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The Poetry Of Fishermen Pulling In Their Nets

Transport yourself to a time when fishing shaped the lives of the people of Ardmore.

A time of comradery, hard work, and even beauty.

Compare life nowadays to the more simpler existences of fishermen.

Experience how it felt when they cast their nets for spratts in Ardmore. Enjoy the fruits of this description of fishing in Ardmore Waterford circa 1845 and how it conjures up an image of fisherman working hard on the seas.

“Look over the sea; the boats are out fishing. How pretty those look on the horizon whose white sails have caught the sun! There go others rowing out, with their nets heaped up in the stern. The snowy gulls are very busy, and very noisy, on the surface of the water; flying round and round, darting suddenly down with an enviabled, plomb, or, poised on seemingly unmoving pinions, they glide along as if by mere volition. That dark cormorant skim ming along the sea looks quite ugly among them. At this little rocky cove below us the fishermen are hauling in their nets, and their partners in the boat are rowing round it. The semi circle of corks floats nearer and nearer to the shore; and those men are calling to each other, “Tarraing! tarraing! (i.e. ” Pull! pull!”) Here is the net full of sprats, — poor, pretty little fish! how they spring and struggle in it; you may hear the rushing sound they make. How exquisitely, sparklingly, silvery bright they are ! And here run a legion of boys down the steep path, like goats, each with a landing-net, to pick up the sprats that fall from the large net while being emptied into the boat. This is a very uncertain bay for fish; sometimes nothing is taken for a long period, then for another while there will be plenty, and in great variety. You may sometimes eat turbot here in high perfection, just caught, and boiled in sea water.”

Spratt Fishing In Ardmore Waterford

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