Giv­ing jig­ging a go

98-year-old Clarke’s Beach woman goes cod jig­ging in Twill­ingate


“I want to catch the big­gest one in the ocean.”

Elsie Moore

For Elsie Moore of Clarke’s Beach, cod jig­ging has al­ways been some­thing she wanted to take part in.

En­thu­si­as­tic and con­fi­dent, she bun­dled in her coat and cap, put on her sun­glasses and life jacket and climbed into a boat on Satur­day, Aug. 8, the day be­fore the recre­ational fish­ery ended. Fam­ily mem­bers recorded the ex­pe­ri­ence and put the video on YouTube. It can be viewed online here

At al­most 98 years of age, it was her sec­ond jig­ging ex­pe­ri­ence. The first came two years ago when she caught sev­eral fish.

This time, she took a trip out in the fam­ily boat near Twill­ingate and she didn’t come back empty handed.

“I want to catch the big­gest one in the ocean,” she laughs at the be­gin­ning of the clip.

While not the big­gest fish in the ocean, the mother, grand­mother and great-grand­mother the 15 pound cod fish she pulled over the side was the largest of the haul. She loved catch­ing the fish. It was her favourite part.

But she also en­joyed the weather.

“It was beau­ti­ful,” Elsie told The Com­pass at her home Aug. 20. “The wa­ter wasn’t rough at all, I re­ally en­joyed it.”

Still trav­el­ling

For six months of the year, she calls Clarke’s Beach home. She stays with her daugh­ter Doris Dorey and son-in-law Cal. Both were on hand for the cod jig­ging.

The other half of the year Elsie lives in On­tario with another one of her daugh­ters. She spent more than two decades in Toronto with her chil­dren, but re­turned home to Clarke’s Beach in the mid-1970s.

“You don’t for­get where you’re raised,” she smiled.

Go­ing back and forth from New­found­land and Labrador to On­tario is no con­cern to her. In fact, she’s hop­ing to visit her grand­son in Ed­mon­ton soon.

She also hopes to travel to Labrador and visit her sis­ter-in­law in Texas in the near fu­ture.

Although she sat com­fort­ably and calmly in a rock­ing chair while chat­ting with The Com­pass, Doris ex­plained she has a lot of energy.

“She still makes pies,” she said.

That is one of the rea­sons Elsie de­cided to go cod jig­ging in the first place, be­cause she knew she phys­i­cally could. Her age was no hin­drance.

In fact, the first time she went, no one knew she had an in­ter­est. She fi­nally spoke up and said she wanted to go, Doris said.

“It was won­der­ful,” Elsie said of her first jig­ging ex­pe­ri­ence.

It was so fun she knew she had to do it again. So she went again this year.

But cod jig­ging is not the first time Elsie went fish­ing. She used to fish for trout. How­ever, this was an ex­pe­ri­ence she knew she had to have.

Haul­ing the line

“It was re­ally ex­cit­ing … (And) a lit­tle bit hard,” Elsie ex­plained of haul­ing the fish aboard.

The large fish was a strug­gle for her, but she used all her strength to pull it in. In the video, she is seen try­ing to lift it up. It’s so large, she can’t get it past her waist.

“If I live another year, I’ll go again,” Elsie laughed.

It wasn’t a long trip out, be­cause fish were plen­ti­ful.

“Our lines never even hit the bot­tom of the ocean floor,” Doris said. “We’d get our 15 fish all in 15-20 min­utes.”

But the length of time had no bear­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence. And she can’t wait to come back to Clarke’s Beach and plan another jig­ging ad­ven­ture.

“I’ll catch more next year,” Elsie said.

“Our lines never even hit the bot­tom of the ocean floor. We’d get our 15 fish all in 15-20 min­utes.”

Doris Dorey


Elsie Moore of Clarke’s Beach holds up one of four cod she caught while out jig­ging in Au­gust.

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