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half of the 19th century to the 1920s, this was the most productive form of hook and line ground fishing, finally superseded by power vessels towing otter trawl nets.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.

This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887, Section I, Plate 271. The book can be found on line at:

Database ID: 
Online access: NOAA
Geographic Location: 
Grand Banks
Goode, G. Brown