Fishing in Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown fishermen baiting up trawl

Provincetown fishermen baiting up trawl


Provincetown once had a booming fishing industry. The harbor on the tip of Cape Cod was filled with fishing boats in early morning, on their way out to sea, heading as far as Georges Bank, the most westward of the great Atlantic fishing banks.  Sought after fish species included cod, haddock, herring, and flounder.  While the fish populations have decreased due to the high demand for seafood, fishing is still an important part of the Cape Cod economy. A common way of fishing in the 19th and early 20th century was called trawling. Large nets were used to drag behind the boat to gather up fish.  Thus the term dragger referred to boats that were trawlers.  Fishing boats would also troll with baited line.   Dragging baited lines behind a boat is referred to as trolling. The antique postcard above shows fishermen in Provincetown, Massachusetts baiting trawl.

Provincetown developed alternative ways to support its economy by promoting tourism and the arts. It’s a great town to visit and to read about. Don’t forget to put Remaining in Provincetown on your reading list this summer. It’s a novel with more than one mystery in the plot.

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