Sword fishing in Alaska

Swordfishing is a dangerous and exciting profession practiced by fishermen all over the world. But nowhere is swordfishing as challenging and rewarding as in Alaska, where the cold waters and rough seas make it a true test of strength and skill. In this article, we will explore the extreme conditions, the people and the traditions of swordfishing in Alaska.

Swordfishing in Alaska mainly takes place in the summer months when the weather is relatively calm and the fish are more active. The fishing grounds are located in the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands, all of which are known for their treacherous waters and unpredictable weather conditions. 

Sword fishing in Alaska is a challenge that few fishermen can master. It requires exceptional physical strength and endurance as well as a deep understanding of the ocean and its currents. In this article, we will take a closer look at the extreme conditions, people and traditions of swordfishing in Alaska, as well as the equipment used to accomplish this task.

"old salties - old salts"

The extreme conditions under which swordfishing takes place in Alaska are legendary. Water temperatures can be very low and winds can reach speeds of over 60 miles per hour. Waves can be up to 30 feet high, making it difficult for fishermen to keep their balance and hold on to their lines. These conditions make swordfishing one of the toughest jobs in the world.

The people who practice swordfishing in Alaska are a breed apart. They are often known as "old salties", reflecting their experience and toughness. Many of these fishermen have worked on the water for decades and have a deep respect for the ocean and the fish that live in it. They are also incredibly skilled at what they do, and their knowledge of the ocean and its currents is second to none. Despite the dangers and hardships of their job, they are proud of their work and the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

PAXSON & CO. has been supplying crews for some time with the robust and 100% waterproof Dry Bags for the safe storage of their belongings on board. 

Tradition since the 18th century

The tradition of swordfishing in Alaska goes back centuries. The indigenous peoples of the region have been fishing for swordfish and other species for thousands of years, using traditional techniques and equipment. When European explorers arrived in the 18th century, they introduced new fishing methods and technology, but the old ways were never completely abandoned. Today, swordfishing in Alaska is a combination of ancient and modern techniques, with fishermen using both traditional knowledge and state-of-the-art equipment.

The equipment used for swordfishing in Alaska is specially adapted to the harsh conditions and the difficulty of the task. Fishermen typically use special longlines that are baited with squid and can be lowered up to 1500 feet into the ocean. When a swordfish takes the bait, the fishermen have to haul it in by hand, which can take hours and requires tremendous physical strength.

Fishermen also use special boats that are optimized for swordfishing. These vessels are sturdy and stable and can withstand the extreme conditions encountered when swordfishing in Alaska. They are equipped with a variety of instruments and equipment that help fishermen monitor the currents and the position of the vessel in relation to the bait.