Raymond Simonís Interview
Raymond Simon is a retired fisherman from De Grau. He has been retired now three years after fishing for fifty. He began fishing when he was only fourteen years old, and stoppped when he was sixty-four. The reason why Raymond stoppped fishing is because he decided to take the buyout since he realized that he only had one more year left before receiving old age pension.
In De Grau, he fished herring, cod, salmon, lobster and lumpfish. At first he fished in a little rowing dory but after a few years he began fishing in a outboard motor boat. There was a lot of fish to catch when Raymond fished. You could easily get about a thousand to fifteen hundred pounds a day. People caught as much as they could get. Raymond talked about the time it took back then to clean fish compared to today. Back then everything was done manually. Today boats just drop off fish at the harbour and the harbour employees take care of it. The fishermen no longer need to process and clean the fish like before.
Raymond misses fishing for a living. He misses being on the water since fishing was something that he really enjoyed doing. Fishing was an occupation that was kept up from generation to generation in Raymond's family. Fishing at that time was the main source of income for people in the community.
The struggles Raymond faced were the harshness of winds and cold. When Raymond fished there was no wharf so they had to be very careful while coming ashore because of the lops that could destroy the boats, also the fact that they could get wet. They had no winch only capsins. In regards to a fishing season, as far as Raymond could remember there was a lobster season which ran from the twentieth of April to the fifth of July. As for everything else you caught what you wanted. At the area where Raymond fished there were about fifteen to twenty people.
Raymond had a few things to tell. He told us a little story about the time in July of '74 when him and his father, John Jim caught a thirty six pound salmon in a salmon net. It was the biggest they ever caught. He said that some days they would catch up to a hundred and seventy salmon. During caplin time they would set cod traps and catch between seven and eight thousand pounds. For two days and two nights they would stay up cleaning fish because there was so much. They also used a hook and line, five lines of trawl. In the fifties, a fourteen foot bottom dory could barely hold all the fish they could catch.
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