Lobster Fishermen After a Storm

Painting of two lobster fishermen in a dory, with sails set. The dory is sloop- rigged with a sprit mainsail, a typical inshore fishing dory of Maine and Massachsetts. The boat may have encountered a storm, tearing the sails, but the torn sail is more likely artistic license, or just an old one on its last legs. Both fishermen are wearing oilskin trousers to stay dry while hauling traps. There is a lobster pot in the boat and a small anchor in the bow.

The artist does not show up in any of the regular sources so may have been a talented amateur.

Malcolm Brewer Dory

16-foot dory, built in 1936 by Malcolm Brewer of Camden. She has the straight sides of a schooner-carried fishing dory, but is smaller and lighter. She was hardly used. The buyer took her to Noank, Connecticut and used her for decoration.

Lobster Fishing from a Dory

Lobster fishing from a dory. Note that the header, or the net opening for lobsters to enter the trap, is at the end of the trap rather than on the sides. There is a mackerel seine boat in the background, steered with a steering oar, along with a nest of more seine boats. In the background a number of fishing schooners lie along a fish pier. This photograph was likely staged, and was taken in Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts.

The Bank Trawl-Line Cod Fishery

Dory and crew setting cod trawl-lines on the Bank. From the latter half of the 19th century to the 1920s, this was the most productive form of hook and line ground fishing, finally superseded by power vessels towing otter trawl nets.

Long lines are made up in tubs with baited hooks on short lines called snoods attached every six feet. The trawl line would be marked by buoys at each end and anchored to the bottom. They could be half a mile long. After setting trawls the dory fisherman would run down their lines taking off fish.

The Hand-Line Cod Fishery

Hand-line dory cod fishing on the Grand Bank. The fishing schooner would anchor and launch a fleet of dories, which let the fishermen spread out from the ship. A fisherman could tend several handlines.

This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887, Section V, Plate 24. The book can be found on line at:

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