Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 23 > Page 42 - Lobster Fishing with Johnny MacInnes

Page 42 - Lobster Fishing with Johnny MacInnes

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1 (306 reads)

The morning of the first day of the season, they go out with the boat piled high with traps, each trap already baited with fish and containing an extra rock or two to keep it~down until the wood has soaked up water. After the first haul (tomorrow), when they are sure the trap will not float, this extra weight will be taken out. The traps are placed on board systematically. Each swing is made up of a long rope (the" backline) with a buoy at either end. Along this backline four traps are attached with a rope bridle. When loading the boat, first a buoy is passed to a man on the boat and the rope is gathered into a pile on the deck. As each trap along that swing IS come to, it is placed on board and the rope between the traps goes onto the pile. When all four traps are piled aboard to? gether, the last portion of the backline comes on and with it the second buoy. This second buoy is tied to the first buoy of the NEXT swing • and the process of load? ing up continues. They set the traps out in long straight lines running with the shore across the fishing grounds. Johnny keeps the boat moving forward. One of the crew throws a buoy overboard and the backline rope is dropped out behind. Then one at a time the four traps of that swing are put overboard as the rope between the traps is drawn out tight. The second buoy of that swing is untied from the first buoy of the next. That second buoy is tossed out and imme? diately the first buoy of the next swing is thrown overboard. They end up with a straight line of 22 buoys (one on either end of each backline) on the surface and 44 traps (4 on each backline) on the bot? tom • the buoy ending one backline (one swing) close to the buoy where the next backline "(the next swing) begins. Through? out the season they will run along these lines, gaffing the buoys, hauling and re? setting the traps. The daily routine starts out around 4;30 a.m., heading for the fishing grounds. They go first to the nets for bait. The bait for today is already m crates on the boat.~"The day before's bait is what we use," Johnny told us. "We leave what we haul m the boat and we use that tomorrow. If you went out and found something tan- gled m the nets, there wouldn't be fish in them. So you always want to have the bait in the boat and not depend on what's in the nets. Besides, it's not much good
Cape Breton's Magazine
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