The Hardest Job I’ll Ever Love

Life doesn't get much better.

Life doesn’t get much better.

Not every job puts you in the position to look at sunsets, watch the sea lions and whales play, enjoy a drink, listen to your favorite tunes and have the occasional heart pounding excitement of a double or triple hookup; but fishing really is hard work.  There’s a not so pretty side of fishing is that isn’t shown in memes.

You have to get bait.  Even when it’s cold and they aren’t biting well.  Sometimes we leave in the  evening and when we finally arrived at our fishing location, it was really late.  We still needed to get bait for first bite in the morning.  So there you are; it’s cold, sometimes windy, and you jig and jig with little to no luck.  🙁

Then there’s the gutting fish and processing fish.   If you’re going to keep the fish for yourself, you need to fillet them and then put into meal sized packaging. If you’re going to sell the fish, they need to be bleed and gutted.  They also need to be kept cold, which means if the buyer isn’t showing up right away, you need to get more ice.  Which brings us to ice; getting ice is a workout.  We get up in the morning and workout on the treadmill or stationary bike, but when we’re going to get ice,  no need to lift weights.  You’ll be plenty tired by the time all the ice has been loaded onto the boat.  We have 6 ice chests as well as soft sided insulated fish bags.  We have one Yeti that is easily big enough to put the bodies into.

Painting the bottom of the boat is something that doesn’t have to be done every year, but it’s a major chore when it does have to be done.  Lucky us, we have the Joy Sea, and The Lil Joy Sea (our electric boat), so we get to paint boat bottoms fairy often.  The boat has to be taken to the boat yard, and then hauled out on a sling.  Then they block the boat up on stands and then the next few days are sanding, painting and doing all the repairs that can’t be done when the boat is in the water.  Makes me feel like the Karate Kid with all of the sanding and painting.

Boats need constant maintenance.  Salt water is a harsh environment.  There’s oil changes, coolant flushes, etc.  Because we have side by side twin diesel motors, Gary will show me what he wants done on the engine that faces the middle of the boat (lots more room to maneuver), and then I (because I’m smaller) get to crawl around the side of the engine and do whatever maintenance needs to be done.  The good thing is that Gary knows the engines pretty well, and it saves money on repairs.  I’m really lucky that Gary does the varnishing, but he doesn’t like to put the tape on.  I have to tape off the boat to keep the varnish where it should be.  Last year we didn’t get our varnishing done like it should have been.  Between my broken foot, and Gary’s messed up shoulder we spent the fall and winter sitting in the house recouping from our injuries.  This year we will have to work double hard to catch up on the varnish that has to be done.  The boat needs at least 12 coats of varnish on the rails and around the window trim, and then you just keep up on it with a few coats every year, but because of the injuries, we will be working hard this winter.

Taking apart and repairing toilets.  Shit happens what can I say.  Sadly toilets always seem to have a problem after you take a dump in them.  Sometimes that means bailing the toilet before you can work on it.  Nothing better than trying to work on a toilet in rough seas.  “Focus, do not drop the screw; relax, you can do this.”  Toilet for a house – $150, toilet for a boat, $500; but it’s not every toilet where the plankton

Loading the boat, unloading the boat.  I must say we’ve gotten pretty good at this part.  We have a bunch of meals that we know work well on the boat.   I grab my laundry basket and fill it with food, take it to the boat, unload it and repeat.  It goes pretty quick now.  I have my “standard pantry items,” that don’t go bad.  I keep a list of items that need to be replaced or repaired, and I can load the boat with 4 to 5 loads.

So with all of this moaning and groaning, it’s still the hardest job I’ll ever love.  It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard… is what makes it great. – – A League Of Their Own.   

Gary with 40 lb. White Sea Bass

Gary with 40 lb. White Sea Bass

Fish report:  Gary caught three halibut and one white sea bass.  I lost three (probably sea bass).  We had a lot of missing hooks.  The big sea bass just bite them off.  We’re going to be getting some different hooks.  We had a lot of sharks and a few bat rays.

Dropping the fish off at the local restaurant

Dropping the fish off at the local restaurant


This squid was riding this mackerel like a real cowboy (1:39 min)


2 comments on “The Hardest Job I’ll Ever Love
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