Category Archives: Bay of Quinte Tourism

LAST POST1!!! for My Fishing Adventure on The East Coast

My Fishing Adventures of the East Coast

Well the last day of my fishing adventure for 2015 on the East coast has come to an end. I came out with the intention of putting my head down for a few months and work hard on a lobster boat. I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. I have worked on commercial vessels in previous years & in various parts of the world. In 2002 I spent a summer working on a scallop boat in Advocate Harbour NS. shucking scallops. After my stint on the scallop boat, at the time the Captain had invited me to come back to work the lobster season. Unfortunately at that time I was unable to make the trip back out to try out the lobster season but ever since I have wanted to try my hand at fishing for one of the worlds finest high end sea food, as a deck hand.

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With the TV shows such as wicked Tuna, Deadliest Catch, Cold Water Cowboys, over the past 10 years and combined with the fact I now run my own fishing charter business which in my personal opinion is one of the best places to do what I do, chartering a world class fishery for arguably some of the largest walleye found in the world on The Bay Of Quinte. This peeked my interest to try and find a job for this past spring season. I was in for a bit of a shock tho, I had a false idea that lobster fishing would be one of the easier commercial fishing jobs that I would have ever experience and I was in for a rude awakening.

Maybe because im not as young and fit as I once was or maybe because truly Lobster fishing is actually a tough deal but I found this experience very rewarding and extremely difficult. With long hours (at least on my boat) LOL, Lobster fishing had quickly humbled me as I found I was not the lean mean fishing machine I figured I was when I looked in the mirror HA HA HA, Some 13 hour days 6 days a week lifting 250 traps a day weighing up to 120lbs each, sorting sea crustations that are trying all day to rip your fingers apart, Sorting through thousands of lobster daily, and banding up to 1500 (ish)  claws per day, hanging over the edge of the boat to hook a rope which are often stuck on rocks and pulling against the tide while trying to balance yourself through rough seas. Everything in nature’s power is trying its hardest to prevent the fisherman of Cape Breton from trying to help supply the world with some of the finest tasting seafood many have come to love and rarely afford.  But year after year these fishermen successfully battle the elements, and do so with dignity, and pride.

I was however fortunate enough to get a chance to see one the rarest lobsters in the ocean. the blue lobster, and not only did I get to see it once but on the last day of the season we actually got to pull up another blue lobster I think to be completely honest it was the exact same one we caught almost 2 weeks prior and released.

A friend of mine Jeff flew out to come for a visit and I was able to get him out on the boat for the last day of the season and he too was lucky enough to get the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the blue lobster being caught and released back to its natural environment, a very special moment for me.

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This type work is not for the weak, it is a tough job. But I would recommend it to anyone that are adventure seekers, determined, hardworking, has a love of fishing, loves being on the water, and of course does not get sea sick. I would challenge anyone who has never done it before to give it a try and see if you have what it takes to be a commercial lobster fisherman. And if you do then Cape Breton is the place to do it.

I will take a moment to thank a few people I have met out here I can only attribute my first ever successful season as a commercial lobster fisherman.

First to my new friends Liam, Boo, you guy’s to me are the salt of the earth type of people Liam helped me get sorted once I had arrived in Mabou Harbour he got the trailer working properly and helped me get my water tank filled up on a weekly basis among a tonne of other things you did for me without asking just because you are good people. Always willing to lend a helping hand, you guys are what helped make my trip enjoyable and I wanted to thank you for everything. your kids are amazing, Parker buddy, ill miss ya, keep your head up on the bike and hug Marry for me daily LOL.

DSC_0711Liam and I at the Cole mine harbour

Next Capt Andy, this individual helped me through the months as well. He invited me into his home for a hot showers and a meal on several occasions, He took me both crab, and lobster fishing while my captians boat was down getting fixed. I enjoyed every moment of your time I wish you the best of luck with your fishing charter business you are a hell of a fisherman one of the best, hard core, and a great guy in my personal opinion cheers bud. If anyone is looking for a wicked, tuna fishing adventure in Nova Scotia then check out Captain Andy’s charter I guarantee you’ll have the experience of a life time. Go to  www.rankintunacharters.ca or call him at 902-9452709 you’ll be glad you did, and Capt I’d fish with you anytime.

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Millan at the Downstreet in Inverness, you are a laugh for sure and the reason I kept coming back to the café, congrats on the new position bro you deserve it. Til next time bud.

And of course I must thank Captain Jody Rankin. Without you giving me this opportunity to kick my butt on the open water day in and day out this season I would not have had this incredible adventure giving me a memory of a lifetime. We have spent the last 2 months together, but we have spent more time together in that short period than I get to spend with my wife in a year. We fished calm waters, rough seas, been towed in from open water, worked through the break downs, caught lobsters, had break downs, worked through injuries together, did I mention the break downs HA HA HA. I hope we will fish again together sometime soon, I appreciate everything you did for me while I was here, oh and tell your wife she is an amazing cook LOL your a lucky man CPAT.  maybe if you can make the trip to Ontario one day I’ll be able to return the favor, and again thank you for the opportunity.

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There are many other people here on the island I met and wish I could mention but this blog would turn into a book so I’ll just stop there. But I will say that the experience of meeting some of the communities around the island I have never seen a more hospitable people in all the travels around the world I have ever been to and I look forward to making a trip back again someday. Thank you Cape Breton

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Some other people I need to thank here are my family. I have 2 beautiful boys that have given me their support back home and always support me in my adventures in life, it was very hard for me to be away from you guys for this long and I look forward to seeing you soon. And of course my beautiful wife Rachel, without your support and sacrifice I could not go and do these crazy adventures. There is not a women on this earth that can put up with husband like me I know, and you do it in stride and with a smile. I’m a lucky man,  I love you with all my heart, and I’m coming home, see you soon babe.

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I hope for those that have followed my Fishing Adventures On The East Coast, that you enjoyed the story. This was about my real life interpretation of what its really like to become a deck hand on a commercial fishing vessel for the Lobster season.  I’m sure I’ll be doing another one before long LOL.

If you enjoyed, please like and share my FaceBook Page, and /or  Comment below, if you think you would like to try your hand at doing something like this I would be happy to speak with you and my be give some helpful advise.

Tight Lines, and full traps

James Mathias

My Fishing Adventures On The East Coast – continues

The further into the season we get the harder it seems to be going for Captain Jody. As I wrote in the last blog our boat had been broken down, well things have not changed a week later. Now I’m not much of a mechanic but the problem with the boat I believe would normally be an easy fix, but with our boat, because of the age of it, it’s near impossible to find parts to replace broken ones. This problem proves no different, the captain had ordered a new tamper plate and when it arrived it was the wrong size. So the skipper drove to Charlottetown PEI and got the only machinist he could find to rotor the plate to size and drill the holes in the proper place so it would fit. After a 13 hour return trip we come to find the plate will not line up properly and the boat is still dead in the water.

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On Friday morning I got a knock on the trailer door to Capt Andy’s helper asking if I would come out to help them for the day. since our boat was still down and not knowing where my captain was or weather the boat would be fixed that day I decided I would go and help Andy out for the day and try and make a bit of extra pocket cash.

The day with CPT Andy and crew was interesting, I was able to see how another fisherman operates and with the extra hand on board the day seemed to fly by, it really made a huge difference. When we had returned to the wharf Capt Jody’s boat had not moved and was still dead in the water.

On Saturday Jody had returned with the part machined and ready to install. The plan was to install the part and be on the water to run at least half our traps by 2pm ish, but the mechanic we expected to do the job did not show up to do the work. It wasn’t until late that afternoon when we were able to find a mechanic to come have a look. Once everyone had figured out what was going on, the mechanic left to re-drill the holes and returned only to find that the part, still would not fit into place once again and we were still dead in the water, so off I went to the cole mines harbour to see if I could catch up with my buddy Liam LoL.

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Feeling that this problem with our boat would not be handled by anyone until Monday morning CAPTJody had decided to take out his Father’s  (Capt Wayne’s) boat on Sunday morning to run his traps and giving us fresh bait in the traps and hope there were some lobsters to try and salvage some of his loss for the week.

What a good way for me to spend Father’s day a 16.5 hour day on the water to take my mind off of spending time with family. To our surprize the traps were full. It made for a hard day re-baiting the traps as there was not a lick of bait left in any of the traps but the lobsters were plentiful. We even got a blue lobster. It is pretty special to get a blue lobster as they are extremely rare, just to give you an idea my captain has been fishing lobster for approx 25years and he has only ever seen 1 before, about 10years ago. Apparently this one was quite a bit bigger than the last one weighing approx 5lbs or more. After a few quick pictures we decided to let the beast go to hopefully spawn some more of its kind in the future.

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This was the 3rd boat (out of 10 boats) I have worked on in this harbour alone, since the start of the season. Well I came here for an experience and I’m beginning to think I’m getting what I asked for LOL.

just a random pic I decided to through into the mix LOL

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My Fishing Adventures On The East Coast (the week of pain)

Wow what a week LOL this week was packed full of surprises. As I had mentioned in my last post on Monday we started the week by breaking down and getting towed back to the wharf. Tuesday went fairly well however the weather was a bit on the rough side but what do I expect,  I guess we cant have great we ather all the time.

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On  Wednesday we fueled the boat first thing in the morning and I think we may have made it about 6 maybe 7 feet from the wharf when the boat lost all power again and we blew back to the dock and tied up, the day was a write off. both Wednesday and Thursday we were going nowhere as the boat needed a bit of TLC. as we finished the repairs to the boat at about midnight Thursday it was late to bed and early to rise so we could try and play catch up baiting traps and banding claws.

the wind was blowing hard on Friday and a north wind at that. The Captain seems to always get seasick with the north winds and this time was no different. as the day moved on and the skipper feeling ill he wasn’t about to go in as we had missed to much fishing time this week already. we were hauling  traps as we normally would when the rope tightened right up and stopped the hauler dead in its tracks, as the skipper reached out to the rope to try and shake it free ( it sometimes works), the rope sprung out of the hauler sending the 20lbs metal wheel (called the block) straight into the skippers head. hardly a peep out of his mouth he went down on one knee holding his head. I didn’t really see what had just happened I thought the rope had hit him, not the block. anyway with the skippers head bleeding and him feeling seasick he now had a giant headache to boot. anyway ill give it up for the CPT he toughed through it and worked the rest of the day.

Saturday was not gentle on us either with large rolly waves in the morning and rain most of the day another long day but the week was done for the Skip.

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As for me Sunday at 2am I had a knock on the trailer door to start my first day as on a crab boat.

the ride out to the crab grounds was about 2 hours of decent sea’s but by the time we were ready to start hauling crab traps the wind was blowing a north wind, about 25km North wind too.

as the waves hit the boat one at a time relentlessly throughout the day it slowly started making me loose by sea legs LOL by about 5pm the boat was going one way and I was going the other, I wasn’t sick but totally disoriented. I have now experienced lots of different types of fishing and this by far was the hardest longest 20.5 hours I have ever put on the water. at 10:30pm we were back at the wharf and I cant remember the 25foot walk back to my trailer, and believe I was asleep before I hit my pillow.

Monday morning came fast and furious at 4:30 am to start week 6 (I think) of the lobster season. The Skipper had somewhere to be and with the winds blowing hard on the Sunday the harvest wasn’t great so we were in by 3pm an early day for us. once we unloaded our catch at the wharf we were heading across the harbour to our regular parking spot when we lost all power to the boat again. me standing at the stern ready to jump onto the floating dock to tie off was wondering why the boat started going sideways towards other parked vessels I yelled to the skipper to PUT HER IN REVERSE when he replied ” I GOT NOTTIN” Moving quickly to push us off the other boats we were about to hit we managed to get the old girl nosed into the wharf and tied off. The Boat was dead in the water and the transmission was finally dead.

As bad as I feel for the captain about this, truth be told I was happy to get a day off LOL it has been a long week, with the break downs I had still had approx 80 to 90 hours on the water in the past 7 days. although I hope the problem can be fixed fairly quickly or the season may be done for the skipper and I.

 

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