Tag Archives: Fishing

No Fishing from Bridge, circa 1940

The Railroad Bridge, which crosses the Annisquam River in Gloucester, was a crucial link to the mainland, carrying visitors, goods. The Eastern Railroad built the Gloucester line in 1847, and it was extended to Rockport in 1861. These fishermen seem to be onto the fish, but even today, it's not a safe place to fish from.

The Railroad Bridge, which crosses the Annisquam River in Gloucester, was a crucial link to the mainland, carrying visitors and goods. The Eastern Railroad built the Gloucester line in 1847, and it was extended to Rockport in 1861. These fishermen seem to be onto the fish, but even today, it’s not a safe place to fish from.

Gloucester Fishing Throwback- 1983 Scott Swicker, Hussey and Tuffy Fishing Wooden Lobster and Crab Traps Off An Old Wooden Novi Boat

Photos from Tuffy

If you don’t think those old wooden lobster traps weighed a whole hellova lot more than today’s wire gear then you don’t know much about then and now lobstering.


Look how skinny Swicker was back then…


Rubber Duck Public Service Announcement: Do Not Feed The Seagulls!

rdbirdIf you want to do something really cool, like feed birds out of your hand just go to the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and bring sunflower seeds. The volunteers there will tell you where to hold out your hand and sure enough chickadees and even a nuthatch will come down, sit on your finger, and grab a seed.

But please do not feed the Cape Ann Seagulls. It’s not the poop and the squawking. The problem is that Cape Ann seagulls are just as smart as chickadees if not a little smarter. It might only take a few days for a couple of seagulls to figure out that when a fisherman is on the point they might throw their bait in the water when they are done. Or they clean their fish on the rocks and leave the guts and rack right there and the seagulls clean it up. But the next day or the next these seagulls are bolder and they think all fishermen on the point are there to feed them. So they chase the popper of the next fisherman on the point.

Yeah, I just spent the morning with two trained seagulls chasing my popper. It sucks. Next time you throw your bait to the cute seagulls or feed them anything remember that cute seagull with a hook stuck in its beak dying a slow and agonizing death. Or a fisherman yanking her popper out of the water and smacking herself in the head with treble hooks.

And take your Dunkin Donuts coffee cup with you. Thanks.

[edit] I am getting quite a bit of back channel chatter about my usage of “seagull” as the name of the flying sea rats we have around here. Birders prefer just “gull” or maybe you have to name the species. We have herring gulls, black back gulls, laughing gulls, common, lesser and one we call Homie.

In Wikipedia they say: Seagull or Sea Gull is a common, informal, name for Gulls, sea birds in the family Laridae. Since Rubber Duck and I like to be on an informal basis when dealing with Homie and his pals I will continue to use “seagull”.

THE PREACHER’S SON —- The Story From Tuffy

30 miles off the north coast of Honduras are the three Bay Islands of Utila ,Roatan and Guanaja . Roatan , in the middle,is the largest and most populated . Roatan has a International Airport and easy access from the States. On Roatan there is a small town called WEST END . West End has many restaurants , bars, dive shops, motels and some of the best fishermen on the island. There is a Huge Almond Tree on the beach across from Woody’s grocery and that is where the fishermen gather and stay out of the hot sun.They can be contacted here for fishing day trips.Their boats are also moored there.Under the Almond Tree is where you will find my friend ENRICK BUSH . Enrick is a fine fishermen with a beautiful boat that was carved out of a Great Mahogany Tree by hand. The boat was carved 100 years ago and came from the mosquito coast of Honduras ( east coast ).It is illegal to cut these trees down now , as they are Protected . The vessel is powered with a 3 cylinder yanmar diesel. Enrick is a talented and hard working fishermen and learnt his beginning skills from his father .His father retired from fishing and handed down his vessel to Enrick . Enricks Father is a preacher in West End Church and has been his whole life ,while fishing. Enrick comes from a large and wonderful family. A days catch for Enrick can vary from – Wahoo , Mahi-Mahi , Barracuda and many species of tuna. He leaves twice a day .Enrick doesn’t just go fishing – he goes catching. It’s a blast and a great way to see a beautiful island by boat and come home with dinner .   If ever on the island ,you can reach Enrick @    bushenrick@hotmail.com      or under the almond tree

The Problem with Catch Shares Video From GoodFoodnH2O

This video was featured on www.fisherynation.com

I remember my dad telling me when I graduated from college and was at the crossroads of either coming down the dock or continuing my education to become an Economics professor.  He said- “Joey if you come down the dock, there’s always gonna be fish and they’re always gonna need a place to offload them.”  Never back then could he or I imagine how much they would have hyper-consolidated the industry and reduce the number of fishermen in our harbor by 80%.

So in the middle of composing this post Pete Mondello pulled up to load bait to go lobstering.  Pete doesn’t have any fishing permits any more and he tells me the story of what his father Joe the cobbler said to him- “Pete if everything goes to shit you’ll still be able to go catch some fish for dinner.”  Never did he dream back then that if he landed fish he’d get thrown in jail.

What our town was built on- the spirit of the independent fisherman who could get in the business by filling out a sheet of paper for a permit and get out of it as much work as he wanted to put in.  Now all that is over.  No young guy can afford the millions it will take to get started up in this business as a fisherman and within our lifetime we will see the complete transformation into few large fishing conglomerates from hundreds of fishing families supporting thousands.


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