Page 66 - Tuna Fishing in St. Ann's Bay
ISSUE : Issue 56
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/1/1
der why you do it. You wish you weren't there at it. You'd go after it again the next day--that's the crazy thing. Best sport I ever tried. Glorious.... (So you're reeling him in, as he tires. Does he surface for you, lay on the bot? tom- -what does he do?) Everything. Some? times they get down below and they sulk. You can't pull them. It took me years to find out what to do. You back off and change the angle of pull. Instead of pull? ing up you're pulling across. And he feels that on the side of his mouth and it hurts, and he runs very fast after that. Otherwise, if you don't know that, you'll sit there for half an hour on top pulling (up). And it hits the hard bony top of his mouth and he can't feel the hook, so he's quite content to sit there. I nearly killed Percy (when) I found out that he knew all along that all I had to do was go sideways and the fish would take off. "Oh," he said, "I knew that...." ' (And you wanted the fish to take off. You didn't want him to just lay under your boat.) Die of hunger. (You would?) Yes. He was perfectly happy where he was, and you weren't. (So you get him to take off, and you con? tinue to reel him in.) Fight back every inch of line you can. And if you're not lucky, he'll take all your line and then some and you have nothing left. Just a puff of smoke. And he's gone. That's a heartbreak. (How do you know when he's caught. Do you bring him up to your boat?) That's the won? derful part of the business. You get to Ltd. Island Crafts Old-Fashioned Charm Is Our Trademark Handknit Fishermen's Sweaters - Kitchen Accessories Designer iviohair Sweaters - Cookbooks Hats & Scarves for Every Age Group Intricate Designs in Pottery - Hand Appliqued Quilts Ruffled Cushions - Wide Selection of Baby Items The Mad Potters Collection - Boats in Bottles A Good Selection of Local Literature Wholesale : : Full Line of Souvenirs Downtown Sydney OPEN YEAR ROUND: MONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 TO 5; FRIDAY, 9 TO 9 329 Charlotte Street, Sydney ->- 539-4424 ~ know, as Percy used to say, when you've got him "turned." When you've got him turned toward you. Then you know you're getting the better of him. And you fight a little harder. And naturally he knows he's licked. And the end of it is you steer him to a certain point of the compass, where there's a nice smooth beach--and you beach him. You teach him to go that way. There's three ways he gets held, the other way is comfortable so he chooses the comfortable way every time--and that's where you want to have him. You teach him to go up on the beach. And your man Percy gets out in his rubber boots and paddles along the beach until you steer him--you're in the boat and you're fighting him in--and the two meet and he puts a gaff into him. He's on the beach with a gaff. I've had (Percy) back into the boat half a dozen times. The fish will take off (and) you have to scramble back in, get the gaff, start all over again. It's not smooth. (So usually the tuna dies on the beach.) Yeah. Put a rope into his gills, around his tail, pull him alongside of your boat. Turn on the power and bring him in wherev? er you want to go. I've had that happen 4 or 5 miles out at sea. Then the line breaks and you lose the fish--after all that. It can be a heartbreaker. It never goes according to the book. (I guess you're busy writing the book.) Well, that's it. You're learning all the time. It's a fascinating game. One of the things I had to learn here is that this bay is different than anywhere else we know of in the world. The tuna come in here and stay. Be in the bay--the same fish in the same water--for a couple of weeks. And you got to know them. By the size of their fin and the shape of their fin and the way they behaved. You could hook them eventually in the same spot that you thought they'd be in. It's extraordinary. You have to be half-crazy.... (This is much too big a fish to stuff and put on your wall.) It's been done, though. My father-in-law did it. He gave it to the club--the Forest and Stream Club outside of Montreal--they had it on the wall for many years till it fell apart. They found it had a corset inside it. (And what usu- St. Ann's Contracting Renovations & Repairs • Additions Painting • Roofing • Siding • Windows & Doors "If it's broken, we fix it!" R.R.A.P. GRANTS • Licensed • Insured • All Work Guaranteed • • 929-2921 • Murdock Shaw(929-2770) R. R. 1, Englishtown BOC IHO Abie (929-2463) • John (929-2575) FREE ESTIMATES • NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL
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