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Commercial Fishing Knots 101

Commercial Fishing Knots 101

Knots are incredibly important to commercial fishing. They’re important to setting and pulling out to our nets, catching our fish, and intense high-stress emergencies. Knots will actually save your life and the life of everyone around you. As a fisher, if you show up to fish camp not knowing your knots or doing them incorrectly, our :has absolutely no interest in working with you. Ignoring the few prerequisites asked before landing on the beach is not only a slap of disrespect for the leadership, but to anyone you work with. Crew depend on each other – both on and off the nets – to know our knots.

These are the most used and thus the most important knots for commercial set netters: bowline, bowline-on-a-bight, trucker’s hitch, square knot, clove hitch and anchor bend.

Bowline: The is THE single-handedly most important knot to know; we use this knot in everyday situations, but these can also be used in emergency situations. What is your net is getting getting flagged down when setting and won’t be able to reach your anchored tag line? Grab an extra rope, tie a bowline on each side, attach with a carabiner and you just saved your net from flagging. Did your 4-wheeler get stuck in the mud or sand? Grab a rope, tie a bowline around the front of the stuck bike, a bowline on the other side to attach to a tow hitch on a different bike, and BOOM: you just towed your 4-wheeler out of trouble.

Watch this video here for how to tie a bowline


Bowline-on-a-Bight: Super important for setting your net – if your net isn’t able to reach the hoop on your anchor tag line to set, tie a bowline-on-a-bite and BOOM: you made yourself a new hoop much more realistic to reach.

Watch this video here for how to tie a bowline-on-a-bight: 

Trucker’s Hitch: We used this knot EVERY day, multiple times a day to tie down our rafts to the raft trailer. This is super important to learn how to tie properly so that it does not come undone when driving down the beach, or when there are high winds. 

Watch this video here for how to tie a trucker's hitch:

These are just a few of the knots explained for what we might use them for. Knots are important at fish camp, but they’re also important back home – I’m telling you: a bowline can be used for pretty much ANY situation. Learn your knots!

Written by: Natalie Karcher

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