray). Captain John will be there with you every step of the way to guide you through operating the vessel from the wheelhouse, how to deploy the stabilizers and how to operate the hydraulic gurdies (think big, powerful fishing reels) and hopefully gaff some salmon! No nets here. The trick is to pick the fish from the hook without them getting off or pulling the gaff right out of your hand. They’re called WILD caught Alaskan salmon for a reason.
After trolling for salmon and rotating between driving the boat, manning the camera or manning the gurdies, you’ll pull gear and head up the inlet to the George Inlet Cannery. After a long day of fishing in the 1920’s this, yet another, amazingly preserved piece of history would be exactly the kind of place you’d be docking up to to sell your catch. The depth to your fishing experience is enhanced even more as you take a short tour, back in time, through the cannery and view the antique canning equipment that allowed wild caught Alaskan seafood to become famous around the world in an era before refrigeration. We’ll even be sending you home with a can of your very own smoked silver (Coho) Salmon. The ride from the cannery back to downtown Ketchikan takes about 25 minutes.
The second trip of the day will run this experience in reverse and end up docking in downtown Ketchikan aboard the West right next to the cruise ships. Be sure to message your friends from the ship on the way back in, there’s nothing quite like pulling into the marina aboard a 102 year old beautiful wooden fishing vessel. Especially if you’ve landed some Salmon!