Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fishing for information

It occurs to me that conducting interviews is a lot like cod fishing. You put some bait on a line, throw out a question, and hope that you pull in something interesting. What comes up can be a bit of a mixed bag.

After Claire and I finished our last scheduled interview yesterday, we went out handlining with John Ducey. It was a sunny afternoon, a lovely day to be out on the water. John steered us to our first shoal, baited up our hooks and we were off. Not long after, John was reeling in his line. Sculpin! An ugly, spiny fish. Not the face you want to see on your hook when it's cod that you're after. Try again. John got a couple of codfish, and Claire got her first. Nothing for me. Off to the next spot. And then the next. And the next. Sculpin were outnumbering the cod at least 2 to 1. I was having a hard time figuring out when my line had hit bottom, and what did it actually feel like when there was a fish on the other end of the line. I pulled it in a couple of times thinking I had something, only to find my forlorn bit of bait looking back up at me. Finally, I was sure I had something. Sculpin. 

My first catch - a spiny old sculpin. (Photo: Claire McDougall)

Determined to make our quota before the sun went down, we headed back to the place that we started. And all of a sudden, the cod were there. We made our quota in no time (I caught 3!) and got to see a beautiful sunset as we sped back to Keels.

Now that's more like it. (Photo: Claire McDougall)

I've made my interview "quota" for the course so to speak. My Minimum Allowable Catch of audio recording minutes. But there are a few sculpins in there. A few places where I wasn't sure where my line was or if I'd gotten anything. I'd love to have a few more days out on the water, testing out the grounds, and trying my chances for the big one. But our time grows short and I will likely have to make do with what I've got. We'll see if I can make a good sculpin stew out of it.

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