In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Long lining a gray cod and halibut
Long lining a gray-cod and halibut.
Circa 1915. City of Richmond Archives 1985 4 911
Long lining a gray-cod and halibut A large halibut on the Andrew Kelly A long lining crew cleaning halibut Watch a clip that illustrates long lining

"Bait Claims and Gangions" - Long lining for Halibut

Long liners catch halibut by laying miles of line with thousands of baited hooks onto the ocean floor.

As the boat powers along, a drum with a spooler lets out a ground-line that is dragged to the seafloor by an anchor. Fishermen, located in a small shed at the stern called the bait claim, bait the hooks on the ends of shorter, lighter lines called gangions. These lines are then snapped onto the ground-line at intervals as it is let out to sea. Once the gangions are attached and the ground-line is nearly out another anchor is attached to ensure the gear remains on the ocean bottom with the hungry halibut. When the time comes to haul in the gear, the drum and spooler drag the first anchor up and the task of pulling in each halibut begins.

Ground-lines are often up to 1 mile (1.6 km) long. Fishermen are able to find the ends of their gear by attaching floats and flagpoles near the ends of the ground-line. The flagpoles can be up to 16 feet (almost 5 metres) tall and equipped with lights.

Over the years, long liners fishing for B.C. Packers provided halibut for the company's high-quality fresh and frozen fish departments.

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