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.”
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 bit.ly/1Kzw9Cw.
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.”
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.”
Elsie Moore of Clarke’s Beach holds up one of four cod she caught while out jigging in August.