Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tropical Storm Danny

I'm home early today. Tropical storm Danny made it: "Too shitty to fish"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Big Lobster

The lobster's crusher claw was giving me problems. I forced it closed with one hand and tried to fit the band around the claw. I opened the bander as wide as it would go trying to force the band over the claw. The banding tool was just to small.
"I don't think I can band this one" I said to the captain who was watching me struggle with the lobster. He stepped towards me and I handed him the lobster and the banding tool.
"Grab the band" he said after attempting to jam the band over the lobsters claw.

I grabbed one side of the band, and he grabbed the other. We managed to get two bands onto the enormous claw.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to parallel park a skiff

The generally accepted method for approaching the wharf in the skiff has two steps. First, a sweeping turn 15 feet away. Second, allowing the momentum to carry you the remaining distance.

When sternman Mikey steers, it happens a bit differently. First, head straight towards the wharf at high speed, causing all aboard to worry. Second, ignore any verbal warnings given by passengers. Third, at the last possible second swing the outboard all the way to starboard and give it the gas. Fourth, laugh at the passengers as the skiff slides right into place.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Job

Here is a quick explanation of what I do, and what happens during the day.

We are both onboard by about 5:00. I go forward and cast off the anchor lines.

Back on the deck, I quickly put on my bib pants and gloves. I grab a tray (plastic tub) of herring and the Captain and I dump it into a wooden box above the holding tank.

I begin to bag bait. I grab about six herring and stuff them into a mesh bag. Once I have eight bags full I thread two each onto the four bait irons.

When a trap is hauled up I grab the old bait bag and dump the old bait overboard. In the trap there is a small line, which is pushed through a hole in the end of the bait iron. This allows the bag to be slid onto the string and suspended in the trap.

While I am baiting the trap, the Captain sorts the lobsters. He throws the keepers into a wooden tray above the holding tank. When we are both finished, I drag the trap back and place it on the trap rack. The trap rack is made up of several boards between the holding tank and the stern. It allows the traps to slide off the stern when setting a string.

There are eight traps in a string, seven of which are placed onto the trap rack. The last trap in the string is left forward with the Captain. When he is ready, he shoves it over the side. The line pays out and the other traps are pulled one by one off the stern.

While the string is being set, I rebait my irons, band any lobsters that were caught, and keep bagging bait.

It continues until the Captain says: "That was the last one." (Usually between 12:00 and 2:00)

The bags and irons picture is from here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maine Lobster Month

It's Maine Lobster Month.

So go eat as much as you can!