Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 17 > Page 2 - Trap Fishing with Mike MacDougall

Page 2 - Trap Fishing with Mike MacDougall

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/8/1 (459 reads)

up mackerel and mix in salt. When it hits the water the salt'11 take it down quick? er. (That attracts mackerel.) Then there's this: in the early part of the year, right from the time you start getting them in May, up until about the 15th or 2oth of June, mackerel has the eye completely covered with a scale. The first or second week of fishing you see the scale starting to leave the comer of the eye. It'll gra? dually come right off. By the end of the season they know where they're going, and they're a lot harder to trap. (And that's when they can see the jig?) Right. Anchors already set out, trap and leader twine are taken out; net is tied onto kegs. Mike: The first thing you do is tie on your strongback • it's about 115 fathoms of heavy rope. You tie that on the shore and go straight out off of the shore with this rope with a main anchor on the end. That anchor is much heavier than any other that goes on th*e trap;it holds all the strain of evrything. You go out first 65 fathoms • and that's where your leader mesh will come out along the strongback to the door of the trap. Then you go another 10- 11 fathoms • and that's where the back of your trap will tie on the strongback. And back of that 2 more fathom, you have what we c'l the main keg. The strongback ties on the keg, is cut, and then ties on the other side of the keg • then runs out about another 60 fathoms from the main keg to the main anchor. You set your main anchor • and on the claw you have a haul-up, a rope with a big ball float onto the end of it. It's a trip line for tripping your anchor. We take hold of that haul-up and pull it out as tight as we can get it with the boat. Then you come back in and put a tackle on between the strongback and the main keg • and the boys haul on that tackle till we get the strongback singing tight like a fiddle string. Cape Breton's Maga2ine/2 .''''J'''''w ~ Next, we use a set of frame-ropes (see drawing -) , half-hitched onto the strongback so they are divided in half. One goes where the back of the trap will finally be. One goes where the door will be, and one in the centre. When you go out to set your anchors, you throw the keg to two men in the dory and they tie the end of the frame-rope to the keg • and you steam out with the haul-up until everything comes just tight • not singing tight • then you drop your anchor. Each anchor has a keg and a haul-up (1, 2, 3, 4, 5f 6). Your haul-ups vary according to the depth of the water. If you've got I3 fathom of water you put a haul-up onto it of 14 fathoms. We call the keg ropes the moorings. So there's a keg at every corner, center kegs and a main keg. And with the frame-ropes you've got your kegs pretty well in position, so when you set your trap you're not going to have too much pulling and tugging to shape it. You bring your twine out and start tying it on. It will shape up into a diamond- shaped trap (see drawing-o-o-o'). Your finished trap has roughly 62-64 fathom of twine around. When you get the trap
Cape Breton's Magazine
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