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In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Trolling for salmon
Trolling for salmon. Circa 1965.
City of Richmond Archives 1985-4-4
Trolling for salmon Watch a clip that illustrates trolling

"Hoochies and Gurdies, Cannonballs and Pigs" - Trolling for Salmon

Trollers use long, tall aluminum poles with plenty of lines and flashy tackle to patiently catch fish by the hook.

When fishing, trollers lower their poles to a 45-degree angle, but when travelling put their poles in a vertical position. A troller can have up to six stainless steel main lines in the water. Each main line is fitted with up to ten equally spaced leaders pulling such inviting lures as spinning spoons, wriggling hoochies or good old fashioned tasty bait. The lines are kept apart by the action of special floats called pigs and the lures swim deep in the water because heavy lead weights called cannonballs are attached to the end of each main line. the captain or deckhand operates power winches called gurdies to reel in the fish to the deck of the troller.

Troll-caught fish are individually handled, cleaned and refrigerated on board. With a crew of two or three fishermen, trollers sometimes remained on the fishing-grounds for two weeks before delivering their catch to port. The special handling of troll-caught fish ensures few blemishes, and for these perfect fish the canning companies paid a high price.

Over the years, trollers fishing for B.C. Packers caught primarily chinook and coho salmon and albacore tuna for the company's high-quality fresh and frozen fish departments.

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