Caplin on Middle Cove Beach. Photo by Julie Pomeroy.
Guest Blog Post by Julie Pomeroy
When I was on my way to work last Friday I noticed activity on Middle Cove Beach so I stopped in to see if the caplin were rolling. They were not rolling at that time, but there were still some there a few feet back from shore. While I was there I came across this couple, Mabel and Gerald Upshall. Mabel is originally from Bay Roberts and Gerald is from St. John’s. They lived in Toronto for many years but moved back home about 20 years ago and now live in St. John’s. They have been coming to Middle Cove Beach every year since they moved back home to get their feed of Caplin.
Mabel and Gerald Upshall with their caplin. Photo by Julie Pomeroy.
I saw them there about and they were telling me that they missed them rolling in with the tide earlier that morning but they were going to get what they could with their net. Gerald uses a landing net for catching caplin, saying that he doesn’t like using a seine and finds this net easier. They will fry up their catch for lunch and freeze what’s left over for a time when they’re in the mood for caplin later in the year. They will also bring some to her brother who is now 90 years old and not able to get around to get his own anymore.
Mabel told me that she separates the spawny ones from the regular ones. She can’t stand to eat the spawny ones, but her husband Gerald likes them better. Mabel also told me that she cleans the caplin before she frys them up. She removes the head, tail, and fins and then washes them off. A practice that her father in law once told her ruined them.
They both remember years ago when people commonly put caplin on their potato fields. Do you have any stories about caplin; how you catch them, how you eat them? If so, please contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or (709) 726-5272 for a chance to be featured on our blog. Or, drop in for a cup of tea and share your stories for our archival audio recordings.
*Note: contact information has been edited to reflect the 2016 season