Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Dory & Nets

David, Lachlan, & I took my Subaru out to the beach yesterday afternoon. I don't ever actually drive it on the beach (I like to keep it away from salt water), but I had just had Matt Tolson spray the underside with burnt motor oil and linseed oil (this is many islanders' preferred method of undercoating). I didn't actually drive it on the beach, just down the path, through the soft sand, at ramp 67 -- enough to coat the oil with a layer of sand so it forms a crust.

But we did walk out to the ocean of course. While we were there three commercial fishermen came by and launched their dory into the surf. A dory is a fishing boat with a narrow, flat bottom, high bow, and high, flared sides. They pushed the dory into the waves and two of them jumped in and lowered the motor. After starting the motor they crashed through the surf and started paying out their net (one end was securely anchored up on the beach). Once beyond the breakers they turned north and circled around. After little more than five minutes they had surfed the boat back onto the beach and almost immediately began hauling the net back.

They netted quite a few fish -- mullet, channel bass, speckled trout, among others -- as well as a couple of skates and even a puffer fish. They had been careful to avoid the several pods of dolphin that we'd seen just beyond the outer breakers.

Lachlan enjoyed the show, and especially touching the many fish brought into shore. Who knows, maybe he'll decide to be a commercial fisherman some day.

I didn't have a camera with me, and have been unable to find a photo of an Outer Banks dory on the web, but I did find a picture of a similar, New England dory. Click here to see the photo.

To see new items we've added to our on-line catalog, please click here: "What's New at Village Craftsmen".

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of the Community Store and other general stores on the island.


  1. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Cool Philip. Is that a common way of fishing in the fall? Does it have to be calm in order to fish from a dory?

  2. Fishing with a dory from the beach is not common, but not extremely rare either. I don't know what the regulations are, but I believe the beach is open for this type of traditional commercial fishing only at certain times. I, for one, wouldn't want to be launching a dory through the surf in rough weather, but yesterday wan't exactly calm either.