Page 9 - Fishing Gaspereaux on the SW Margaree
ISSUE : Issue 14
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1
Michael Charlie Cameron: My father fished gaspereaux years ago. But in the early '40s we started up fishing them again. I believe up in Gillisdale and Southwest they used to fish for Burns in Halifax. Then Helier Merry, the manager of the Robin Jones got at it • came along one day, checking along the river where it would be good to get a truck into and he figured this is a good spot. He came in and he asked us if we'd like to fish gaspereaux. At 50 cents a barrel. And we fished, we made good money • that was good money them days. We knew how to set a trap and everything; my fa? ther knew, from years back, we started him up the first year. He wanted a thou? sand barrels. We got around 500. But that was good raoney. Ihe next year I guess it was he asked us to pack them. Before he was buying them fresh and they were packing them in Cheti? camp. Next year they packed them in the barn • the French frora Cheticamp packed them • and we fished them. And a dollar a barrel, packed in salt and headed there. They had the biggest man in Cheticamp I think tramping them down to get the weight in. And then a year or so after that he was buying them fresh and we had to grade them the size of the fish. I think it was 70 cents a hundredweight and so much an hour for the fellow that was grading. Then we shifted over to the Co-op in Grand-Etang and they were buying.,..Oh, we fished a lot of fish. After the first two years everybody was getting into it • and at last there were about 60 traps on the river one time. And then they started to deliver barrels to the people to salt them on the bank and re-pack them and ship them. Today, we sell ours for bait mostly. Today we get 6.50 and 7 dol? lars a crate • just about a barrel. 200 pounds. I sold I suppose 8 or 900 barrels this year for bait. Two years ago we took in about 8000 dollars in about a month. It leaves a lot of money in Margaree. (Before you were fishing them, were you aware of gaspereaux?) Oh, yes. They'd be that plenty in the river they'd be dying. (Did you try to fish them with a hook?) They won't bite. The only way to get them with a hook is to jig them. People used to use thera for fertilizer. Just plow thera in with the potatos, next to the seed. If' you put them in with the seed it'd burn the seed • they're that strong. So you put them in the next furrow to the seed. That*d be the use of them those days, except salt a few for the winter. They're just like herring. Everybody put up some them days. (How do you prepare them?) Oh, I like them salty. Gaspereaux and 2 or 3 potatos now and you can make a .good feed when you're hungry. You split them and gut thera and scale them and put them in salt and they make their own pickle. They're good there for the winter. You wash thera before you put thera ./-. 3''' ''T' m the salt • soak them in water • that draws the blood. Then you salt them and pack thera for the winter. Then you take thera out and wash them and boil thera • a couple of waters. But we don't eat them every day. About once a week. It's like herring. There's plenty bones in.them. And they're nice fried. Just roll them in flour or corn meal and fry thera pretty crisp. That's fresh. Scales off, gutted and washed good. I had two today. And it was good. Ihanks to George Ihomas.Margaxee Harbour.tor the Front Cover of Mose Mose Chiasson. Back Cover photoes are at Peter Gillis* weir and include Joey Gillis. Donald Gillis and Dougall Collins. The men fishing the new-style trap are John and Joe ProsperT
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