Sarah Palin, John McCain's newly announced running mate, is described in many articles I've seen today as an ultra-conservative. Journalists and politicians like to slap simplistic labels on people, but from what I've read, it strikes me that Sarah Palin is a more complex character than the dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist she is made out to be. She eloped twenty years ago, and combines a demanding job with five children, so she's clearly not the stereotypical little wifey.
How does she feel about being called a former fisherman, I wonder. I thought at first that the phrase 'she has worked as a commercial fisherman' in an article in the Daily Telegraph today (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/republicans/2646949/Sarah-Palin-profile-Former-beauty-queen-was-an-unlikely-choice.html) was a cutting and pasting mistake from a piece describing her husband, but I found her described as a fisherman in other publications too, including Time (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1837510,00.html).
There is an entry for fisherwoman in the OED, and it's not a recently added sop to gender equality - there's a citation for the word from 1816. It's not exactly an everyday word, admittedly, the reason being that fishing is presumably a male-dominated industry. Anyway, there is a tendency for occupations to move away from having a 'man' and 'woman' version eg policeman/woman and fireman/woman and replace these with a single gender-neutral term (police officer and firefighter). So what would Governor Sarah Palin call women like her, I wonder. Fishing operative sounds woolly and fishing person sounds silly. Fish catcher might do, perhaps. There is also the old word, fisher. Maybe that will be brought back into the language.