From the dusts of Sub-Saharian West Africa to the sea. Here I am with fifty wooden lobster traps built, and I have been in the process of cutting webbing to make funnels, heads and blinds for these new lobster traps. There is no small art invovled in this designing process. My dad has been doing this for 55 years and he is helping me figure it all out for myself. He made the designs before, and I built them. Now it’s up to me to decide my own patterns.
Here is a picture of the finished product of the webbing project.
Now that we have this sample laced up, and are happy with how it all looks we proceed to cut out the webbing patterns for the other fifty lobster traps. Have a lot of work to do the next few weeks for sure and have blisters to show for it already. Lacing them all up with twine is great for growing blisters.
People ask why we use wooden traps, for the most part, on Prince Edward Island. The answer is they fish far better than wire traps. With such a short season we need to make hay while the sun shines. It would be ok if everyone were using wire traps, and then there would be a balance effect. However, to be fishing wire traps beside a fisherman with wooden traps just does not work in your favor.
There is another side to the equasion as well. Call it old fashioned, hippie maybe – I don’t know. But I think a fisherman should know his gear and how to make it. It would be different if we did not have the time to build our own gear because we were on the water all year. However due to conservation measures, seasons, and the fact we are iced in 4 months of the year this far north. The fish (Not lobster) move off shore. So we have the time to save money. With the profit margins being so slim these last five years, it only makes since for us to save expense where we can. So we build ourselves.
There are a lot of fisherman who do not know how to hang nets, and build Lobster traps anymore. However, I am thankful I still have my dad around to guide me through the process. Lord willing, he will be around a good few more years as this stuff becomes second nature to me as well.
My oldest son is home from Toronto and will be my first mate this year. Been enjoying having him home and back on the deck too.
Anyway, the end result is PEI wooden lobster traps are now being sold all over the east coast by the truckloads. When we sell old traps, people line up to buy them.