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.
This past month has been wild. I juggled two classes with working long hours of manual labor and with only a total of 4 days off. I am ready for this week to be over, and it’s going to take a lot of effort to get there.
This week marks the earliest end to the gill netting I’ve ever had. Usually the first week of July marks the arrival of bait seining for pogies for the F/V Taylor Mae.
With record warm waters for this time of year the pogies have migrated up the gulf of the east coast through the south channel into the Gulf of Maine. This is our crew’s bread season.
In shore pogie seining in New Hampshire only has six boats that make up the fleet of the fishery. This means relatively low market competition and relatively high demand due to pogies being the preffered species of lobster bait.
We supply local lobstermen and local cooperative markets fresh local bait of the highest quality. The reason for a small fleet size and an extremely lucrative market is because the simply fact that it’s extremely hard and technical work.
NH has requirements that don’t allow inshore seins to utilize a powerblock (nets lifter) which mean the nets have to be hauled by hand. The F/V Taylor Mae has it down to a science.
With the transition coming sooner than expected it meant a lot of 14 hour days of work. Preparation is key, so on top of finishing hauling all our gill nets and putting them into storage we had to prepare the boat for the transition.
I’m exhausted. But I would never would think to use it as an excuse to complain. I’m lucky I get to have this job and the knowledge and experience I am gaining is phenomenal.
The last two hauling days brought calm waters and poor catch rates. Lobster’s are in shore with the warming waters. The timing to switch to pogies is perfect.
Looking back at this month I am proud for the school work I have completed, and effort into my job I have put forth. It was tough yet rewarding and this blog has by far been the coolest aspect of this busy month.
June 20th ~
- 65 lobsters
- 46 Dab flounders
- 3 yellowtail flounders
- 10 grey soul flounders
- 30 Whiting
- 2 monkfish
June 21st ~
- 26 Dab flounders
- 11 yellowtail flounders
- 17 grey soul flounders
- 4 monkfish
- 2 Halibut !!
Thank you all for following along and tuning into my blog this past month for the 2020 gill netting season. Pogie seining is tough work and hard to document because of little down time during the day.
I am excited to get back into it and I am happy to say our first two days June 22nd-23rd were super successful sets. 19 Barrels the first day, 16 on the second.
Here’s a video of someone who documented the fishery but they use a powerblock. If you are wondering what pogeying looks like on the F/V Taylor Mae just watch this and imagine hauling that net by hand.