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Audio Postcard: A Fisherman Rigging Bait on Nantucket

Air Date: Week of

Richie explains how he rigs bait for his employer. (Photo: Jenni Doering)

Nantucket Island has a long history of providing safe harbor to seafarers and whalers, and today, luxury cruising and fishing boats dock there. Among the polished yachts, the Living on Earth team found a scrappy fisherman with a weather-beaten face nimbly prepping bait. Living on Earth contributor Matt Hoisch produced this audio postcard.


CURWOOD: Not so long ago our crew headed to Nantucket Island where there is a long history of providing safe harbor to seafarers and whalers. Today luxury cruising and fishing boats dock there, and among the polished yachts, we found a scrappy fisherman with a weather-beaten face who was nimbly prepping bait.

RICHIE: My name’s Richie, and I’m just out here rigging some baits to go fishing. Ballyhoos, and we’re gonna rig em’ up and hopefully catch some fish. I’m a kind of a late bloomer in this game, but – I started at 40 and I am 58, so 18 years I’ve been fishing, you know? And I kind of like it.

I thought I knew what I was doing until I actually started doing it and you’ve got to learn a lot. You know, what kind of line, all the knots, how to rig baits, you know, different areas, there’s different ways of fishing.

You know, it’s not just like, get a six pack and buy a can of worms. It ain’t that easy. But, you know, it’s like anything else: you learn as you go. But we don’t get to do this without a sponsor, meaning the owner of the boat. We just work here.

Matt Hoisch records as Richie rigs bait, while a crewmember looks on. (Photo: Jenni Doering)

We’re milking him out. Gotta get all of the guts and the poop and everything out of him. And then you squeeze his back. And then when I rig him, I’ll put a little lead under his chin. Then you come up through the bottom here, through his beak. It’s like sewing. Gonna trim this off nice and neat. One more time.

And that’s it. That’s a rigged bait. And then the hook is on the smaller poles and you put the hook through here, and he just swims along. Pretty cool, huh? And then they go in the cooler. Line them up like little soldiers in here.

We’ve got other baits, but these are – we’re going to rig them a little bit differently. These are for our teasers. You know, and then you just line them up in here all nice and neat, and you’re ready to fish.

CURWOOD: Matt Hoisch produced this audio postcard.



Another Living on Earth postcard from the Nantucket wharf


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