Tag Archives: Cape Breton

My Fishing Adventure On The East Coast Continues

My Fishing Adventures on the East Coast

I have just finished my 2nd week of Lobster fishing out of Mabou Harbour Cape Breton NS. Atlantic Lobster fishing is not for the weak, this type of fishing is a lifestyle and a hard one at that. After my 2nd week completed I can tell you that this can be long hard hours on the water. Since I have started on day 2 I have had swollen hands from the repetitive action of banding lobsters for 12 hours a day. If you are not used to a certain type of work your body will let you know it fast, and won’t let you forget it either. I have had a bad bout of tendinitis in my left wrist after the first day of work and it hasn’t let up. If you have never had this before it feels like someone swinging a bat and hitting your wrist every time you close your hand, so every time I land a trap on the boat, gaff a buoy,  band a lobster, or anything that involves me using my left hand I get that feeling. I have battled it with pain killers and a tenser bandage but it only masks a portion of the pain.

Yesterday was another rough day on the water with 25km with gusts of 33km west winds it made for a rolly morning. As If the waves weren’t bad enough then our hauler (winch)went down after pulling only 30 traps onto the boat. The captain made the decision to head back into the wharf to check out the problem as it would have been too dangerous to go down in the engine room with the rough weather. Once back at the dock we checked out the source of the problem which thankfully was a quick easy & inexpensive fix and we were back heading out into the open water once again. As we headed out the weather had picked up even more as we headed out.  Try to picture this, as we headed over each swell when looking ahead we would see only sky at one moment then we would head down the other side of the wave and all we could see was water in front of us. With my life jacked buckled tight back on deck I went as we approached our next buoy in order to get the trap aboard I need to lean over the side of the vessel and use a gaff (a stick with a hook on the end of it) and try to use the hook to catch the rope underneath the buoy then pull it up and take the rope and put it on the hauler. Doing this in this type of weather with my wrist problem made for an interesting morning to say the least. Walking on the boat in this type of weather is like stumbling home after a good night of drinking but only your sober.

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Anyway it wasn’t long maybe another 30 traps were pulled and the hauler decided that it was time to call it a day as all we heard was a bang below deck and the hauler once again was not working. The captain decided to call it a day and we headed back to the wharf, 1.5 crates of lobster on deck was just barely enough to cover the captains expenses for the day but none the less we were homeward bound and I had completed my 2nd week of Atlantic lobster fishing. Once back at the wharf the skipper rewarded me with enough of the ocean crusteations for a nice lobster feed.

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My Fishing Adventure On The East Coast

Sunday May 17th 2015

Today I was able get my wrists and hand a bit of a needed break as it was my day off. Unfortunately for the crab fisherman they are not as lucky they work the lobster on Monday’s Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s, and they go crabbing on Wednesday’s, and Sunday’s each week until their quota’s are filled.

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Anyway today was the first of the snow crab to come in and hit the wharf, I found it very interesting as there were a bunch of vehicles that pulled up and a bunch of young men jumped out of each vehicle and waited around for the crab boats to come in. as each boat comes in the men are hired to unload the boat, with approx 11,000lbs of crab it can take quite some time to unload as each of the crab must be put into crates, then put directly into a large tractor trailer and then packed with ice.

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I was rewarded myself with a nice snowcrab which I made for dinner and had enough left over to make a crab sandwich for tomorrows lunch. It can pay off to be living right on the wharf, LOL.

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On Monday it was back to work and since the traps were in the water for a couple of days without being disturbed it should be a good haul. Well the day didn’t disappoint a good haul indeed while Monster Stalking the Lobter we were rewarded with a few nice sized ones. LOL

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My Fishing Adventure to the east coast

May 10th 2015

Today we caught word from the DFO that the Lobster fishery in our zone will be open as of Tuesday. This means that we should be loading our boat with the first set of traps by tomorrow May 11th, and setting them first thing Tuesday Morning.

Today was also mothers day, and yes I did get a hold of mom and didn’t forget although it is something I would normally forget. It seems that when you are away from family and friends for a long period of time that you spend a lot of time thinking about them so in my case I should probably head out more often, I might remember more important days this way lol.

I was not forgotten myself either today Capt Andy stopped in just as I was settling down to a big bowl of Kraft dinner with hot dogs when he stuck his head through the door and asked if I would be interested in heading to town and meeting him and his wife for a lunch, on him. I quickly put my bowl of KD and dogs in the sink and through some socks on and was out the door. We went to a community Hall in Mabou where they were serving a buffet style mothers day lunch CAPT Andy had paid for my ticket and the feast was on. An excellent lunch and meet and greet with some locals, some great stories shared and then back to the warf to help Capt Jody get the boat together for opener.

The New guy for our boat had also arrived in town today. A Palastinian / Canadian named Kallil ? I think, After helping the Capt with the boat I headed over the new guys place to meet kallil and to get his power and water on, I was half way from the warf and kallil’s place and I see a guy walking down the road a guy not from around here. I slowed down and the guy asked me how far to the wharf? I giggled and  I asked if he was here to work for capt Jody, he was about 4 miles from his new to him dwelling, and another 4 or 5 miles to the wharf.  Kallil’s car had broken down about 1.5 hours away, the transmition had blown so now he was here to work and no vehicle to get back and forth. Good on him to continue his way I thought.

I drove the guy back to his place and I got the power on, but not the water.  The place was a disaster. The landloard had not cleaned the place from the last tenant and it looked like the place had been abandoned and had had squatters living there for months. Cobwebs were everywhere, light bulbs burnt out in almost every room, the sheets and pillows still set up in the living room next to a wood stove and  made as if it were ready for the next squatter to crash out after their next drunken night. This was the place Capt Jody asked if I wanted to stay in for the duration of my stay. I told the guy to come down to my trailer for the night and tomorrow we will work on the traps and when we are done then we can sort out the water situation in his place and go from there. At least at my place there was a bed lol. This new guy had only brought a bag of cloths and a box of food no furniture and no bedding, we’ll have to sort him out tomorrow, looks like im not the only one out for an adventure this spring. LOL

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The Blessing Of The Boats

The Blessing of the Boats

Today was a special day down at the wharf. Father Angus of St Mary’s Parish in Mabou came down to the wharf today to bless the boats and fisherman of the harbour. It seemed to me this was a long ongoing tradition of the area, and a good one at that. However although it seemed that many people were numb to activity that was going on, and treated it as just a tradition, myself, I found it very inspirational, and rewarding to have been part of such a tradition. I have heard about the blessing of the boats in many other areas where I have commercial fished in the past but have never witnessed it before.

It is a tradition where the local priest comes down to the wharf and many or all of the local people/fisherman in the area come to pray for a bountiful catch and the safety of the fisherman that year. It is a tradition where locals come to support their local fisherman and remember the fallen, in years past. For me it brought back memories of the horror stories of fisherman lost at sea, and the close calls I myself have had. Knowing there is such a local support made me feel good I had landed in this small town for my next fishing adventure. With holy water flicked onto the Boats in the harbour and a short community social afterwards, the parking lot slowly emptied and I was back listening to the birds, the sound of the wind blowing through the rolling hills off in the distance, watching a few lone fisherman tinker around the wharf, and staring at the motionless boats tied to the wharf waiting for the season to begin.

I walked down to the waters edge, fishing rod in hand, and casted a line in to the water. As I sat back in my chair sipping a glass of wine and staring at the tip of my rod for any movement to happen, I began to take it all in, everything around me, the rolling hills, the Bald eagle soaring above in search of its next meal, (I bet it catches a fish before I do) LOL, the sea water beneath me, and the smell of fresh coastal air with a hint of salt. A true bit of Paradise can be found in Mabou.

There is still too much ice for the DFO to open the season although I have heard that they may be opening the season this coming weekend. Captain Andy and I took a tour to see what the seas were like.

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If anyone is looking for an awesome tuna fishing adventure this year take a look at the following and I can vouch for Capt Andy he is one hell of a good guy and by the word of the locals a great fisherman too.  Check out http://www.rankintunacharters.ca/ for a great day on the water and the catch of a life time.

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My Finshing Adventures On The East Coast

Day 13

Woke up over the past few days with about 5cm of the white stuff on the ground each day it has disappeared by about noon time and the locals have been calling it the poor mans/farmers fertilizer. I find it crazy to have this kind of snow so late into April. Again I still have my trailer parked in the public parking lot in Inverness with no power so you get the picture (its COLD ) apparently this is fairly normal for this time of the year.

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truck loaded with rope

Over the past few days I have decided to start working with the Captain and help him get all the gear ready for the season. Some of the guys think I’m nuts working for free but one of the reasons I’m here is to get the whole experience of being a lobster fisherman.  In life I have found that no matter what your activity or task at hand is, it is always easier when you have done the proper prep work. So my feeling on the matter is this. I can’t really know what it’s like to be a Lobster fisherman unless  I’m there to experience the entire job, and that means the prep work. Otherwise all I would be doing is taking a boat ride and hauling traps and sorting lobster.  No the real work is the time leading up to the season and the time to get everything put away after the season is finished. That is why I feel it important to haul and fix traps, hang and paint Bouy’s fix frayed rope, paint the haul of the boat, and any other work needed to go into the season before it starts. This is all the stuff that doesn’t make money and is a complete expense to the captain, also he normally does it all himself year after year with only the help from his wife Crystal.

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I’m super impressed with Crystal, she is super pregnant, and tough as nails, she is out doing all the tedious work such as splicing rope, tying string on to trap doors of each trap, and doing a general maintenance of all the gear, sometimes even moving the traps when she shouldn’t be lol. She also would be out fishing once the season opens, but this year she has a bun in the oven so to speak and that’s why I’m even here.

The Captain informed me yesterday that he has hired a 2nd hand for the season to help on the boat. Apparently the guy he hired is coming up from Halifax and has never been on the water, his last job was in a bank not sure exactly what he did at the bank but all I can say is good luck to him.

 

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