Page 69 - Smelt Fishing on the North River Ice
ISSUE : Issue 40
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1
times there'd be 13, 14, 15 lights • lan? terns out on the ice--nets all along on both sides of the river. Oh, 25, 30 years ago. Day and night. Oh yes, they used to fish right around the clock, all day and all night. My father, when we used to live out West Tarbot--well, it was before I was bom they lived out there--used to come in like that. They had shacks along the river here--a lot bigger than this one. They used to have their bunks and everything in there. They took their own grub with them, and they used to stay there all week, fish? ing. And then there'd be a big truck from around; he'd collect all the fish from all the fishermen and take them over town and sell them. Take the money back to them. Donnie; Then when the tides were slack and that, they used to go visiting one another, from one shack to the next. Raymond: Tell? ing stories and drinking tea. Donnie: Lit? tle bit of rum. Raymond: When they'd get a spell of smelts, they" tie of rum. hey'd probably get a bot- Jackie: They were making sore extra money. Oh, yes. If they had a good run--a good winter with lots of smelts--they could < make quite a few dollars. But they put in a lot of cold nights at it, too, for very little fish. Raymond: First time I bought one (a net) I was about 14 years old. A friend of mine, a fellow I was going to school with, I bor? rowed the money from him. He signed a note in the bank in Baddeck for $50 for me. And in the first two years I fished, I never paid for it. I didn't get enough fish to pay back the $50. The old-timers were catching the smelts but the young fellows starting out weren't catching anything. That was 40 years ago! Anybody starting FRONT VlEUJ '?? MAST roe r'o' r??mo-s Ae's ,_' 'ArTftcHet' TO r>r>Asr youss't 0(>6r/ii'es y/"' Rw • J' RiMG- Soiror/s i BoTTortN T?iAiG- RrrAcv'ets TO Polst'-T>6u)a1 Pole The Mast Pole is solid, pushed down into the mud--and it stays there for the season. The Push-down Pole is used for raising and lowering the bottom of the mouth of the Net--that is, opening and closing the trap. On each Mast there are two iron Rings. One is tied at the top, at the ice; the other is tied at the bottom of the Push-down Pole and slides up and down the Mast Pole. The mouth of the Net is hooked to the four Rings. The Opening, where the smelt go in, is back inside, about 10 feet into the bag of the Net, When the fisher? men come out on the ice for a haul, they first raise the Push-down Pole, pulling the bottom Rings up to the ice, closing the Net. Then they purse the Net out onto the ice until they get to the Trail, the bottom end of the Net. With the smelt on the ice, they put the Net back. Trail first. The Rings are still at the ice. There are Hooks tied to the Net that hook onto the Rings. When the tide changes, they reverse the Hooks, top and bottom. This turns the Net over as it is pulled by the tide. Wreck Cove General Store LOBSTER POUND (Summer) Sandwiches Groceries Snack Bar Ice Cream Film Gasoline Oil ONE STOP SHOPPING on the Cabot Trai I at Wreck Cove "-'r 'Featuring 'H' Service' (69)
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