Looking through my inherited collection of old issues of the Bay Times, the newspaper I grew up thinking of as my hometown paper, I found a treasure trove of baby-boomer nostalgia from Maryland’s Land of Pleasant Living.
I found a 1965 picture of my brother-in-law’s dad, Warren Coursey, preparing gill nets for fishing with friends Clayland Clark and Buck Hoxter.Used primarily to catch rock (striped bass) and white perch for the commercial market, gill nets are a passive capture technique, which means fish swim into nets that are not physically being moved by man or machine. Gill netting has been part of the Chesapeake Bay culture for almost two hundred years, and along with stationary pound nets, were a vital part of the robust regional seafood production for generations.
They were popular because they worked, and netting allowed watermen to harvest tens of thousands of tons of fish from the Chesapeake over the years…
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