Page 46 - Lobster Fishing with Johnny MacInnes
ISSUE : Issue 23
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1
was no lobster too small, either • they were all taken. And that wasn't the killer altogether. They had been canning lobsters after the season would close, in the woods. So when I started to fish, they were real? ly scarce. (But they talk about years ago people getting 25 and 30,000 pounds in a season.) Oh, that's when it started first. They were right plenty then, and they thought that they could never get them, never hurt them, never get them down any way. Finally, got caught up....And then it was 50 cents a hundred, count (50 cents for a hundred lobsters). But the first people who fished here were people who came from New Brunswick. Fellow came in with a factory and brought the fishermen and traps with him. They didn't fish much gear then. Then it moved on to the local people, fishing on these long strings. John Alex John X.'s father was one of the first natives to fish here, and Sandy Urquhart's father. That was quite a few years before my time. (And they were getting big hauls?) Yes. And no money. Be? fore I started fishing they had been 10 cents a pound. Right after the First World War. They dropped down to 3 cents a pound. (Were the traps different then?) No, not much different. Only they've improved. They hold the lobsters better • but design was pretty much the same. There were a lot more big traps then • 4-bow instead of 3- bow traps. Some would be 4 feet long, the length of a lathe. Now they're a little less than 3 feet. But the rope is differ? ent. We use this monoline now, and in a storm, the traps go with it worse. We used to lose a lot with the manila rope too. It sank and it would chafe on the bottom, es? pecially at the buoy. But when it was on the bottom in a storm, it would catch on the bottom and hold traps. But this mono- line rope will float, it's never on the bottom • the traps go worse in a storm. The manila rope on the bottom would get caught on a stone or something and hold the traps from going. And there was one difference they had in the traps then • when they had the kellics on each end. The ballast was inside the trap and it was in them in a way that it would come out very easy. And the traps would float. And the kellics on each end would keep them from going any? where. So that was their idea of having the kellics, to save the traps. But now the way we fish (with a buoy on each end of the backline and no anchoring at all, four traps to a swing), if they float they're gone. So we try to make them so they won't float, the ballast can't-get out. It was a gradual change. I found that we lost traps on account of kellics. I started making the traps so that they wouldn't float. Then, the manila rope used to chafe on the bottom. You only had a buoy at one end. Start hauling that and the rope would break. I figured I was los? ing more traps so I stopped using the kel? lic altogether. And now there's nobody us? ing kellics. I made the traps so the bal? last rocks stayed in. The trap may smash to pieces and still the ballast wouldn't come out. And that's the only thing that keeps them from floating away. (Are you aware of what's going on on the bottom?) Over the years, yes. There was quite awhile this year I wasn't aware of where we were setting, with the fog. I have landmarks ashore, and there are areas where there is hard bottom and areas where there is sand. So we try to keep the traps on hard bottom. You're fishing on this ridge for awhile, and the lobsters get scarce on it • then you remember another ridge where the lobsters are picking up after awhile with thejtraps away • so'we Known for Quality Products and Careful Service ' Jewelery and Gifts MacDonald Jewelery Limited 357 Charlotte St.. Sydney - 864-8318 piyji'piiii g??lf and Located on a particularly beautiful site overlooking the Bras d'Or Lake, Dundee Golf Course is a new professionally designed nine hole public golf course. DUNDEE GOLF COURSE AND COTTAGES are located in Dundee, Cape Breton, just 17 miles East of Port.Hawkesbury. cottag' Adjacent Dundee Golf Course Forty New Fully Equipped Housekeeping Cottages One & Two Bedroom Units [Can be Combined] Dining Room - Lounge Natural Play Area
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