An aspiring waterman’s journal. This blog journal will encompass my outdoor ocean experiences for the month of June 2020. I’m a commercial fisherman, spear fisherman, and surfer. These are my stories. Enjoy.
Day 2: Setting Nets
May 30th, 2pm, Rye harbor, outgoing tide. Work started late today, the winds were blowing 28-30 kn west, just a few miles offshore. The wind laid down just after noon so Jon gave the order to load up the boat.
From the pier I rigged ropes around three large ice containers holding our gill nets and loaded them with an electric lifter meticulously in order to fit them on the stern deck. After loading the 3 strings of nets, I began to bring down high flyer buoys(6) , End lines (6), and anchors (6).
Once the boat was loaded up there was minimal room to move around. Jon and I then set out 16mi. offshore to set our nets out for this upcoming month.
Above shows what seems like a hectic mess, and it kind of is, but its an organized one. This organization is key when loaded this much gear and setting it. Entanglements and improper set up can lead to some pretty dangerous situations and possibly the loss of the entire string. Thats why I intently go over the lines and their order to make sure the whole system goes out flush.
Once Jon finds coordinates where he first set the previous year, we begin to set one at a time.
Process of Setting– I start off with a high flyer buoy tossing it overhand as if a javelin over the goal posts (metal posts pictured above on the back of the stern. Rope begins flying out extremely fast as Jon is driving forward (approximately 275ft of rope).
As the rope reaches its last 50 ft or so I grab hold of the anchor. If I don’t time the throw of this anchor properly, it could injure myself or destroy the stern of the boat. I throw in a timely manner, and quickly jump to the other side (starboard) as the net starts to fly out between the posts.
The net like to jump to one side or the other between the post hump, I have to quickly react to these jumps and straighten it out in order not to twist the nets.
Once the seven panels go out another end line, anchor, and buoy was thrown. All three strings of nets went out smoothly and were placed perfectly. A good afternoon out on the water, we returned at 5:00pm to the harbor. Jon made a plan to meet on Monday to start hauling our strings we set. This upcoming weeks updates should be much more fish oriented as we start to fish the gill nets.
Surf this week.
Since all NH beaches are closed until June 1st I have been driving up to Maine for surf on a semi-daily basis. This week I juggled between two spots depending on which tide was present when I had free time. York beach , Long Sands, if high; & Oguinquit river inlet, if low.
The surf was pretty consistent with swells ranging from 2.2-4.1ft at a range of 6-9 seconds. The winds ranged widely, but the sessions I went out in were light on shore, and heavy offshore winds.
I hadn’t been to Oguinquit in a long time. The place is magical. Extreme blue/torquiest hues along a shallow sand bar. This break works on a hour in and out of low tide, and tends to refract right, but some left waves do occur.
This wave is a great wave for beginners, low impact lots of shape and speed with the right conditions. https://www.marginalwayfund.org/marginal-way/web-cam/ There is a webcam linked to the break, if you ever wanted to check the waves. I recommend view three and four.
York beach was also fun. Went out with some good friends for some great high tide rides. Between waist and thigh high. Crazy to see the differences in regulation of coastal areas in Maine vs. New Hampshire…
I also heard on the news today that this hurricane season is going to be extremely active which means lots of opportunities for summer waves. Praying for minimal damage that these hurricanes often bring in areas more susceptible to damage.
This week has been exhausting but I am excited to start fishing and hauling tomorrow for the season opener, and hoping for some local NH surf sessions too.
Thanks for reading ! Issue 04 and 05 out later this week with updates. In closing I leave you with a photo of a buddy with two slammer halibuts !