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Pat Gauthier


No such thing as a best day on the water, they’re all good. You’re always waiting for the next day to come.

My mother was a Gauthier and my father was a Gauthier. Growing up in a family of fifteen wasn’t bad, I was third oldest. There were eighteen years between the oldest and the youngest. Large families were normal back then, there was one family right next door to ours that had twenty-one. She had twenty-one births, but I think a couple died shortly after.

In a large family you had to eat it while it was hot, or you mightn’t be able to eat, so I wasn’t slow. We’d all be bringing friends home, l’d be in one school, my sisters would be in another, and my brothers in another because of the ages – it was fun meeting so many people. I’m shy though. Some people from one and two person families would think a big family was awful strange, they’d all be amazed at it.

Fishing was always in my family, for three or four generations. Dad started fishing when he was a kid. Pretty well always knew I wanted to fish, I started when I was sixteen. I went west two years, and I didn’t like not fishing. I love the freedom. Out of all of us, just Trevor and Michael fish. I took over my father’s license when he passed away; back then the others didn’t really have any interest in it.

I ain’t a scientist. I don’t know why PEI grows such good lobsters. As for what makes for good fishing, we just follow the lobsters and put bait out. You don’t know where they are, it’s just luck.

I build my own traps. Some people use oak, some people use softwood, some people use juniper, all different. We buy the bows, they’re made already; they gotta be steamed. How long they last depends on the weather. I got one there with the plastic bows that’s fourteen years old. I decided to try it one year. Not tempted to go with all plastic because they’re hard to build with them. The traps stay outside through the winter, under the snow. Some people put them in but I don’t, I leave everything out all the time.

Life has changed since growing up here. We got bathrooms now, instead of outdoor toilets. We had that outdoor toilet until I was sixteen. We had wells in the house, and a pump, but there was no room for a bathroom. Mom hardly knows how to cook a small meal now. Now it’s usually just her, and one of the girls’ll come over.

 Pat Gauthier

Prince Edward Island 2010


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