George Young’s Interview
- How long has it been since you last fished?
Its been five years now since I last fished.
- How many years did you fish?
I fished for thirty-two years.
- How old were you when you began fishing for a living?
I was twelve years old when I first began fishing.
- How old were you when you stopped fishing for a living?
I was sixty-two years old when I stopped fishing.
- Did you seek further employment after you stopped fishing? If so, what kind of employment did you seek?
No, I did not seek further employment. I felt it was time to stop fishing. I wanted to relax, take it easy, and spend time with my family.
- What was the reason behind your stopping fishing for a living? Was it because of age, sickness, etc., or was it for another reason entirely different?
The reason why I stopped fishing for a living is because I wanted to enjoy life. Sixty-two was too old to still be fishing. I wanted to enjoy the time I have left in the world and to take full advantage of it.
- Was fishing at that time the main source of income for people in your community?
Yes, fishing was the main source of income for the people in my community.
- Around what area (location) did you fish?
The locations where I fished included Marches Point, Black Duck Brook (Blue Beach) , Red Island, Cape St. George (Caribou Brook), and other areas around the Port-au-Port Peninsula.
- What did you fish? (Lobster, crab, cod, etc.)
I fished everything that I could catch like cod, lobster, crab, salmon, halibut, etc.
- What equipment did you use for fishing?
The equipment I used for fishing included a wooden dory with a 3 Acadia gas motor and oars (paddles). There was no such thing as a net to catch fish, you had to use a hook and line. There was no fancy equipment like what there is available today. The equipment was good back then but it was very time consuming and was all done by hand.
- Was there a lot of fish to catch at that time? (Try to get a rough estimate at the catch size)
There were thousands of fish at that time. One could easily catch a couple of loads a day.
Arthur Harris and George Young
- Do you miss fishing for a living? What aspects of it do you miss the most? Why?
No, I do not miss fishing for a living. I love the water but I do not miss fishing it. I still watch the ocean from time to time, I like to watch the whales and other animals from the back of my house.
- Was it an occupation that you enjoyed to do or was it an occupation that you had no other choice but to do?
It was an occupation I truly enjoyed because I was at home and I enjoyed the good food it provided. A man from the United States visited the fishing area where I fished once and when he seen me, I was smiling so he gave me the nickname “The Happy Fisherman”. He nicknamed me this because I was the first fisherman he had ever seen who smiled while he fished.
- Was fishing an occupation that was kept up from generation to generation in your family?
Yes, fishing was an occupation that was kept up from family to family.
- What kind of struggles did you have to face everyday when you went on the water to fish? (Ex. Weather, lost or damage of equipment, etc.).
The struggles I faced was the occasional problem with winds, but other than that I had no major problems. It was good.
- Was the fishing season the same in the past as it is today? (Mention difference if any)
No, the fishing season was different in the past than it is today. Back then, you fished all the time, there was no season or no quotas to go by.
- How many people fished at the location where you fished?
A lot of people fished at the location where I fished, especially during the month of June. This was the busiest month because everyone came to fish lobster and caplin.
- Do you have any fishing stories that you will like to share?
I have two stories I would like to share.
- The first one is a story about a fisherman who fished at the end of Cape St. George. He liked to cook freckos in the little cave off the tip at the end of Cape St. George, when he finished fishing for the day and before the tide rose. One day, he was making his daily freckos and all of a sudden, a giant rock from the top of the cave fell down right on the freckos. The man was not hurt but his freckos were destroyed. After this, the cave was named “Lost a Frecko”, which was dedicated to the poor fisherman who lost his meal of freckos.
- The second story was about my father and Uncle John. They used to fish around the cove at the end of Cape St. George. One day as they headed out fishing around the cove, they ended up finding several crates of flour laying in the cove. They thought that they must of been dropped off by a passing freighter boat. They were so excited at the treasure they found that instead of going home with fish, they came home with the crates of flour. To preserve the flour, they had to dump the flour into barrels because the bags were slightly wet from being into the cove, so whatever fell into the barrels was good and whatever stayed in the bag was no good. They ended up filling several barrels full with the flour. Since people were poor at this time, flour was something that was of great necessity so to be able to find flour in a cove was something of a great fortune and something to greatly appreciate.
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