Charles Wood Bowen, Jr. oral history interview

Citation
Charles Wood Bowen, Jr. oral history interview

Material Information

Title:
Charles Wood Bowen, Jr. oral history interview
Creator:
Howard, Terry Lee
University of South Florida--Libraries--Oral History Program
Language:
English

Subjects

Genre:
Oral history ( local )
Online audio ( local )

Notes

General Note:
Full cataloging of this resource is underway and will replace this temporary record when complete.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Mr. Terry Lee Howard.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F70-00002 ( USFLDC DOI )
f70.2 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information

Format:
Audio

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
xml version 1.0
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd leader ntm 22 Ka 4500controlfield tag 008 s flunnn| ||||ineng datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a F70-000022 USFLDC DOI0 245 Charles Wood Bowen, Jr. oral history interviewh [electronic resource] /c interviewed by Mr. Terry Lee Howard.500 Full cataloging of this resource is underway and will replace this temporary record when complete.1 600 Bowen, Charles Wood, Jr.7 655 Oral history.localOnline audio.local700 Howard, Terry Lee710 University of South Florida.b Library.Digital Scholarship Services - Digital Collections.Oral History Program.773 t Florida Fishing Captains Oral History Project4 856 u https://digital.lib.usf.edu/?f70.2


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript
segment
idx 0
time 00:00:0.0
text Terry Howard (TH): Okay, my name is Terry Howard. I’m here in Sebastian, Florida. It’s—what’s the address here?
1
00:00:10.1
Mason Bowen (MB): Three six five—
2
00:00:11.0
TH: Three sixty-five Orange Avenue in Sebastian, Florida. Today is Thursday, October 11th, 2018. I’m with Charles Bowen and Mason Bowen. Charles is the father. Mason is the son, and we’re going to begin with the interview with Charles and Mason. Please state your full name.
3
00:00:39.9
Charles Bowen (CB): Charles Wood Bowen, Jr.
4
00:00:42.4
TH: Okay. Charles Wood Bowen, Jr.
5
00:00:47.6
CB: Yes
6
00:00:48.5
TH: Okay, and where and when were you born?
7
00:00:52.4
CB: I was born in Fortescue, New Jersey, in 1929.
8
00:00:58.9
TH: What date?
9
00:01:0.2
CB: March the twenty-seventh.
10
00:01:2.2
TH: March twenty-seventh, 19—what?
11
00:01:6.5
CB: Twenty-nine [1929].
12
00:01:7.8
TH: And name this—where in New Jersey?
13
00:01:12.4
CB: Fortescue.
14
00:01:13.5
TH: Spell that. Please.
15
00:01:15.0
CB: F-o-r-t-e-s-c-u-e. It’s on the Delaware Bay.
16
00:01:21.6
TH: Escue? Escue?
17
00:01:25.3
CB: Escue.
18
00:01:25.8
TH: E-s-c-u-e?
19
00:01:27.6
CB: Yes. E-s-c-u-e.
20
00:01:29.5
TH: On the Delaware Bay.
21
00:01:30.6
CB: Right.
22
00:01:31.5
TH: Okay. And do I have your permission to use this interview for publication in a book or article or anything like that, if I were to write another book?
23
00:01:43.3
CB: Sure. Yeah.
24
00:01:44.7
TH: And secondly, do I have your permission to archive this interview at the University of South Florida Tampa Library digital archives?
25
00:01:53.8
CB: Sure, yeah.
26
00:01:55.1
TH: Okay. And we already established when I got a little ahead, when and where you were born. Now, when did you start fishing? When did you begin fishing?
27
00:02:7.8
CB: When I was about 10 or 12.
28
00:02:10.9
TH: And where and what kind of fishing did you do?
29
00:02:13.9
CB: Fortescue, I fished—on deck on a boat, on party boats. All of us kids, boys, I think we got 35 cents a day. We’d fish on these party boats, you know, cut bait and baited lines—
30
00:02:35.4
TH: The bottom fishing boats?
31
00:02:37.8
CB: Yeah, they had to pull the anchor and all those little things you do and clean the boat up.
32
00:02:43.5
TH: For tourists?
33
00:02:44.5
CB: Yeah, they were—yeah, people paid to come on that boat.
34
00:02:49.2
TH: Okay. And before that? Like, how old were you when you started doing that?
35
00:02:56.2
CB: I would say 12.
36
00:02:59.9
TH: About 12 years old, they let you work on those. Thirty-seven cents for how long?
37
00:03:6.6
CB: All day.
38
00:03:7.8
TH: (laughs) Okay. And you did that until? You always did that? You always fished? Did you have other jobs?
39
00:03:17.6
CB: Well, once in a while, on the farm, we would pick beans and stuff. But, mostly, when—see, I think I was 13 when I—Buzz Garrison had a boat called the Storm King, and I went to work for him.
40
00:03:38.2
TH: The Storm King.
41
00:03:39.4
CB: Right, and we moved up to Brielle, New Jersey. That was up in north Jersey in the summertime because they got more money there than they did out of Fortescue.
42
00:03:53.9
TH: Got more money for what?
43
00:03:56.6
CB: Taking people out.
44
00:03:58.4
TH: Oh, for the boats did.
45
00:03:59.5
CB: Yeah, for the boat. I think I got paid seven dollars a day, and then I got tips from the party and, actually, in the summer up there, I would average 100 dollars a week. Now, this is back in the ‘40s. And, you know, working people didn’t make 100 dollars a week, you know.
46
00:04:19.8
TH: So what was the name of that boat again?
47
00:04:22.2
CB: Storm King.
48
00:04:23.2
TH: Now, was that—did he troll for fish or was he a bottom fisherman?
49
00:04:27.4
CB: He did both, but up at Brielle, we did all trolling.
50
00:04:32.8
TH: Brielle, how do you spell that?
51
00:04:34.4
CB: B-r-e-l-l-e [sic], I think. It’s [on the] Manasquan Inlet.
52
00:04:40.0
TH: Can you spell that?
53
00:04:42.5
CB: M-a-n-a-q-u-a-n [sic], I guess. It’s Manasquan Inlet.
54
00:04:50.9
TH: Manasquan, with an S in there. Manasquan. Okay. Inlet.
55
00:04:55.4
CB: Yeah.
56
00:04:56.1
TH: And he took smaller parties out.
57
00:04:59.3
CB: Right, six people. And they trolled for bluefish [sic] tuna. And then, used to fish for Boston mackerel, but we drifted for them.
58
00:05:11.5
TH: Yeah, okay. Don’t worry.
59
00:05:12.9
CB: Yeah.
60
00:05:14.8
TH: You drifted for Boston mackerel.
61
00:05:16.7
CB: And we chummed, and we chummed. And then, if we were fishing for giant tuna, which we did, we’d chum for them too.
62
00:05:27.1
TH: Now, did you do that commercially? Or did you take people to fish—?
63
00:05:31.2
CB: No, we were taking people.
64
00:05:32.8
TH: They would fish for the giant tuna.
65
00:05:34.7
CB: Right. Yes. So, you know, you would get one of them big tuna on, and you followed him for three or four hours.
66
00:05:43.1
TH: That was an all-day affair, pretty much.
67
00:05:46.2
CB: Right. And sometimes, you followed it for three or four hours and lost him. But it happens.
68
00:05:53.9
TH: I see.
69
00:05:55.4
MB: Tell him about that when you had to get in the water and make sure the line didn’t get in the rudder.
70
00:06:1.9
CB: Oh, yeah. Because we were anchored, we would be anchored up when we’re doing this in the ocean.
71
00:06:9.6
TH: Sometimes. Sometimes, you’d troll, and sometimes you’d anchor?
72
00:06:12.7
CB: But for giant tuna, we were chumming. We were anchored. And if a fish went underneath the boat—and the boat had two screws, two wheels—and the line would—I’d get overboard in the water and get that line out, so it didn’t get cut off on the wheels.
73
00:06:33.6
TH: They sent you overboard.
74
00:06:36.0
CB: Yeah. There would be a lot of hammerhead sharks. But, you know, they never bothered me.
75
00:06:44.6
TH: Well, that’s why you’re still here. They never bothered you.
76
00:06:47.4
CB: Yeah, they didn’t. You know, they didn’t bother me at all. And I guess, the sharks, there are certain times that they feed, and certain times they don’t, I guess. I don’t know.
77
00:07:2.3
TH: Okay. Were they there probably because of the chum?
78
00:07:5.6
CB: Yes.
79
00:07:6.4
TH: That would bring them in, too.
80
00:07:7.6
CB: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
81
00:07:9.0
TH: And how did you keep from catching the sharks on the hook and line and catch the tuna?
82
00:07:14.2
CB: Geez, I don’t know about that. We never caught no shark. We just caught the tuna.
83
00:07:20.6
TH: That’s interesting.
84
00:07:21.6
CB: Yeah, I think, if I remember right, we used butterfish for bait on a big hook. And that’s what we caught the tuna with.
85
00:07:32.4
TH: Okay, like, on a big hook? Did you have any lead on it?
86
00:07:36.1
CB: No just a hook and wire. And, you know—
87
00:07:40.5
TH: Wire leader.
88
00:07:41.2
CB: —and drifted out and the chum, straight. Yeah, and you’d see the fish, when you can see them down there, you know, swimming back and forth.
89
00:07:50.4
TH: The tuna?
90
00:07:51.2
CB: The tuna, right, and the sharks too. But I don’t know why we didn’t catch the sharks. I can’t answer that. I really don’t know.
91
00:08:3.7
TH: So you did this for how long? How many years?
92
00:08:6.1
CB: I did this until I was 18, and then I went in the navy.
93
00:08:12.1
TH: Now, I mean, before we go on to the navy, you did this for about eight years, then. So you were making 100 dollars a week in 19—?
94
00:08:27.9
CB: Forty-three [1943].
95
00:08:29.7
TH: Yes. So that was that was good money for anybody.
96
00:08:33.2
CB: It was. It was during a war, and the government gave us—you know, fuel was allotted. You had to have stamps to get it. And the government let us have so much to take these people out because they were war workers. And that was their recreation. And that’s how come that we were able to have fuel to take them out.
97
00:09:0.1
TH: Stay in business.
98
00:09:1.0
CB: Yeah.
99
00:09:2.2
TH: All right. Very interesting.
100
00:09:4.0
CB: And we had picture ID cards, which I don’t have mine. I don’t know what ever happened to mine. I wish I still did.
101
00:09:13.0
TH: Huh. Then you went into the navy. What year was that?
102
00:09:19.1
CB: Nineteen forty-seven.
103
00:09:20.7
TH: Okay, the war had kind of—was over.
104
00:09:24.3
CB: It was. Yeah. And we were in European occupation. We occupied Europe, the USS, until 1953.
105
00:09:34.9
TH: Okay. Now, where was your—? Were you on a ship?
106
00:09:38.7
CB: I was on the Charles H. Roan destroyer.
107
00:09:41.6
TH: Charles H. Roan?
108
00:09:43.6
CB: Yeah.
109
00:09:43.8
TH: R-o-a-n.
110
00:09:45.1
CB: R-o-a-n, DD-853. I was on that for seven years.
111
00:09:52.9
TH: Huh. And what did you do on the destroyer?
112
00:09:57.9
CB: I was the boatswain's mate—I’d maintain the ship anchored, all the things you do. You know, there’s tie the ship up or everything to work the ship.
113
00:10:9.7
TH: Okay. And mostly in the Mediterranean Sea?
114
00:10:20.2
CB: The Mediterranean, the Antarctic and, you know—
115
00:10:27.2
TH: The Antarctic Ocean that’s down south?
116
00:10:29.5
CB: Yeah, been there. Yeah. We’d go there and up in the north, too. What’s that, the Arctic?
117
00:10:35.7
TH: The Arctic’s in the north. The Antarctic’s in the south.
118
00:10:38.2
CB: I’ve got—I’ve got a thing for going across the Equator in the Arctic—I can’t remember what the—
119
00:10:45.7
TH: The Arctic Circle.
120
00:10:46.9
CB: Yeah, I forget what they called it, but we got, you know, a little medal for it.
121
00:10:53.6
TH: Okay, so you got out of the navy in what year?
122
00:11:0.4
CB: Nineteen fifty-four.
123
00:11:2.5
TH: So—
124
00:11:4.8
CB: First, I got—before I got out of the navy, I got married. And I had two girl—two kids. And the reason we got out was because they wouldn’t give me any shore duty, and I was a SEAL most all the time, and my wife would be home raising the kids. So we decided to get out.
125
00:11:28.7
TH: Okay. And where was your wife living?
126
00:11:31.0
CB: She was, at that point, when I was in the navy, she was living with my father and mother
127
00:11:36.1
TH: In New Jersey?
128
00:11:37.2
CB: And then—right. Yeah.
129
00:11:39.3
TH: So you got out and went home to New Jersey.
130
00:11:44.2
CB: Right.
131
00:11:45.0
TH: Did you fish there and after you got out of the navy?
132
00:11:47.0
CB: The first winter I got home, I got out—I got out of the navy in November. I went to work on deck on my father-in-law’s oyster schooner dredging oysters.
133
00:11:57.2
TH: Now, how long is an oyster schooner?
134
00:11:59.4
CB: Eighty-five foot.
135
00:12:0.6
TH: And he would go in the ocean—
136
00:12:2.2
CB: In the Delaware Bay.
137
00:12:3.9
TH: On Delaware Bay.
138
00:12:5.1
CB: Yeah.
139
00:12:6.1
TH: And he would pull—he would drag for these oysters?
140
00:12:8.6
CB: With dredges, we’d get like 300 bushel a day on his grounds that he had planted there. And we’d take them into the shucking house and unload them and then got paid for them.
141
00:12:23.1
TH: And how deep a water would that be?
142
00:12:25.0
CB: Oh, shoot. Twenty feet?
143
00:12:28.1
TH: And how did he know his area?
144
00:12:30.4
CB: They were staked out. Everybody had their beds, their leases, and they were staked up on corners with stakes.
145
00:12:39.1
TH: Buoys, I guess.
146
00:12:40.8
CB: They were wooden stakes.
147
00:12:42.8
TH: So they’d have to be pretty long stakes.
148
00:12:46.0
CB: They was, yeah.
149
00:12:47.3
TH: And they would drag a net, or a—?
150
00:12:52.2
CB: No—(both speaking at the same time) dredge with a chain bag.
151
00:12:56.0
TH: Explain that, please.
152
00:12:58.7
CB: Well, it’s an arm dredge. The dredge had teeth, a tooth bar with teeth on it. And then, in the back, it had a chain bag. And then, you—as you drug it across the bottom, it’d fill up with whatever was there: oysters, shells, or whatever.
153
00:13:14.1
TH: And how big—how big is the area that’s his lease?
154
00:13:18.7
CB: Oh, God. Let me see. In a square—
155
00:13:23.4
TH: Approximately.
156
00:13:25.3
CB: Approximately a quarter mile.
157
00:13:26.8
TH: Okay. And then, how long—once you dredged it, how long before you could dredge it again?
158
00:13:32.4
CB: Well, and then, every spring in the Delaware Bay, there was the southwest line. Above that was state bottom. And that’s—in the spring, in May, you could go up there and dredge these small oysters and bring them down and plant them on your bed and let them grow up.
159
00:13:56.5
TH: Okay, so you got the little ones out of the state waters, planted them on your bed—
160
00:14:1.6
CB: And that would always have—it was in May, the month of May, you did that. And then, you had them on your bed. And then, as they grew up, you had, you had more than one bed, you know.
161
00:14:13.1
TH: Yeah.
162
00:14:13.9
CB: So.
163
00:14:14.9
TH: Huh. So he—maybe a quarter mile was his entire lease?
164
00:14:21.8
CB: That was one, but that was just one lease.
165
00:14:25.7
TH: Oh, that was one bed.
166
00:14:26.8
CB: Actually, he had 1,500 acres under lease.
167
00:14:31.5
TH: Okay, that makes more sense. And each one of those small beds would be a quarter mile, maybe?
168
00:14:39.0
CB: Right. Absolutely.
169
00:14:40.7
TH: Huh.
170
00:14:42.0
MB: There’s some sidenotes here. In Jersey, you had to use sail.
171
00:14:46.2
TH: A what?
172
00:14:47.3
MB: A sail, right?
173
00:14:48.5
CB: Oh, no. This was—you did have to use sail, up ‘til the war started. Then, they let you have an engine.
174
00:14:56.8
MB: Okay, I stand corrected. Previous to the war, they would use—they were dredging under sail.
175
00:15:3.0
CB: They had to.
176
00:15:4.0
MB: And it’s an interesting sidenote that the man he’s talking about, his father-in-law—
177
00:15:11.3
TH: Whose name was?
178
00:15:12.3
CB: Ed Riggin.
179
00:15:13.2
TH: Ed Riggin?
180
00:15:14.5
CB: Yeah.
181
00:15:15.2
MB: They would have schooner races out to the bed every year. And, you know, it’s just a part of history, that this was a big deal that was taking place at the time—pretty, pretty pictures from that time.
182
00:15:29.1
CB: Yeah, and I would—the J. & E. Riggin was a schooner. The last race that they had was in 1929, and she won that race. The J. & E. Riggin, right, today is in Maine, carrying passengers for charter on cruises.
183
00:15:51.6
TH: It was 80-some feet long?
184
00:15:53.2
CB: Yes. And she’s there. They—the people that bought her—I don’t know how many years ago, but they rebuilt her. And now, she’s in their trade up in Maine. She carries—
185
00:16:7.2
TH: Charter trade. (both speaking at the same time; inaudible)
186
00:16:9.6
CB: Right. Right now, she is there.
187
00:16:12.0
TH: You wouldn’t happen to have any pictures of this boat.
188
00:16:15.2
CB: Oh, geez. I do at home.
189
00:16:17.3
MB: We do have them, but I couldn’t produce them for you.
190
00:16:20.1
TH: Well, I—not right now. But if you can dig them up, get them to me, that’d be great. Okay, so this is pretty interesting. We haven’t even gotten into your Florida. So about how long did you work up there in New Jersey, before you came to Florida?
191
00:16:39.5
CB: See, wait a minute. That was 1954. And we didn’t come to Florida ‘til 1963.
192
00:16:47.8
MB: He was fishing in the wintertimes before we moved to Florida. He needs to—because he started fishing around 1960 in the wintertimes. I was born in ‘62, and he’s going to tell you the story, but the fact of the matter is my mother told him we were moving here. And I wasn’t even one year old yet. So finish the story, Dad.
193
00:17:15.6
CB: Oh, let’s see. Where was we? We was—oh, golly. Where was we?
194
00:17:24.7
MB: You were in Fortescue crabbing, and—
195
00:17:26.5
CB: Oh, yeah. And when I—I got out the navy, and, the first winter, I worked on deck. But, up there, everything was by the seasons, from winter to summer. So I would add to that. I used to oyster in the winter and clam. But we used tongs. And then, in the spring, we’d net fish for shad and striped bass.
196
00:17:56.8
TH: Shad would be—that’s not menhaden. Is it different?
197
00:17:59.5
CB: No, that’s shad. Shad is not a menhaden, no.
198
00:18:3.9
TH: Okay.
199
00:18:4.6
CB: And then, in the first of May, we would start crabbing. And that went on ‘til, like, October.
200
00:18:14.1
TH: Now, did you have your own boat by this time?
201
00:18:16.2
CB: Oh, yeah. I had my own boat.
202
00:18:18.5
TH: What kind of boat? Could you describe it?
203
00:18:20.8
CB: Just a 30-foot boat.
204
00:18:22.4
MB: Okay, sidenote, this turns into the story of how he got nicknamed Flash. So let him tell you about his boat. (laughs)
205
00:18:32.3
CB: Anyway, the boat was a government haul, a 30-foot government haul. You rebuild it, and made a fishing boat out of it. And then, are we coming to Florida yet, or are we still—?
206
00:18:47.9
TH: No, you’re still at the boat up there, I guess.
207
00:18:50.8
CB: Right. Well, the first year that I brought the boat down—
208
00:18:53.6
TH: Now, you were crabbing from this boat?
209
00:18:55.2
CB: Yes.
210
00:18:56.1
TH: And what else? And dragging or clamming?
211
00:19:0.1
CB: No, all I did on that boat was I used it for crabbing. But I had a garvey, which I used for oystering in the cricks [creeks] for tonging oysters.
212
00:19:13.8
TH: A garvey, would that be a more open boat?
213
00:19:16.3
CB: Yes, it’s just a square-bow boat—
214
00:19:21.5
MB: Flat-bottom.
215
00:19:22.9
CB: Flat-bottom, square-bow boat.
216
00:19:26.6
TH: Okay. And then the other one was a government haul.
217
00:19:30.7
CB: A 30-foot government haul.
218
00:19:33.1
TH: Is that a brand, government haul? Or is that—
219
00:19:35.8
CB: No—
220
00:19:36.2
TH: —from the US government and the navy.
221
00:19:37.2
CB: The navy.
222
00:19:37.9
TH: The navy.
223
00:19:38.5
CB: It was in the, yeah.
224
00:19:40.4
TH: About how long was that boat?
225
00:19:41.7
CB: Thirty-foot.
226
00:19:42.6
TH: And it had a diesel [engine]?
227
00:19:44.1
CB: No, I had a Chrysler Crown, 6 cylinder Chrysler Crown in it. It wasn’t—she wasn’t very fast, but it got me there.
228
00:19:55.5
TH: Okay.
229
00:19:56.4
CB: Yeah.
230
00:19:57.0
TH: And that, and you ran crab traps with that.
231
00:20:1.2
CB: Right. Yeah, during that season.
232
00:20:4.1
TH: And then you brought it to Florida?
233
00:20:6.0
CB: Well, the first year, I brought it to Florida. At first—I knew this guy, Leonard McVey from Cape May. I knew every winter, he came to Florida, and he king fished down there, which I didn’t ever know what a kingfish looked like. But, every winter, he came to Florida, like, to Fort Pierce, and he fished.
234
00:20:32.2
TH: Leonard McVey.
235
00:20:33.4
CB: Yeah.
236
00:20:34.0
TH: I’ve heard that name.
237
00:20:34.9
CB: So me and my friend, he was a crabber too. And we decided to come down here and try it. And so, the first year, we came, and we wound up in Fort Pierce, Florida, fishing for Charlie’s Seafood. And I fished there that winter. I brought my family down, and then, in the spring, we went back. And so—
238
00:21:5.3
TH: Where did you stay?
239
00:21:7.6
CB: I rented a place on the Old Dixie Highway, north of Fort Pierce.
240
00:21:14.1
TH: A motor court?
241
00:21:15.3
CB: No, it was a house. We lived in the upstairs apartment, over these people that we became friends with—my wife did.
242
00:21:27.1
TH: Okay.
243
00:21:28.0
CB: But where were we, then?
244
00:21:33.3
TH: So you were going back and forth for a couple years.
245
00:21:36.1
CB: Right. And then, we decided to—we decided we wanted—especially my wife, she loved warm weather, didn’t she, Mason? (laughing) She said, “We’re moving to Florida.” And so, we did. And we left. And I had an, I think it was a—what was it? A 1959 Chevrolet station wagon. I forget. But the floorboards was rusted out from underneath of it, was going in and out of Fortescue. Every full moon tide, the saltwater would come over the road. And I had plywood, so the kids couldn’t fall out on the road. (all laugh) And we were towing a trash trailer with our stuff in it, and we came to Florida.
246
00:22:27.5
MB: So now, the sidenote here is Charlie’s Seafood would have been owned by Charlie Lowe, which was Steve Lowe’s father.
247
00:22:36.3
CB: Right. Steve Lowe’s father.
248
00:22:38.2
MB: The other part of this–
249
00:22:40.1
TH: That was, it was located on the causeway, in the south causeway in Fort Pierce, when he first began fishing for him.
250
00:22:46.6
CB: Yes.
251
00:22:47.3
TH: I might have a picture of that.
252
00:22:48.3
CB: Yeah.
253
00:22:49.1
MB: Right. And then, the other thing that he might want to talk about is, the fishermen just took him in, and everybody that lived there at the time. The culture was just a genuine, gentleman, Southern culture.
254
00:23:8.5
CB: Yeah. Well, the guys, I mean, they was all friendly with me. And they showed me anything I needed to know. Steve Lowe and I wound up fishing a lot. When there wasn’t many kingfish, I would bottom fish with Steve.
255
00:23:25.7
TH: For snapper and yellowtail—?
256
00:23:27.2
CB: Snapper and grouper. We used to we used to catch a lot of snapper, and we got 35 cents a pound for them. That was for chicken snapper. South snappers, we got 20 cents a pound; we had to cut their heads off. That’s what we got back then. But we caught a lot of them. And grouper, most of the time, couldn’t sell them. The only people that ate grouper back then was the fisherman, or else we did. Not ‘til the people got educated to eating them. Now they’re just expensive as anything, you know.
257
00:24:4.3
TH: And you used to be able to sell snook, too, back then.
258
00:24:7.4
CB: Yes, but then they—remember people used to fish off of the bridge and catch snook and sell them in Simon’s Restaurant.
259
00:24:17.4
TH: I remember.
260
00:24:18.3
CB: You remember Simon’s Restaurant?
261
00:24:19.2
TH: I do.
262
00:24:20.1
CB: Yeah.
263
00:24:20.4
TH: I do.
264
00:24:21.3
CB: Yeah.
265
00:24:22.4
TH: Let me stop. Steve Lowe has a chapter in my first book, Great Kingfish Captains in Fort Pierce. And his story is there. I want to say one thing. I came to Fort Pierce in 1971, and I was walking the docks, and I met two—they were charter fishermen in New Jersey. And they came down here every winter—
266
00:24:48.7
CB: Um-hm.
267
00:24:49.5
TH: To Fort Pierce.
268
00:24:50.6
CB: They used to do that, yeah.
269
00:24:52.0
TH: And, I guess, there were more. There were several boats that did that.
270
00:24:54.7
CB: Absolutely. Yeah.
271
00:24:56.2
TH: And they stayed lived on their boat. They had a big, you know, a charter boat with room enough to live on. And they would come down; they were partners and came down on the same boat, and they fished the kingfish run down here.
272
00:25:10.2
CB: They did, absolutely. And they had to pay money for their license, but I don’t know how much it was. I can’t remember, but they came every winter. And, I remember, one of them was a guy who was a sword fisherman, him and his wife. They had a swordfish boat, you know, with a big mast, and they used to harpoon swordfish up out of Rhode Island in the summer.
273
00:25:35.1
TH: I’d heard that. Okay.
274
00:25:36.3
CB: Yeah. And the funny thing about it, him and her—he had a sickness, he couldn’t sleep at night. And eventually, he had a heart attack, and that killed him. And when it did, he was up at—they were sword fishing [sic], and he was up. And his wife was rowing the boat, and he was up in the crow’s nest looking for swordfish. And he had a heart attack. And he died up there, and other boats come to—but she couldn’t get him down. But she couldn’t get him down. She had to have help. But that was the end of—
275
00:26:16.0
TH: Their fishing.
276
00:26:16.8
CB: Yeah.
277
00:26:17.5
TH: That’s sad.
278
00:26:18.2
CB: Yes.
279
00:26:19.2
TH: So let’s get back to Fort Pierce. So you’re down here now. Your wife brought you down, said, You’ve got to move and stay.
280
00:26:25.2
CB: Right.
281
00:26:26.1
TH: Now, let’s go back to why they call you Flash.
282
00:26:28.6
CB: All right. This boat I had, this government haul had this Chrysler engine in it. But it’d only do about eight knots wide open. So when we’d be out—the kingfish, the whole fleet, we’d be out. If we went out east of the inlet, and the fish wasn’t there, if somebody found the fish on the northeast grounds, all the whole fleet would take off and run up there. But they would all be there fishing, and I would come chugging along about a half hour later to get there, and—we used to have CB radios, and Steve says, “Here comes Flash!” Because I was so, just, the opposite.
283
00:27:16.6
TH: I understand. Steve Lowe gave you that name.
284
00:27:19.6
CB: He gave me that name, and it stuck with me through the whole years that I was fishing.
285
00:27:25.0
TH: Well, I’ve heard lots, lots of things about you. But it’s really an honor for me to meet you, Flash.
286
00:27:33.7
MB: Sidenote, he cemented that name and sealed it into history when he signed something at a fish house party, “Flash.” They were kind of, well, off to the races drinking at the time. (laughs)
287
00:27:51.1
CB: Well, the thing of it is, when the fish house made my check out, it was to Flash Bowen. It was, yeah.
288
00:28:1.1
TH: So now your checks were made out to Flash. (laughing)
289
00:28:3.3
CB: Yeah.
290
00:28:5.3
TH: Now, Steve used to say that the person that caught the most fish every day had to buy—
291
00:28:11.8
CB: Buy the bottle.
292
00:28:12.8
TH: Bottle of rum.
293
00:28:13.9
CB: Right.
294
00:28:14.7
TH: And they’d pass it around ‘til it was gone.
295
00:28:18.0
CB: Right. That was true.
296
00:28:19.1
TH: Okay. Then you’re the only other person that was there for that that I’ve talked to.
297
00:28:25.9
CB: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
298
00:28:28.1
TH: Except for—
299
00:28:29.8
CB: Al Tyrrell was there.
300
00:28:31.6
TH: And Roger Farlow.
301
00:28:33.4
CB: Roger Farlow.
302
00:28:34.3
TH: And Bill Farlow.
303
00:28:35.1
CB: Tony Stormont.
304
00:28:36.8
TH: I’ve heard of him.
305
00:28:38.0
CB: Well, he was a good friend of Steve’s, too. He was from Boynton.
306
00:28:41.7
TH: Okay.
307
00:28:42.7
CB: And, you know, when we’d fish at Jupiter, of course, we was always there with them. But they would come up, and fish with us, too.
308
00:28:53.4
TH: You’d follow the fish.
309
00:28:54.7
CB: Right, we followed the fish. But, back in the early days, like in the ‘60s, the water would get cold, like at Fort Pierce. And if you were going to catch kingfish, you had to go to Jupiter. Because you weren’t catching no kingfish in the winter in Fort [Pierce]. The water would’ve got too cold. And about, then, in March, the fish would start coming back north again. And then you could come back home.
310
00:29:24.7
TH: So what was your range of fishing from, say, Jupiter to Fort Pierce and then Sebastian?
311
00:29:30.8
CB: I would say my range of fishing was from—
312
00:29:36.3
TH: In this ‘60s.
313
00:29:37.3
CB: Yeah.
314
00:29:38.3
MB: Okay, can I—
315
00:29:40.3
CB: I’m trying to think.
316
00:29:42.1
MB: The sidenote here would be, you’ve got to remember Steve’s range because they got all the way up off of St. Augustine. Now, king mackerel fishing, they didn’t fish up there that much, but they did bottom fish.
317
00:29:56.9
CB: Yeah.
318
00:29:57.6
MB: They knew kingfish were there.
319
00:29:59.5
CB: Yeah, but we—I’m just trying to figure out how far south we went.
320
00:30:5.7
TH: Did you go to make any trips to the Keys?
321
00:30:8.5
CB: No, I didn’t go to the Keys. Some boats did. But I fished as far north as—in the summertime—king fishing as far north as South Carolina.
322
00:30:20.5
TH: You went all the way to the Carolinas.
323
00:30:22.3
CB: Yeah.
324
00:30:23.5
TH: And how far offshore would you have to go for kingfish in Carolina?
325
00:30:28.3
CB: Sometimes 40, 50 miles.
326
00:30:30.9
TH: At eight knots?
327
00:30:32.5
CB: Yeah, but, I mean—
328
00:30:34.5
MB: He had a different boat now. You’re talking, he—don’t forget, as time goes, by he’s buying new boats. He bought Steve’s first boat, which was the Chantry.
329
00:30:48.2
CB: And Steve got the large—he built it, got a boat. He built up for Lora, and that’s the boat we did a lot of fishing, bottom fishing, in. Out of Fort Pierce, we’d fish as far north as St. Augustine.
330
00:31:4.9
TH: Bottom fishing.
331
00:31:5.9
CB: Snapper fishing, yeah.
332
00:31:7.8
TH: Did you ever go on one of those big snapper boats?
333
00:31:10.7
CB: No.
334
00:31:13.0
TH: Okay.
335
00:31:14.0
CB: I went on a swordfish boat.
336
00:31:16.1
TH: You did some swordfishing.
337
00:31:17.9
MB: One thing, for posterity, at this point, the boats aren’t slow. Steve’s running around 18 or 20 knots in the Chantry, the boat that he buys from Steve. In fact, they used to have races and brag about how fast the boats were.
338
00:31:38.6
TH: They had V8 engines.
339
00:31:39.8
MB: V8 engines. And gas was cheap.
340
00:31:42.0
CB: V8 ship, yeah.
341
00:31:43.5
MB: I’ll—that’s one of the things that, as time has gone by, fishermen from my generation on don’t realize what these guys did and how far they went and all the things that they accomplished. It’s truly incredible.
342
00:32:1.1
CB: But we didn’t have—we just had a compass and a fathometer.
343
00:32:10.0
MB: But, now, Steve had the goods. Don’t forget about that.
344
00:32:14.9
CB: He had the goods? What, a fathometer?
345
00:32:17.0
MB: He had that first—
346
00:32:18.7
TH: LORAN.
347
00:32:20.2
MB: LORAN thing that the—
348
00:32:21.6
CB: It was known as Loran-A; it’d only give you one way.
349
00:32:24.6
MB: (laughs) Right? Well, I remember you getting that. But Steve had something even before that, didn’t he? It was a military thing.
350
00:32:31.7
CB: It was a LORAN, but it would only give us—I forget which leg. I can’t remember. But we couldn’t get a cross-bearing. We used a fathometer for the cross—
351
00:32:47.5
MB: Bearing.
352
00:32:49.3
CB: You know, in fact, I think it was better with the fathometers back then because we learnt the bottom, what it looked like. We could tell where we was at by what the rock looked like.
353
00:33:1.1
TH: On the bottom. Did you ever use one of those sounding lines with the paravane in them?
354
00:33:9.5
CB: Yeah, but to think of it, I was just thinking about how it’s—
355
00:33:13.3
TH: A Coke bottle and anchor.
356
00:33:14.9
CB: I was thinking about how Tyrrell didn’t—how he found the reef looking for turtles. Because the—
357
00:33:23.7
TH: The turtles—
358
00:33:23.9
CB: —the turtles may be over the reef because that’s where they fed. (TH and CB laugh)
359
00:33:29.0
TH: I have had a lot of good fishing around turtles. I don’t know about you guys, but I have.
360
00:33:34.1
CB: Yeah.
361
00:33:35.4
TH: And it makes sense.
362
00:33:37.8
CB: Yeah.
363
00:33:38.7
MB: That was the cutting technology back in the day. But, Terry, remember: some of these trips, Steve and him and a few others would leave Fort Pierce and end up off of St. Augustine. We’re not talking about a short trip.
364
00:33:56.8
CB: Oh, no.
365
00:33:58.5
TH: Like how many days?
366
00:33:59.7
CB: Two or three days.
367
00:34:1.3
TH: And you [had] no cell phones, no radios?
368
00:34:5.4
CB: All we had was the CBs.
369
00:34:8.3
TH: Oh, you did have CBs?
370
00:34:10.0
CB: Yes, we had CBs.
371
00:34:11.2
TH: Okay.
372
00:34:11.6
CB: Yeah.
373
00:34:13.0
TH: Okay. Well, we’re talking about a lot of things. But so you’re down here in Florida and king fishing. And one thing that—well, let’s go by the script here. That’s pretty much your biography and your fishing, getting started, why and when you moved to Fort Pierce. We’ve covered that. Type of fish you’d target. So mostly king mackerel. Did you get in—? Did you ever troll mackerel very much? Just Spanish mackerel?
374
00:34:42.9
CB: No, no, no, no.
375
00:34:45.6
TH: Net boats usually—
376
00:34:46.9
CB: Net boats used to catch them all the time. But no, no, we didn’t. Like I say, our main fish was king mackerel. And then—
377
00:34:56.7
TH: Bottom fishing.
378
00:34:57.6
CB: We fished, you know, grouper—
379
00:35:0.4
TH: Grouper and snapper.
380
00:35:1.1
CB: Yeah.
381
00:35:2.0
TH: Now, Roger Farlow told me, down in Jupiter, they would catch yellowtail.
382
00:35:8.6
CB: Yes, but Roger wouldn’t—he’s dead.
383
00:35:11.9
TH: I know.
384
00:35:12.7
CB: When did you talk to him? (laughing) You ain’t been talking to him, have you?
385
00:35:16.0
TH: But he’s in my first book. He has a chapter in my first book. I interviewed him.
386
00:35:20.1
CB: Roger was a good—Roger was the best scrap fisherman in the fleet.
387
00:35:26.5
MB: Scrap? Scrap.
388
00:35:28.1
CB: In other words, when a fish was hard to catch, he would catch the most on his jerk boat. He was a—
389
00:35:35.8
TH: He and Tommy McHale.
390
00:35:37.1
CB: Yeah. Well, Tommy was always getting bites, but he never said he was catching anything. But he would come in with a boatload of fish. (laughing)
391
00:35:46.5
TH: I’m familiar with that.
392
00:35:47.8
CB: (laughing) Were you familiar with that?
393
00:35:49.0
TH: I am familiar.
394
00:35:50.5
CB: He said, “I’ll tell you, I’m getting bites.” (laughs)
395
00:35:52.7
TH: Okay, and the bait you used early on? All I’ve heard is—
396
00:36:0.6
CB: Mullet.
397
00:36:1.9
TH: Mullet. Later on, they started using—
398
00:36:5.2
CB: Pogies.
399
00:36:5.9
TH: Pogies.
400
00:36:6.9
CB: You know that, at Fort Pierce, we always used mullet. And so, when Elmer Stokes and a couple other guys at Sebastian were net fishing. Well, they started king fishing. And they used pogies. And so, we got together with them, and we started using pogies. And so, finally, actually, I guess, pogies are the main [bait], more than mullet now.
401
00:36:31.4
TH: Oh, it’s just back and forth, whatever is available. But a lot of people like the yellowtail and the pogies.
402
00:36:38.6
CB: You’re right.
403
00:36:40.3
TH: Well, the pogies are manhaden.
404
00:36:45.5
CB: Right, menhaden.
405
00:36:47.0
TH: That’s what they’re known for. That’s what they bring.
406
00:36:49.6
CB: Yeah.
407
00:36:50.3
TH: Okay, so that’s the main bait. And what kind of spoons? A lot of times, if you can get them on spoons, you didn’t use bait.
408
00:36:56.9
CB: I used drum spoons, three and a half drum spoons.
409
00:36:59.9
TH: Okay. I use those today, myself. That’s all I use.
410
00:37:3.6
CB: Yeah. Well, you know, as a matter of fact, back in the ‘60s, in the wintertime, we didn’t ever used use bait. We used spoons and a jerk bug. That was it. It was later years that we started using bait in the winter.
411
00:37:20.3
TH: Okay. All right. So—
412
00:37:26.6
CB: And Al Tyrrell was one of the first ones that insisted on using bait in the winter.
413
00:37:31.4
TH: He started using bait?
414
00:37:33.0
CB: Yes, he did. (laughs)
415
00:37:39.3
TH: Interesting. Now, one thing that Roger told me, Roger Farlow and Steve Lowe, they said that there were times—and it was often—that, first, they could troll straight out from the Fort Pierce inlet and straight back in and load the boat, without ever circling. Do you recall any times like that?
416
00:38:7.1
CB: No. Not, not—I mean, no. I don’t know where the hell they got that. Straight out and straight back.
417
00:38:13.6
TH: He could just troll in a straight line. There was a few times when the fish were so thick that he could catch it. Now, the other thing is, have you fished when the old paper recorder showed solid black in your entire circle?
418
00:38:30.6
CB: Right.
419
00:38:31.3
TH: And I was talking to Bill Farlow—not Bill Farlow, Billy Baird.
420
00:38:37.2
CB: Bill Baird, yeah.
421
00:38:38.5
TH: He said they used to—there were times when they put their boat in a circle. And, especially, he talked about, especially up off Sebastian, where they didn’t even stay on a spot. They just drifted with their circle, and it was solid black, and they caught fish as fast as they could.
422
00:38:57.1
CB: Well, we used to have 3 and 400-pound circles with spoons. And you’d catch 3 or 400 pounds, they stopped biting, and you moved another couple hundred yards and get them in another circle. Yes, we did that.
423
00:39:17.1
TH: And, like, what would be your biggest catch by yourself, out there?
424
00:39:24.5
CB: I think 3,200.
425
00:39:26.0
TH: That’s about what Bill Farlow said, and that was he and his brother. And you just, when you catch 3,200, they’re just biting one after another.
426
00:39:35.5
CB: Oh, yeah. Fast as you can pull them on short spoons.
427
00:39:38.7
TH: Short spoons. Describe what you’re talking about.
428
00:39:41.3
CB: Ten and 12. And we used to use—
429
00:39:45.6
TH: Wait, 10 and 12 feet behind the paravane?
430
00:39:49.4
CB: Well, actually, on the stern, we used cannon balls.
431
00:39:52.5
TH: Yeah.
432
00:39:54.2
CB: We had them 10 to 12 feet. And then, on the outriggers, we’d have a paravane and probably 15 and 20.
433
00:40:3.3
TH: Twenty feet behind the paravane? Wait, let’s—for somebody that doesn’t know anything about king fishing. You have outriggers, and you have the outriggers are attached to a cable.
434
00:40:18.9
CB: Right.
435
00:40:19.2
TH: Is that correct?
436
00:40:19.7
CB: Yeah.
437
00:40:20.6
TH: And how long, when the fish—in the day, when you were catching fish like you’re talking about, how long would the cables be? The cables would’ve—
438
00:40:30.4
CB: Twelve, 15 feet.
439
00:40:33.1
TH: And they would go to paravanes.
440
00:40:34.3
CB: To a paravane, and then you have, like, 20 feet behind the paravane.
441
00:40:38.1
TH: A paravane is a planer.
442
00:40:39.6
CB: It’s a planer, right.
443
00:40:40.6
TH: And about 20 feet behind us.
444
00:40:42.6
CB: And then, on this corner of your stern, you’d have a cannonball on each corner. And you’d have, like 10 and 12—10 feet to the cannonball and 12 feet behind it to a spoon, and when you—
445
00:40:56.4
TH: So you would have four spoons out there?
446
00:40:59.0
CB: That’s right. But when you were circling, catching fish, you were just pulling these cannonballs and dragging fish on the others. Until the fish, when he died on that outrigger, he’d come just to the surface. You’d pull him in and throw it.
447
00:41:16.4
TH: So that was the procedure.
448
00:41:17.8
CB: Yes.
449
00:41:18.1
TH: You just keep working the cannonballs and lift it out, once—outside—when it’s dragged.
450
00:41:22.2
CB: Yeah because, as fast as you pulled one, there was one on the other one. I mean, you just went from one to one, back and forth, back and forth as hard as you could pull them. And the faster you pulled them, the longer the fish would stay with you. I mean, they would jump right at the spoon, right here behind the stern. You know, fish were jumping. (inaudible) things I’ve caught—
451
00:41:46.5
TH: So if you just hung a spoon over the side when they’re biting like that—
452
00:41:50.6
CB: They would be jumping at them when they were behind your boat. If I had to—I caught two fish on one spoon. One fish, he swallowed the spoon; it come out his gill, and another fish got on the hook.
453
00:42:6.7
TH: I’ve never heard of that.
454
00:42:7.7
CB: Yeah, that was the only time it ever happened, but once. But it did happen.
455
00:42:12.6
MB: As a sidenote, and I’m just saying this because I’m proud of my father. In fact, we were talking about big catches and big years, and let him tell you about—because Charlie Lowe would keep track of who caught what. And I just found it interesting. He might want to tell you that.
456
00:42:37.8
CB: Well, this just happened one year. Charlie Lowe wanted, more or less, a contest between us fishermen. So he kept each of our—how many pounds we caught. And Steve won it with 90-some thousand. And BC Davis was a little behind him, and I was a little behind him. I’d come in third, with 80-some thousand pounds a year.
457
00:43:6.5
MB: Hook and line.
458
00:43:7.2
CB: Hook and line.
459
00:43:7.8
MB: (laughing) Eighty-five thousand pounds.
460
00:43:9.4
TH: That’s a lot of fish to pull.
461
00:43:10.8
CB: Yeah. But, you know, it is. But we used to get 12 cents a pound.
462
00:43:19.1
TH: So you had to get a whole lot of fish.
463
00:43:21.2
CB: 12, that’s right. If you—
464
00:43:26.2
TH: You, you—
465
00:43:27.1
CB: You know, 12 cents a pound. That’s what we got in the winter time.
466
00:43:31.9
TH: So let’s just fast-forward. Today, how much cable do you use? And then, on your paravane—to your paravanes, and then how much line to your paravanes to do you pull today?
467
00:43:48.2
CB: You tell him because he’s fishing, and I ain’t.
468
00:43:53.1
MB: You use as much as you got to. (laughs)
469
00:43:54.7
CB: Yeah, that’s right.
470
00:43:56.9
MB: But I will say this. We have our moments where we can shorten up, in the winter time. I mean, some people think that you’ve got to fish big, long lines all the time. But we will shorten them up, and we will catch them very quickly because that’s the way he taught me. That’s the way I taught my son. And it’s the way I enjoy to fish.
471
00:44:25.7
TH: When you say, “Shorten up,” how short do you shorten them?
472
00:44:28.0
MB: Okay—
473
00:44:29.3
TH: I mean, when they’re really biting well, I guess.
474
00:44:33.2
MB: Well, I’m not the long line guy. So, normally, if I’ve got a fishing cable longer than 40 feet, I feel like I’m being punished. That would be the longest cable. But I will fish longer, if I need to. And then—
475
00:44:46.4
TH: The cable? Forty to the paravane?
476
00:44:49.4
MB: To the paravane.
477
00:44:49.9
TH: And then how much line behind that?
478
00:44:51.4
MB: Well, it depends on time of year. Summertime, I’m going to be fishing around 100 feet behind the paravane. In the wintertime, we will get it down to 65 feet.
479
00:45:1.7
CB: Yeah, but you don’t fish no 40-foot cable all the time. In the winter—
480
00:45:7.6
MB: In the winter time, me and you are trying to catch them on the bug. And we ain’t even got that inside cable in. But it would be 40-footer.
481
00:45:14.4
CB: Yeah, but the outside is, what, 20-foot?
482
00:45:17.0
MB: Twenty, yeah.
483
00:45:18.0
CB: You have a 20 foot cable, yeah.
484
00:45:20.2
TH: On the outside.
485
00:45:21.6
CB: Yeah.
486
00:45:22.2
TH: So then, you keep outside line out there when you’re bug fishing?
487
00:45:25.5
MB: Right.
488
00:45:26.1
CB: Yes, because there are two of us. So you’d be tangled up the whole time.
489
00:45:29.7
TH: Got you.
490
00:45:30.4
CB: Yeah.
491
00:45:31.3
TH: All right. So let’s see, so—
492
00:45:33.2
CB: But I would tell you, Bill Farlow—one time, I said, “Bill”—because he’s the best bug fisherman, right?
493
00:45:40.8
TH: Bug fisherman?
494
00:45:42.5
CB: Jerk bug. He was. And I asked him about the jerk bug. And he said, “You know as much about this bug as I do, but I know when to use it. I know when to do this and when to do that. And that’s what you’ve got to learn.” I mean, I knew about the bugs, all of that. But I didn’t know when to use it to catch the fish like he did. I learned later, but—
495
00:46:10.3
TH: Well, when do you use the bug? How do you know when to use it?
496
00:46:14.3
CB: When the fish will bite it. (MB and TH laugh)
497
00:46:19.3
CB: You’ve got to bring it. Find out where they’ll bite it.
498
00:46:24.4
TH: Oh, you mean on the depth.
499
00:46:25.7
CB: No. When you put it out, you’ve got it at 50 feet, 100 feet, wherever; they’ll bite it. You could get them as short as you can.
500
00:46:33.7
TH: Interesting. But how do you know when they’re going bite the bug and not the paravane?
501
00:46:39.7
CB: Well, usually, you need clear water. When the water is real clear.
502
00:46:47.3
TH: Clear water works better for the bug?
503
00:46:50.0
CB: Yeah.
504
00:46:50.6
TH: Okay.
505
00:46:51.4
CB: But me and Ronnie Baird, one time, we was out on (inaudible) just the two of us. And the water looked like the Mississippi River. And you would’ve sworn that you ain’t catching no fish on the bug there. And I’ll be damned if we didn’t kill them fish on like a 120-foot jerk line in that muddy water. Who knows? But that was one time. That was only once.
506
00:47:20.6
TH: That doesn’t happen often.
507
00:47:22.3
CB: No, it don’t happen often.
508
00:47:24.1
TH: Okay. So you’ve talked about the procedures, the type of fish, how to fish. And how has fishing changed? What factors have changed fishing? And how has it changed in your lifetime?
509
00:47:44.3
CB: I don’t think it’s changed much, except they fish longer behind the boat than they used to.
510
00:47:50.1
TH: Longer lines?
511
00:47:50.9
CB: Yeah.
512
00:47:51.7
TH: How about the supply of fish?
513
00:47:55.8
CB: Well, it’s hard to say because we’re only allowed to catch so many now. Back in the ’60s, the net boats—the state of Florida produced ten million pounds of kingfish a year. The net boats caught seven million pounds, the hook and line boats caught three million pounds. That was in the ’60s. I don’t know what they’re doing now because you’re—what do you call it? You’ve got the—
514
00:48:29.3
TH: Quotas.
515
00:48:30.2
CB: Quotas, yeah. You’re on a quota. Back then, we could just catch all we wanted to.
516
00:48:35.7
TH: When you started fishing, what kind of regulations were—?
517
00:48:39.6
CB: I didn’t think there was any.
518
00:48:42.1
TH: I didn’t either.
519
00:48:43.1
MB: So—
520
00:48:44.1
CB: (laughing) I don’t know. If there was, I don’t remember what they was.
521
00:48:47.9
MB: Talking about quantities of fish, and, in the wintertime, they certainly had quantities for him to use spoons the way they did. But the one thing, which should be remembered, they fished in the summertime too. And the summertime was like our summertimes. There was picky-scrappy. It wasn’t like you were going to go catch 3,000 in the summertimes. So tell them the difference between seasons and quantities that you might see through that.
522
00:49:26.9
CB: Now, let’s get this in there.
523
00:49:29.0
MB: Okay.
524
00:49:29.7
CB: Back when we were first fishing, in the ’60s, here, most king fishermen did not fish in the summer. They, like Frankie Bragg, they did electrical work, they carpentered. But they didn’t fish in the summer. There was only a few of us, like Steve and us there at Fort Pierce. There was only three or four of us that fished in the summer. And the difference in—like, we got 12 cents a pound in the winter. In the summer, we’d get like 24 cents.
525
00:50:2.8
TH: So almost double. They were—you got better paid for the fish in the summer, per pound.
526
00:50:9.8
CB: Right.
527
00:50:10.1
MB: And tell them about how much you would catch.
528
00:50:12.4
CB: We’d get seven [hundred] or 800 pounds, but in the summertime. It wasn’t—
529
00:50:23.2
TH: You’d catch fewer fish, and they’d be worth more.
530
00:50:24.9
CB: Way fewer, way fewer than you did in the winter. Yeah.
531
00:50:29.1
MB: What about—
532
00:50:30.8
TH: But, every day, would you get four [hundred] or 500 pounds?
533
00:50:33.4
CB: Yes. Well, mostly, but today—but when you didn’t, then, the next day, we’d go snapper fishing. You know what I’m saying? We could do anything we wanted to. We didn’t have to have a license for everything. If our kingfish got sly, we’d go snapper and grouper fishing.
534
00:50:57.8
MB: Tell him, as a sidenote, because I don’t think that people appreciate this either. They would run out of Fort Pierce in the summertime. Okay, now, you’ve got to remember, they’re going 15, 16 knots. And they would run up and fish off of Sebastian and run all the way back.
535
00:51:18.7
CB: Oh, yeah.
536
00:51:19.7
MB: I mean, they had buoys.
537
00:51:22.0
CB: Right.
538
00:51:22.9
MB: If you ran across fish, you threw the buoy. I mean, these were things that took place back in those days.
539
00:51:29.5
TH: Instead of having—let’s describe this. Instead of having, like, today, we have an environment machine. You can mark where you fished the day before, and it’ll track right to that spot. Back in the day, you’d throw a buoy. And sometimes, did you ever leave a buoy and try and find it the next day?
540
00:51:49.3
CN: Yeah. We’d just see the Clorox jug with a 100-pound—or 100-foot line on it with a sash weight. And then, you’d—you know, we didn’t have these machines that you could stay in one place. But that buoy always stayed in one place.
541
00:52:7.9
TH: And if you caught two or three fish on a line, you’d throw the buoy, or if you had a good mark.
542
00:52:12.5
CB: Right. But I can’t ever remember leaving a buoy. I mean, we picked it up. I didn’t leave it there. The bottom fishing boat, there was a bottom fishing boat that missed Sebastian. He was on the south end of that bar. He had buoys all over that south end of the bar. He was out there every day with his party, bottom fishing.
543
00:52:38.5
TH: From one buoy to the next.
544
00:52:39.7
CB: Yeah.
545
00:52:40.4
TH: Okay. So I guess what I’m looking for is change in fish populations and fisheries during your time on the water. I guess, what impact did the nets have on kingfish, the huge populations of kingfish?
546
00:53:0.3
CB: Well, back when we were, like, in the ’60s and the ’70s, the net boats used to fish inshore, over on the west coast. They had a run of fish—
547
00:53:13.6
TH: Kingfish.
548
00:53:14.3
CB: Kingfish. As the fish were offshore, they kept getting deeper nets. And so, they’d come around on the east coast—the kingfish—
549
00:53:26.5
TH: And they’d run out of kingfish on the west coast right.
550
00:53:28.7
CB: Right.
551
00:53:29.5
TH: Is that right or not?
552
00:53:31.3
CB: Well, they hurt them, as far as we were concerned. But then, when the fish—we had, like, a pact between the net fishermen and liners [line fishermen] that they would stay inshore, and they wouldn’t fish on our offshore bar. But they broke that pact, and they got nets that would fish bottom all the way on the offshore bar, in 80 foot [sic] of water. But when they did that, it killed us. I mean, that really hurt us bad. But I don’t know how that happened, that they stopped—
553
00:54:9.2
TH: Nineteen ninety-four. Yeah, ’94 was the net ban. Some—
554
00:54:15.5
CB: Yeah, but the net ban was—
555
00:54:17.6
MB: This happened before that.
556
00:54:18.9
TH: I think, before that, they outlawed circle nets for kingfish.
557
00:54:23.7
CB: There was something here because—I don’t remember, but they stopped them. But we can’t compete with nets on the same ground, the hook-and-liners. There’s no way.
558
00:54:38.8
MB: As a sidenote to this, I provided data to the federal fisheries, and I was able to use his data because I had his data from the ’60s and ’70s.
559
00:54:55.2
TH: Did he keep logs?
560
00:54:56.2
MB: I’ve got it. I’ve got it all. I think it was 1972. I get to a year where he’s caught like 40 [thousand] or 50,000 less than he’d been catching. And I said to him, what happened? And this is what happened. Now, you’ve got to remember, at this point, this was a Fort Pierce thing. It kind of progressed up the coast in later years. But this is—
561
00:55:27.2
TH: When you say, “this?”
562
00:55:28.6
MB: When they started setting those fish, it took the hook-and-line fisherman right out of it. And the fishermen—
563
00:55:36.4
CB: When they went to the offshore bar, that was—
564
00:55:39.0
MB: And that was also the starting of the laws that were passed. I can’t remember what year it was. At this point, the National Marine Fisheries [Service] is not in the game until the ’80s, I’m pretty sure. And whatever regulations they came up with, they viewed the hook-and-line fishery as the historical fishery.
565
00:56:9.5
TH: For kingfish?
566
00:56:11.0
MB: Right. In that area, in our area. And that’s where we end up having a lot of the laws come from that. You know, I’m not sure. He was there during the whole time. I was too young to really fill in the specifics, but that’s what took place.
567
00:56:33.3
TH: Okay. Do you think, and I’m talking to Mason now, that the huge school of fish that was targeted by the—we’re talking about the circle nets and the airplanes—has come back?
568
00:56:52.8
MB: The schools to his day and age?
569
00:56:58.0
TH: Yes.
570
00:56:58.8
MB: I don’t think that. And I also think that, if you take a step back, and you view everything as a whole, it is unreasonable to think they ever will. Because, environmentally, you’re silly if you think that we haven’t had changes in the environment to allow it to happen. You had the perfect of conditions then. And now, you have conditions that are changing, even as we speak.
571
00:57:35.8
TH: You’re talking about water conditions?
572
00:57:37.1
MB: Water conditions.
573
00:57:39.0
CB: Pollution.
574
00:57:39.4
TH: Climate.
575
00:57:40.6
CB: Climate. I mean, so, the quantity of fish, Terry, you actually cannot come up with a reasonable number as to what we have presently. Because, let’s face it: in the wintertime now, the water stays warmer farther and farther north, which is where you’re going to find king mackerel in this warmer water that were historically pushed south because of the cold weather. Once you get north of Daytona, it’s a completely different ocean. You can be 60 or 70 miles offshore and only be in 90 foot [sic] of water. You’re not fishing in a 30-foot boat in the wintertime out of St. Augustine or Jacksonville.
576
00:58:28.7
So every dynamic changes. If the fishery has changed because of the environment, every other dynamic changes, as well. Okay, so we know there’s fish up there because the bottom fishing boats catch them. Bottom fishing boats are bottom fishing boats. They’re not kingfish boats. If a bottom fishing boat comes in with 3,000 pounds, I’m telling you, you and I would put a smack down on some kingfish. But how many people are fishing there in the wintertime to really determine what could be there or what may not be there? Do you follow my reasoning? Certainly, this area that we know, we know it, you see it, I see it. We know that you’re not looking at the quantity of fish that he fished. I mean, that’s just the way it is.
577
00:59:23.2
CB: But, like, somebody asked Terrell Hayes that, one time, and he said, “There ain’t nothing as much as there used to be.” I mean, gold, anything you want to name it. There just ain’t nothing as much as there used to be.
578
00:59:39.0
TH: The environment and man-made factors. What do you see as the greatest threat to sustainable fish populations today?
579
00:59:49.6
CB: You know, that’s—that’s what—
580
00:59:51.2
TH: Well, if you were—and this is your opinion. What do you think is—let’s see. What factors are the greatest threat to, like, kingfish today?
581
01:00:5.8
CB: I’d say the environment or the pollution or what, you know.
582
01:00:9.6
TH: Water quality?
583
01:00:11.2
CB: Yeah.
584
01:00:12.2
TH: Okay. And weather conditions that change. I mean, I want you to answer. I don’t want to tell you the answer.
585
01:00:20.2
CB: Well, I don’t think the weather is going to affect the fish. I mean, they’re in the ocean, but I don’t think that it’s cold weather or whatever. What would affect—you know.
586
01:00:36.0
MB: Okay, now, don’t confuse two different subjects. Okay, so, one would be how many fish you can catch, and weather would affect that.
587
01:00:48.6
CB: Oh, as far as your catching them, the weather’s going to affect me because I can’t fish when it’s that rough. That part of it. But I guess the weather would affect you that way, yeah.
588
01:01:1.8
TH: All right. Well, we didn’t even touch on the drift nets, okay. And you probably didn’t have that problem up here like we did in Fort Pierce.
589
01:01:11.2
MB: No, he was—there were—I mean, so my—see, I’m only—I’m the young buck. I’m 56. So when this is all happening—okay, when the first trouble started between the hook-and-line fisherman and net fisherman, I was only 10 [or] 12 years old, maybe even younger. And then, when the drift nets came, I’m just a teenager. So I can’t really tell you the specifics, other than hearing him talk about it.
590
01:01:53.1
CB: That’s right. Because the thing of it is, there was always nets, even back in the ’60s. But they was way inshore. They didn’t come off [shore]. They didn’t bother us. But when they moved off onto our grounds, I mean, that’s what hurt us.
591
01:02:13.3
TH: Have you ever caught fish, like, say it were in—? I don’t know how long ago you moved up here from Fort Pierce.
592
01:02:20.2
CB: Nineteen seventy-six.
593
01:02:22.4
TH: Well, okay. I guess what I’m leading up to—I know times when we caught fish at the Northeast grounds, big fish.
594
01:02:32.0
CB: Yeah.
595
01:02:32.7
TH: And we’d come out, and there’d be a line of net boats on their way out to where they heard we caught them, and they’d put their drift nets out. The next day, you’d have to go miles out of the way to get around the drift nets, even to get back there. And when you did, there was nothing there.
596
01:02:47.3
CB: Right. I can understand that. But see, I was up here.
597
01:02:51.0
TH: You were in Sebastian. That was a Fort Pierce phenomenon.
598
01:02:54.2
CB: And that was in the summer?
599
01:02:55.5
TH: I don’t even know.
600
01:02:57.6
CB: I can’t re—
601
01:02:58.6
TH: I think it was year-round. If we caught them, they set them.
602
01:03:2.1
CB: Who had all them drift nets?
603
01:03:5.8
TH: Well, in 1994, there was—they got—mostly, it was recreational fishermen that pushed for an amendment to the constitution to do away with net fishing in the state of Florida. And it was recreational fishermen that got tired of seeing all these—with those long drift nets, there was all kinds of bycatch. I mean, I’ve seen perfectly good sailfish, belly up, floating out in the ocean after a night of those driftnets. So they’d catch everything. But, anyway, I’m talking. I want to hear your story.
604
01:03:43.5
CB: Yeah, but the thing of it—I’m just talking about those because I’m not remembering because I wasn’t down there with you and them driftnets. But thing of it is, when they banned the nets, actually, they banned the nets in the river.
605
01:04:0.6
TH: I know. They got all the net fishermen. The small-net fishermen, most fishermen had nothing against that.
606
01:04:8.4
CB: Right. But anyway, at that same time is when then banned them driftnets, right? Okay. Because I forgot that, I’ll be honest with you.
607
01:04:20.1
TH: Yeah, and then there was the state waters and federal waters, and that’s a whole different ballgame. And I—what is it? Three miles out is the—and—
608
01:04:28.5
CB: Right. So, you know.
609
01:04:30.3
MB: There was—okay, again, I’m going to be vague. But I’ll tell you that I know—I’m 90 percent sure. I can’t tell you the rulings and I can’t tell you the year; they had stopped the driftnets before the net ban. And the sidenote here, though, is, the reason he wasn’t around as much, when you’re talking about—and this is probably when you’re starting to get into fishery. And you didn’t meet him at this point because, now, king mackerel fishing for him starts to become more of a northward thing, where these fish have not been. So he going up to the Carolinas; he’s staying in Daytona; he’s doing these things. He’s not coming south as much.
610
01:05:27.9
CB: Yeah, at one period, for six years, I never left New Smyrna, to come south. I fished there all year round.
611
01:05:38.9
TH: You and—let’s see, you and Al Tyrrell?
612
01:05:44.8
CB: Al, yeah.
613
01:05:46.0
TH: And Tris Colket?
614
01:05:47.4
CB: Tris, yeah.
615
01:05:48.4
TH: Tris was going to come, wanted to come up today with me just to see you.
616
01:05:50.9
CB: Well, Tris, he was shark fishing out of—
617
01:05:54.3
TH: But before that, he king fished, right?
618
01:05:56.3
CB: Oh yeah. But I remember, some period of time, I learned of that years ago. As I was king fishing out on New Smyrna, he was shark fishing there.
619
01:06:6.4
TH: Yeah, he caught a lot. He fished there for quite a while, shark fishing.
620
01:06:10.5
CB: Yeah.
621
01:06:11.4
TH: Okay, let’s get on to larger commercial fishing. Corporations, they probably haven’t affected you much. That would be over in the west coast [of Florida].
622
01:06:20.2
CB: Not yet. Not here. But it could. If they had put in these catch shares, which they did, like, in New England. After a while, there would be no more independent fishermen.
623
01:06:33.3
TH: Corporations would buy up—
624
01:06:34.4
CB: Corporations own everything. And because it says—if I remember right, didn’t it say in that, if it fails, if these fishermen don’t catch this much fish, the corporations will take it over?
625
01:06:49.3
MB: I don’t recall reading that. I was in the middle of all of what you’re talking about. And the Environmental Defense Fund, which has nothing to do with the environment, part of their manifesto was catch shares management was a fleet reduction management system.
626
01:07:7.6
CB: They get rid of them.
627
01:07:10.2
MB: Right. So, basically, the big dog eats the little dog until there’s—
628
01:07:15.1
CB: None of us are left.
629
01:07:17.6
TH: Yeah. We don’t want that. (TH laughs)
630
01:07:19.6
CB: And it’s very—just like the reason I’d first come to Florida. This was the only place left, other than maybe Alaska, that you could make a living hook-and-line fishing. With just a hook and line, like they did 1,000 years ago. Think of it. I mean, we’re fishing the way we have for thousands of years.
631
01:07:42.3
TH: It’s a cool thing. Okay, now, let’s get a little bit away from the fishery. And describe and detail major weather occurrences you’ve experienced on the water, on the ocean. Storms, lightning, high winds, seas, waterspouts.
632
01:08:4.2
CB: (CB laughs) For one thing, I can take the wind. But what I don’t like is lightning. And when I’m anchored up at night, and then lightning sprawls, I get down in the cabinet and put a blanket over my head. (CB laughs) Because I don’t like that lightning. And I’ve had it striking all around the boat.
633
01:08:25.2
TH: Have you ever had your boat hit by lightning?
634
01:08:27.9
CB: No, but I’ve been near other boats that did. When we were coming in from offshore—I was king fishing at—I think it was at Fort Pierce. I can’t remember the guy, but lightning hit his boat.
635
01:08:41.7
TH: Al Tyrell?
636
01:08:42.5
CB: It went down through his radio and burned his radio up. And I come up. I was coming, and I come up alongside of him, and he couldn’t hear because of the—
637
01:08:56.5
TH: The thunderclap?
638
01:08:59.4
CB: Yeah. It was a while before he could hear again.
639
01:09:4.5
MB: Who was it, dad? Do you remember?
640
01:09:6.1
CB: Jesus, I wish I could.
641
01:09:7.6
MB: Was it Al or—?
642
01:09:10.8
CB: I can’t—I just—
643
01:09:11.8
TH: Moby came up on Al when he got hit by the lightning.
644
01:09:18.4
MB: Jack Banana or somebody like that?
645
01:09:20.2
CB: Somebody like that, but I just can’t remember.
646
01:09:23.5
TH: So you’re more frightened of lightning than anything else?
647
01:09:27.1
CB: Yep. Right. You’re absolutely right.
648
01:09:31.7
TH: What was the worst storm you’ve ever been in?
649
01:09:33.7
CB: In the navy or the—I’ve in a—(both)
650
01:09:36.7
TH: No, both.
651
01:09:37.8
CB: —I’ve been in a hurricane in the navy. And that was really bad. I think that was in 1950. But, anyway, I don’t know. I’ve been in some storms. But, actually, the squall is the worst, because we don’t go out in storms. I mean, if there’s a storm, we’re not going out. But if we’re out there, and a squall comes, like when I was tile fishing, and Mason was with me, we just set the line over, and were on the line. And the squall comes out of the—where was it? Out of the—
652
01:10:19.2
MB: Northwest.
653
01:10:20.2
CB: And it blowed [sic] so hard that the sea started breaking over the side of the boat, into the boat. And I’m sideways to it. And, as long as I’m on that line, I can’t do anything. And we were just getting ready for him to cut that cable, when the wind died down because I was wanting to get around and put balance on. Because it was—if it kept going on the side like it was, we’d of sunk—it’d sunk us.
654
01:10:50.9
TH: And that was one of the worst situations?
655
01:10:54.2
CB: Yeah. And another time, we were all—actually, we were—the whole fleet, we were at Fort Pierce, off on that offshore by—was it 12A or 12? 12A, wasn’t it?
656
01:11:11.8
TH: Southeast of the inlet’s 12A Buoy.
657
01:11:14.2
CB: Yeah, 12A. Well, north of that, the whole fleet, the fish were biting like hell. And I forget, at like, twelve—noon time or something—here come this northwestern, a front. And it blowed 45 miles an hour. And so, the whole started in. But it took us like—like me, I think, over an hour because the seas were just going right into it. The seas were breaking over the bow, but—
658
01:11:49.3
TH: You were in that storm? That was a famous—that’s the one Al Tyrell was stuck all night in.
659
01:11:54.8
CB: Well, then it might’ve been, because it was bad ‘til you got all the way under the land, you know.
660
01:12:5.9
TH: And everybody made it in?
661
01:12:7.7
CB: I believe so. And I can’t remember anybody drowning.
662
01:12:12.5
TH: Okay. So, your biggest fish catch was, you said, 5,200 pounds?
663
01:12:20.2
CB: Thirty-two hundred.
664
01:12:21.2
TH: Thirty-two hundred pounds. How about your biggest fish?
665
01:12:24.4
CB: Fifty-four pounds.
666
01:12:26.3
TH: Kingfish?
667
01:12:27.1
CB: Kingfish, yeah. And I remember that. It’s been awhile back. But I caught that fish when Kenny Wen and his brother—they were with me that day.
668
01:12:43.4
TH: That’s a big fish.
669
01:12:44.2
CB: Big fish, yeah.
670
01:12:44.8
TH: Did you gap him?
671
01:12:45.7
MB: You don’t forget the big ones.
672
01:12:47.4
CB: Yeah. But you had to gap him, yeah.
673
01:12:49.5
MB: Sometimes they get bigger.
674
01:12:50.8
CB: Yeah. But that’s as big a fish as I’ve caught, was a 54-pound.
675
01:12:56.0
TH: Okay. The next question, think about this, strange occurrences you’ve experienced on the water: something weird, odd lights, empty boats, rafts, rogue waves?
676
01:13:10.1
CB: Well, yeah, we—when that Cuban thing, we always had them damn rafts and shit coming up there. The only other thing, like, at night, I was up off Jacksonville at night. And all of a sudden, these lights come on, and planes started flying over me. It was the navy who was out there, trying to send out an aircraft carrier. And they got—you know, it kind of scared you. (both laugh)
677
01:13:47.0
TH: I’ve heard of that out there. Steve Lowe talked about that one time.
678
01:13:49.7
CB: Did he? Yeah, did he tell you about that? Yeah.
679
01:13:54.9
TH: Okay, but any other strange occurrences you’ve heard about? Ronnie Baird seeing the strange lights, you ever hear of that story?
680
01:14:4.8
CB: Yeah, but I don’t know what to do with—he wasn’t drunk was he?
681
01:14:8.2
TH: I don’t think so. I don’t know. (all laugh) I don’t know.
682
01:14:11.8
CB: I don’t know, me and Ronnie used to do a lot of drinking. (CB laughs)
683
01:14:18.3
TH: Just any other strange occurrences you can think of?
684
01:14:21.3
CB: Gee, I don’t know. I can’t. Can you, Mason?
685
01:14:25.5
MB: I don’t think I’ve ever had anything that he’s looking for happen to me. I mean, the military exercises, we have definitely seen.
686
01:14:34.7
CB: Right.
687
01:14:35.4
MB: When they were coming up with those Tomahawk cruise missiles, that was like, What is going on with that? And then I—
688
01:14:44.3
TH: What, did you see the cruise missiles come up out of the water?
689
01:14:46.5
MB: Well, they fly horizontally when you see them fly. We had never seen that before. It was, like, at night time, and you’re watching it, you are thinking you’re seeing an alien. There’s no doubt. (all laugh)
690
01:15:1.1
CB. Well, yeah. Oh, I know. A kind of a scary thing is you’re anchored up at night. Well, and I hear this noise, and I get up there. And there’s a ship past me, about 50 yards away. And his wheels—you could—his wheels. They were—(inaudible; whooshing sounds). I mean that’s how close he comed [sic] at me.
691
01:15:28.4
TH: Getting run over?
692
01:15:29.4
CB: Yeah. Yep, that was—that was a little scary.
693
01:15:33.8
TH: Those situations with those things. Okay. Finally, drug, alcohol, people-smuggling stories?
694
01:15:45.8
CB: Well, now—yeah, we used to—the whole fleet, we was running out of Sebastian, and got there [and] there’s all this here—
695
01:15:55.5
TH: Bails?
696
01:15:56.2
CB: —bails. And, Gene Hayes, he stopped, and he pulled this bail apart, and he calls the Coast Guard. Well, he was there all day. The Coast Guard had him tied up. He missed a whole day’s fishing. So, after that, we never called the Coast Guard no more. (CB laughs) We’d just let it go.
697
01:16:16.8
TH: Kept on going?
698
01:16:17.8
CB: Yeah. But that happened to me when I was kid, in the ’40s, on that boat up at Manasquan. Well, the Germans were shoot—sinking our ships, our freighters. And we would run across bodies, you know. And the first time we’d done that, the Coast Guard, or whoever was in charge, put a radio on all of our boats. That, if we’d seen a sub or something, we could call. But we couldn’t break radio silence other than that. So, we come across this body floating in this oil. There used to be oil everywhere from the sunken ships. And so, the—we got a—it was calm, and we alongside this, and I grabbed his arm, and, just, his skin come right apart.
699
01:17:15.1
And so, anyway, we called the Coast Guard, or Buzzy did. But we didn’t put the body in the—hell, you couldn’t get it in there without tearing it up. Anyway, we waited there, for two or three hours, for the Coast Guard to come, and they got him. But after that, when we’d seen a body, we never called the Coast Guard. We just kept going.
700
01:17:39.0
TH: Did you ever see any live people or did you—
701
01:17:41.3
CB: No live. All dead. Yep.
702
01:17:43.3
TH: That was from the Germans, before we got into World War II, pretty much?
703
01:17:48.4
CB: It was in our—like, ’43. No, we were in the war.
704
01:17:52.6
TH: Oh, okay.
705
01:17:53.6
CB: Yeah, but they were shooting. They were sinking the hell out of our tankers. I think, God, the first two years, I think, they sank like 4,500 ships, tankers, and stuff. We out-built them. We was building them faster than they could sink them.
706
01:18:14.0
MB: Terry, I mean, this is a somber subject, but to change it. One of the things we were talking about earlier, and I think this very interesting. When he’s fishing in the early years—down there, you were talking about inlets, inlet stories. And one of them is pretty humorous, going to Sebastian. But the other thing is a lot people don’t know that a lot of these inlets did not have rocks. They were passes and were very, very dangerous. And he might want to—maybe you might want to ask him about some of those things.
707
01:18:50.5
CB: Oh yeah, going out the inlet, especially Jupiter. And Boynton is a drain, just a drainage ditch. But Jupiter, I’d come in there, I was coming in from fishing, and there was a ground sea on it, and it’s breaking bad in Jupiter Inlet. Well, a boat went in ahead of me but their spray is—anyway, I come across the bar, and I get in there. And I pass this guy, which, he was in the water, but I didn’t see him. It was him, and there was two of them on this boat, I guess, and he sunk in the sea. And his father—
708
01:19:41.2
TH: Right at the inlet.
709
01:19:42.0
CB: Right there in that surf. His father had a heart attack and died in his arms. And so, I didn’t—I didn’t see them on the way by, anyway. And people on the rock pile were waving and hollering, and I turned around inside, where there ain’t no surf there. And I look back, and I went back, and I picked him up. But his father was dead. And I’ll never forget the guy. I can’t remember; I don’t even remember his name. But he said, “Why didn’t you stop?” Hell, I couldn’t stop coming through that surf.
710
01:20:26.1
TH: Now—
711
01:20:26.7
CB: If I’d seen him, I couldn’t have stopped. But I was thinking myself.
712
01:20:31.6
MB: Tell him about the different inlets. I mean, there was no jetties up in Daytona. There was no—
713
01:20:38.1
CB: No, no. In the inlet in [Daytona], shrimp boats used to sink up there in that inlet.
714
01:20:43.2
TH: Would it be like sandbars that drifted or changed?
715
01:20:47.3
CB: Every time you went out, if the channel was out here, when you’d come back in, it would be in a different place. And the buoy would be up here on (inaudible; laughing) the channel buoy, you know. And that was a bad inlet.
716
01:21:3.2
TH: Which inlet was that?
717
01:21:4.8
CB: Daytona.
718
01:21:6.0
TH: Daytona.
719
01:21:7.2
CB: New Smyrna.
720
01:21:8.8
MB: What about Port of St. Lucie? Salerno [is] closer to his own.
721
01:21:12.1
TH: That’d be St. Lucie Inlet?
722
01:21:13.9
MB: Right.
723
01:21:14.5
CB: Well, that was a bad inlet, too. But I don’t think it’s as bad as Jupiter.
724
01:21:20.8
MB: Right. I think that you guys got in arguments all the time about which was the worst, right?
725
01:21:25.9
CB: Yeah, we used to do that when we was drinking too much. You know, you remember when you drank too much? (CB laughs)
726
01:21:33.0
TH: Still remember. (all laugh) But the Jupiter inlet has a sand bar that’s right in the mouth of it from time to time.
727
01:21:42.4
CB: Right.
728
01:21:43.0
TH: And I remember, one time, I fished down there, and we had to come up the beach and cut in.
729
01:21:47.6
CB: Right. Yep. Because that’s happened. That’s because it changes.
730
01:21:52.1
TH: Because it changes, yeah.
731
01:21:53.6
CB: I remember, like, one time I’d come across that bar in Jupiter, and, when it let me down, I hit bottom. But I drug on in; it didn’t really hurt anything.
732
01:22:5.6
TH: A lot of boats, that’ll do them in.
733
01:22:7.9
CB: Yeah. Another time going out, though, that was with the Chantry, there was a swell on. And swell ons, about every third one, you watch for a break. And I was sitting there and waiting and waiting. It looked like I had a break, and I took off. Man, one caught me, and it busted the window out of my cabin, and I was knee-deep in water. But I got through.
734
01:22:40.2
MB: All to make a day’s pay.
735
01:22:41.5
CB: Yeah. (TH laughs) And I went on down and went fishing that day, but the thing of it is, it was—there was a guy standing on a bank there, when that happened to me. And he said, he thought I was going—the boat went up like this—he thought I was going to go backwards, flip backwards.
736
01:23:2.0
TH: Flip over backwards.
737
01:23:3.0
CB: Yeah.
738
01:23:3.9
TH: That was the Fort Pierce Inlet?
739
01:23:5.2
CB: That was Jupiter.
740
01:23:6.2
TH: Jupiter Inlet?
741
01:23:6.8
CB: Yeah.
742
01:23:7.9
MB: Terry, as a sidenote, growing up, I fished with him any chance that I got because I loved it. And I would fall asleep in the bunk in that Chantry, and I can tell you what it’s like to get tossed out of the rack when he’s underway. But we loved it, so we spent a lot of time together.
743
01:23:30.7
CB: Yeah, he was living when he could just see (inaudible). But you know Kenny Griffin?
744
01:23:36.4
TH: I’ve heard a lot about him. He was the one that Al—no, that Steve Lowe was competing with, one day, to see who could catch the most in one day.
745
01:23:44.8
CB: Right. Yeah, and Steve beat him by 100 pounds I think.
746
01:23:48.1
TH: It was like 5,000 pounds or something.
747
01:23:51.0
CB: Four thousand [or] 4,100. And that was up at New Smyrna. We was fishing during the wintertime, and Charlie Lowe was picking the fish up.
748
01:24:1.7
TH: Ah, Steve told me it was out at Fort Pierce.
749
01:24:4.0
CB: No, it wasn’t. The time I was remembering was at Daytona.
750
01:24:10.7
TH: What was—? And they were going to see who’s the best fisherman, and they—?
751
01:24:14.6
CB: The whole fleet was catching fish, but—
752
01:24:17.1
TH: They wanted to see which one—?
753
01:24:18.3
CB: Back when there was plenty of fish, we used to say, “All good fishermen quit at two o’clock.” We’d leave the fish biting, then you go in with plenty of fish. But, Kenny Griffin was—he didn’t do that. He would always stay ‘til dark or damn near dark. And so, the guys were arguing who could catch the most fish. Well, they had—so, Steve had—he went this day; he stayed with him, and they both came in late. But that’s what they had, and he beat him by 100 pounds. Now, that’s what I remember.
754
01:24:57.9
TH: Okay. (MB laughs) It’s close enough.
755
01:25:1.6
CB: Yeah. And Ray Lowe, he was—he’s still alive—he’s Steve’s brother. He packed the fish in the fish house.
756
01:25:13.6
TH: He’s a—what is he? Pompano fishing now, in the river?
757
01:25:18.7
CB: But you know, there was a guy, I’d just like to know how many millions of pounds that guy has packed of kingfish?
758
01:25:28.5
TH: I should probably go interview him. He’s not a king fisherman, but he’s probably—
759
01:25:33.5
CB: No, but he could—I’ll guarantee you. There was him and a guy named Walter, a kid of screwy guy (MB laughs) and worked in the fish house, right? Well, we had days that they unloaded 20,000 pounds of kingfish and that—
760
01:25:54.5
TH: They had to weigh them up and pack them.
761
01:25:56.2
CB: We unloaded on a scale. The scale went up into—I mean, on a conveyer. And it went up into a scale, and they’d write them down and dump them in vats. And with that full, they’d put them in the cooler. And then, that night, or early the next morning, they would pack them in boxes. But, Jimmy Bussey, here at the cape, he must have six or seven guys working on that fish house. And I’ll guarantee you Ray Lowe and Walter could pack more fish in less time than all of them six guys. (MB laughs) I mean, honest.
762
01:26:33.6
MB: He would probably say that to Jim’s face, just so—
763
01:26:36.1
CB: I did tell him that. (TH laughs) I told him that. I said, “You—” No, because the way they unload. If a boat unloads on the conveyer, and it goes into a scale, and then a vat, then bam. It’s done. But it ain’t easy at Jim’s. You’re unloading—what are you unloading to a thing on the dock? (MB and TH laugh) And all this bullshit, you know.
764
01:27:2.8
TH: Well, things have changed.
765
01:27:6.8
CB: I told him that.
766
01:27:7.7
MB: Yeah. Oh, you speak your mind. There ain’t no doubt.
767
01:27:11.3
TH: Now, tell me, any humorous stories? You said—you know, that you could think of, offhand?
768
01:27:18.0
MB: Tell him—you’ve got it. Tell him about when they—what was the guy’s name that ran in and out the inlet, and then busted his—?
769
01:27:26.1
CB: That was Harold Covar. Now this was—where was this?
770
01:27:31.8
MB: Sebastian?
771
01:27:32.6
CB: Sebastian, yeah. It was a ground sea on. And so, Harold—do you remember—you remember Harold Covar? You’ve heard of him?
772
01:27:41.0
TH: I’ve heard of his name. I’ve heard his name.
773
01:27:42.6
CB: But he had a—his boat—it wasn’t big. But he was king fisherman way back in the ’60s. And, in fact, one day, when we were down and fishing off of Jupiter, he fell overboard. And the boat was in a circle. But the boat was—the valve wasn’t high on it. And when the boat come around, he got a hold somehow and got back in the boat.
774
01:28:13.2
TH: He got a hold of the bow?
775
01:28:15.1
CB: Yeah. The boat’s just trolling. Yes he did, and he got back in that boat. But up here at the inlet, he comes in from offshore, and there are five or six boats waiting at the inlet for the tide to change.
776
01:28:31.1
TH: This is Sebastian?
777
01:28:32.1
CB: It’s Sebastian. And so—
778
01:28:33.9
TH: Now, the tide was going out, and it was really nasty, so they wanted to wait until—(both talk; inaudible)
779
01:28:37.1
CB: Right. Got a little nasty so they’re waiting for it to change.
780
01:28:39.8
TH: To go in? But—
781
01:28:40.5
CB: And so, he comes in. He said, “This is how you do it.” And he ran in, he comes back out, and runs back in again. And one time, he got his window busted out, but, he said, “This is how you do it.” (CB and MB laugh) And then the guys are out there waiting in bigger boats, way bigger boats, than his.
782
01:28:59.8
MB: Oh, golly.
783
01:29:3.3
CB: He finally died of cancer.
784
01:29:5.0
TH: His name was? Say it again.
785
01:29:7.6
CB: Harold Covar.
786
01:29:9.0
TH: C-o-b-a—?
787
01:29:10.3
CB: K-o-b-a-r [sic]. And he was a good friend with Bill Farlow and Tony Stormont. He was with them all the time and—
788
01:29:20.3
TH: I’ve heard his name. His name is probably in one of my first books.
789
01:29:23.6
CB: Right. Oh, Harold. He was something else. And he had a pickup truck with a, just, a thing on it, and that’s it. When he coming up to Fort Pierce, he slept in that truck.
790
01:29:38.2
TH: Camper?
791
01:29:39.4
CB: Yeah.
792
01:29:39.9
TH: Topper. Well, is there anything else you’d like to add about your life as a fisherman?
793
01:29:48.7
CB: Well, fishing is something that you’ve got to love to do it, or wouldn’t do it. (CB laughs) When you think about it, with all you go through, it’s feast or famine. And I had a wife that was great because she never complained, whether we had plenty or had a little bit. It was just—that’s the way life was. But we was all happy, wasn’t we, Mason?
794
01:30:22.9
MB: Yes, we were.
795
01:30:23.7
CB: Yeah, absolutely.
796
01:30:26.9
TH: So you wouldn’t trade it?
797
01:30:29.4
CB: No, I wouldn’t have done no different. No. No, I was—I did my own thing.



PAGE 1

NOTICE


printinsert_linkshareget_appmore_horiz

Download Options

close


  • info Info

    There are both PDF(s) and Images(s) associated with this resource.

  • link PDF(s)



  • link Image(s)

    <- This image

    Choose Size
    Choose file type



Cite this item close

APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.