While many of the settlers, including the JUNGs, worked the land as farmers,
others noticed a large resource of fish off shore and headed out to sea to harvest it.
It came to pass that the fishery brought notice and fame to Lunenburg.
The schooner (two masts with fore and aft sails)
was the sail design most commonly used.
The Lunenburg Shipyard.
This is a model of the schooner "Irene Mary" named for my mother.
Her father, Leo CORKUM, was the captain.
Handlining was the first technique used at sea.
It consisted of each fisherman putting a baited hook over the railing
and pulling up on the line whenever they felt a bite.
This was a laborious method to catch a few fish.
Longlining, when introduced, proved to be a more efficient method.
Short lines (about 3 m long) were attached at several meter intervals
to a line over a kilometer long. Each short line had a hook at the end.
Before sunrise, teams of two men would bait each hook and coil the long line
into wooden tubs, which were placed into dories.
After sunrise, in turn, each dory would be lowered over the side
and the crew would row away from the schooner.
The schooner would be moving during this operation,
and when there were rough seas running, the men would get wet,
if not for their oilskin outer clothing.
Each dory crew would tie one end of the long line to a floating buoy,
which was then thrown overboard.
As they rowed away, they paid out the rest of the long line.
Upon reaching the other end of the line,
it was tied to a second floating buoy.
Then they rowed back to the start of the line, where they pulled up the line.
Fish, if any were removed from the hook and thrown into the bottom of the dory.
The hook was rebaited and returned to the ocean.
Each hook would be checked.
Depending upon the number of fish caught, weather conditions,
and time of day, each line could be checked several times.
At a prearranged time or upon a signal,
each dory would row or sail back to the schooner.
They would tie up alongside, and with a fish fork,
toss the fish from the dory up into bins on the deck.
After empyting their catch, the dories were hauled
back on board and stacked on the deck.
On a good day, the decks could be totally awash with cod.
In the early days, the split fish were layered in rock salt, to prevent spoilage.
Later, crushed ice was used.
Upon return to port, the fish were placed into large wheelbarrows and moved to ...
... platforms, called flakes, where they were spread out to dry.
This is the Lunenburg fishing fleet at anchor during the winter off-fishing season,
picture probably taken about 1900.
Of all the many schooners built in Lunenburg County,
the most famous is the Bluenose.
In the early 1920's there were “friendly” racing competitions
between fishermen in Lunenburg and Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The Americans were perpetual winners.
Lunenburg pride kicked into high gear
and the Bluenose was commissioned to be built.
It was worth the effort - the Bluenose,
under the command of wily Captain Angus Walters, won every race.
The Bluenose was not just a racing schooner -
to be eligible for the trophy, all competitors had to be working fishing boats.
The Bluenose was very good at this as well.
In recognition of her feats,
about 1935 the Bluenose was featured on the 50 cent stamp.
Shortly thereafter, the Bluenose graced our dime.
Fishing is a very dangerous profession.
This memorial in Lunenburg
contains the names of all men who lost their lives
while fishing out of this harbour.
Germany 1728-1750 | Getting to Halifax | Getting to Lunenburg| Out Onto the Land | Andreas JUNG at work | My Ancestors | Fishing for Cod | Lunenburg Architecture| Headstones |
European Adventure Home Page
(Memoirs of two weeks in Germany, Montbeliard, France and Northern Switzerland
on a Genealogical trek to discover roots.)