The Net Trawl which the local fishermen used on board their trawlers had to be made locally by the fishermen themselves or a person with these skills. A skilled Net Maker was sent from Killybegs by Board Iascaigh Mhara to train the fishermen of Murrisk and the off shore islands.
During the winter months some of the local skippers would start to make their trawls in their own kitchens and when the weather improved and more progress was made they finished these in the yards adjacent to their homes.
When complete nets were taken to the pier where there was a facility for treating these before they went to sea. This process was known locally as “barking the nets”. This process entailed lighting a fire in the place provided under the pans, in to which the bark was mixed.When the mixture was at the right temperature the nets were soaked for a time, then taken out and put on rails along the quay wall to dry. Great care was taken of these nets as money was scarce and fishermen and their families depended on the weather and their nets.
Some local families were licensed to fish for salmon, this was called ‘Draft Net’ fishing. It took place at what is known locally as Annagh Head, where the Belclare river joins Clew Bay.
This fishing took place at low tides and entailed anchoring the net on the shore and making a circle with the net and also by ‘Law’ leaving an area for the ‘lucky’ fish to escape. As this was seasonal fishing with a number of weeks allocated and no fishing at weekends it had to be very intense for the time allowed and as is the case with all fishing very dependant on weather.
A Rainbow at night is a sailors delight.