What if you could ditch the 9-5, leave behind the boring job you dread going to, and set yourself up for a career path where YOU’RE the boss and how much money you make is a result of how hard YOU work?

Sound Familiar?

If this is you, you might be feeling undervalued, unfulfilled, or as if you've missed your calling. You might also make a great commercial fisherman.

  • You work an average job, make average money, and live an average life, all while craving more adventure

  • You want a work hard/play hard lifestyle with the freedom and money to enjoy your time off

  • You'd rather be outside than inside, you'd rather be moving than sitting, you're competitive, and you love a good adrenaline rush

  • You know how to put your head down and grind, you take initiative, you're a team player, a quick learner and you work well under pressure

  • You’re sick of making other people money without sharing in the profits

Zero to Deckhand is designed to help you go from feeling stuck in a job that doesn't interest you and watching people on TV live your dream... to commercial fishing in Alaska, waking up to salty air, working outdoors, and forging your own path to success - however you define it.

Zero to Deckhand:

Alaska's ONLY online commercial fishing crash course

This one-of-a-kind digital course is designed to teach you everything you need to know about Alaska's commercial fishing industry, regardless of where you are. Are you ready?

Nice to meet you

Sisters Maddie and Molly were raised in a commercial fishing family in Homer, Alaska - the halibut capital of the WORLD. They now work together at the family business, Alaska Boats & Permits, which was founded by their dad, Doug Bowen, in 1997 and has grown to be Alaska's largest marine brokerage.

Maddie Lightsey

Maddie studied political science and international affairs at the University of Colorado before making her way back home to join the family business. She is on the board of the North Pacific Fisheries Association, completed the North Pacific Marine Resource Education Program, and has spoken at the Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit, the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association's Expo, and the Bristol Bay Fish Expo, and organized other informational sessions and workshops for commercial fishermen. Maddie is passionate about breaking down barriers to entry in the commercial fishing industry and helping new operators invest in their fisheries. She particularly enjoys the policy and regulatory side of the industry, regularly attending BOF, NPFMC, and IPHC meetings.

Molly Bowen

Molly attended New York University in Florence, Italy, the University of Colorado, and the University of Alaska. She spent a few summers fishing for sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. After school, she solo backpacked around Eastern Europe before moving back to Alaska and starting at Alaska Boats & Permits where she puts the determination and grit she's known for to use helping fishermen invest in their operations. Outside of work, Molly is an outdoor enthusiast, an avid artist, and an endless adventure seeker.

Get your first fishing job WITHOUT

  • going in blind

    Let's face it: we have it easier than our parents did. You don't have to dive in without knowing what you're getting into. By the end of this course, you'll know everything you need to about Alaska's different species, seasons, vessels, gear, fishing areas, agencies, etc. You'll know how to prepare, where to go to get a job based on what you want to do, how to get that job, what to pack, how you'll get paid, what to do when you get paid, and more.

  • putting yourself at risk

    You'll learn the importance of safety, the importance of a good crew contract (and what it needs to include), how to choose a good boat, how and why to vet your skipper and the boat, and simple ways to avoid common mistakes as a deckhand.

  • sounding stupid

    Just because you're "green" doesn't mean you have to sound like a tourist. You'll learn the terminology, culture, and practices you need to know to avoid looking and sounding like you just got off the plane (even if you did JUST get off the plane).

What fishing IS and IS NOT

  • Fishing IS

    Fishing is hard work, little sleep, and some physical pain. It can be dangerous and is inherently volatile. BUT it's also beautiful sunsets, incredible scenery, connecting with nature, and learning about yourself and what’s important to you. Fishing is camaraderie and family and teamwork. It’s a career with the potential to make good money and a chance to be your own boss.

  • Fishing IS NOT

    Fishing is not a get rich quick plan. It's not always a steady paycheck. In fact, it's not guaranteed money at all. It's not always comfortable or fun. It's not a drunken party. It's not a lawless "wild, wild west" world. It's not easy. It's not an excuse to act impulsively or to intentionally seek out risk. It's also not always that exciting - sometimes it's monotonous and repetitive.

  • Is fishing for you?

    Fishing is for you if you crave adventure and enjoy being outdoors, you're self-motivated and take initiative, you can multitask under pressure, follow directions when given, get along with people in tight quarters, and don't mind periods of isolation. It's probably not for you if you get very seasick, if you have back or joint problems or serious health concerns.

Course Curriculum

You'll learn everything from the basics of the fishing industry itself, to the different vessels and gear types, how to prepare to go fishing, how to get your first deckhand job, crew contracts, taxes and finances for deckhands, and more. When you're ready, we've got you covered. Check out the full curriculum below:

    1. Introduction

    2. About You

    1. Lesson 1: State vs. Federal Fisheries

    2. Lesson 2: Fishing Areas

    3. Quiz #1

    4. Lesson 3: Species & Seasons

    5. Quiz #2

    6. Lesson 4: Vessel Components

    7. Lesson 5: Vessel & Gear Types

    8. Lesson 6: What Makes a Fishery

    9. Quiz #3

    10. Lesson 7: Federal Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

    11. Lesson 8: State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

    12. Lesson 9: Fisheries Regulation, Management & Enforcement

    13. Lesson 10: Follow the Fish

    14. Quiz #4

    1. Lesson 11: Words of Advice

    2. Lesson 12: The Prep Work

    3. Quiz #5

    4. Lesson 13: Fishing Boat, Tender, or Processor?

    5. Lesson 14: Bet on Yourself

    6. Quiz #6

    7. Lesson 15: Getting Paid

    8. Lesson 16: Crew Contracts

    9. Lesson 17: Questions to Ask

    10. Quiz #7

    11. Lesson 18: Taxes & Finances

    12. Lesson 19: Stay Informed & Advocate for Your Fisheries

    13. Quiz #8

    14. Lesson 20: Is Fishing for You?

    15. Lesson 21: Stay Clean

    1. Lesson 22: What's Next

    2. Share Your Thoughts

What's included

  • $497.00
  • 33 lessons
  • 2 hours of video content
  • PDFs, guides, and more!

Don't take our word for it

Here's what previous Zero to Deckhand students and industry professionals have to say:

“There isn't anything else out there like this. Instead of scrounging every Facebook group, reddit page, outdated forum, Google, or newsletter, just start here. If you want to get into the commercial fishing industry at any level, don't pass go, don't collect $200, just watch this course. It's a one stop shop.”

Dax N., Colorado

“I wish every one of my crew had taken this course before they started. ”

Eric S., Alaska

“The quality of this course is insane. When I finished, I had total confidence in my ability to get a job and know what I was getting into.”

Tyler R., Washington

“I'm not a fisherman myself, but I work in the fishing industry, and this course was incredibly helpful in understanding more of what my clients do and the inner-workings of commercial fishing. I feel like I can connect with them better after taking this.”

Lisa M., Alaska

Ready to get fishing?

For the best value, pay in full today OR select Affirm, Afterpay, or Klarna as your payment method at checkout to pay in installments! If that's not your jam, choose our easy 3-month payment plan.

This course is for you if:

✓   You're interested in commercial fishing in Alaska.

✓   You've never fished commercially before, or you've fished once or twice but don't know much about the industry beyond the back deck.

✓   The idea of sitting at a desk or in a shop or warehouse doing the same thing every day for the rest of your life makes you a little crazy.

✓   You have what it takes to be a good deckhand - you're no stranger to hard work, you're not afraid of a challenge, you're strong and able - but you just haven't had the opportunity to jump in.

✓   Adventure is your middle name. Or maybe it's grit, or grind, or determination. Dream big, have as many middle names as you want!

This course is NOT for you if:

✗   You have no desire to be involved in Alaska's commercial fishing industry. (Why are you here?)

✗   You aren't ready to make a change in your life. You're happy where you're at and shaking things up sounds like too much work.

✗   You aren't willing to work for it or take any chances - you're waiting for an opportunity to be handed to you.

✗   Spending time away from home isn't something that fits with your lifestyle and you don't want to make any sacrifices.

✗   You're already a seasoned deckhand in Alaska.

There's never been a better time than now


  • Do I have to have fishing experience?

    Absolutely not! In fact, this course is designed so that even somebody who has never been on a boat can understand the industry, fishing vessels and gear, and the mechanics of fishing.

  • Are there deadlines? How long does it take?

    This is a self-paced, so you can binge it quickly or take as long as you need. No deadlines, no time limit!

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You have lifetime access!

  • Are there assignments or quizzes?

    There are a few quizzes for you to test your knowledge, but your scores do not affect the outcome of this course. There are no assignments.

  • How long until I get a fishing job?

    This depends on how much effort YOU put in, the time of year, how the fisheries are performing, and other factors. But, if you buckle down, put in the work, and take a few risks, you could be fishing in as little as a few weeks.

  • Can I purchase this course as a gift for someone?

    Absolutely! Add the course to your cart and select "this is a gift" at checkout. Note that in order to purchase as a gift, you'll need to either pay in full or select a third party installment option at checkout. Gift purchases are not available through our in-house 3 month payment plan.

  • Do you offer discounts for bulk enrollments?

    Yes! Please reach out to us at [email protected] for more information.

  • Do you offer refunds?

    Due to the nature of digital products, and our confidence in this course, we do not offer refunds. Please make sure you are 100% committed before enrolling. We are happy to answer any questions you have to make sure this course is a good fit for you before you purchase.

Payment Plans

Looking for a payment plan? We've got options.

We offer three different payment methods. For the best value, choose the "pay in full or installments" option below. This allows you to make one full payment today OR to choose from Affirm, Afterpay, or Klarna at checkout to get started for as little as $60/month. If these payment providers don't work for you, we also offer an in-house 3-month payment plan.

Get started now

Fair winds & following seas, my friends!

  • $497.00

    Pay in full or installments

  • 3 x $179.00

    3-month payment plan


Not quite ready to dive in yet?

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Thank You