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Page 41 - Lobster Fishing with Johnny MacInnes

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1 (398 reads)

re oldest u)a':uf<:o 30 t<'9& VieA Z -troops on fcv' VooxVLV-.r'erv WO'i D'Y TVOO A'' NOT loo??XeC rrfOsleS< {k000 &??5<''')"'' fixe A v'VVic ?' 600/*' 3dV??co??) uses viiAo V)oo's 600Y Two kellics of wood, stone and rope made by D.J.Morrison, Wreck Cove. trust setting them with the motor running. They just took the traps in the boat and took them where they were going to set them. Then stop the motor and row them, putting the traps over one at a time. Even then (when Johnny started), everybody here fished off their own grounds. They put the backline out first, stretched out in between the two kellics. Then they'd just take the traps out and put them on the backline (rope bridles ran from each trap to the backline), and these traps weren't shifted till they'd be taken an shore. They just stayed where they were set. This was the oldest method. And when? ever the lobsters would get scarce, they'd just take the traps ashore. They'd never shift them. Really, they couldn't shift them • there was too many traps on this rope. They fished with a rowboat and I would say there would be anywhere from 30 to 40 traps on this rope. Too many traps to haul and shift. When they'd get scarce they'd take every second trap off the rope so that it would help them to fish a lit? tle better. So they'd finally take them all off. (Men who fished that way) used to stop fishing before the season would be over. That's the way I fished with my father. And the first year I fished alone • running on this backline with a kellic on each end. But after the first year I cut the back- line in the middle, then it was a trawl. I had a buoy on one end and a kellic on the other. I'd run on these swings of 12 traps. (See drawing.) So you could set the traps out in one direction from the kellic today and you could set them the next day out in the other direction. And when you're through that a couple of times, you just haul the kellic in and move the whole thing and set and do the same again. And we called them "swings" because you could swing it in any direction from the kellic. That's where the name "swing" comes from. We still call them swings, but today they are not swings at all. So then the next year again I started lob? ster fishing alone with a rowboat. Over the winter I made traps. And that year lobsters were "only 3 cents a pound. Three dollars a hundredweight. That was the gen? eral price all over. They were all canned locally. But the very next year again we started shipping lobsters to Boston. I shipped the first lobsters that I know of from the North Shore to Boston. They had shipped lobsters the year before from Big Bras d'Or. C.N.R. used to send trucks to Big Bras d'Or after them. They were going by ice cars. And we used to get good re? turns sometimes, and sotmetimes very disas? trous returns. (You wouldn't know the price beforehand?) No, no. I've seen get? ting a bill for the freight • the crate wouldn't make enough to pay the freight. This was on account of poor handling • the railroad cars weren't properly iced, I sup? pose. We used to ship twice a week. Well,

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