I'm trying to get some details on the techniques of fishing from caravel or cog ships. I've found plenty of resources telling me that they were used for fishing but no details regarding how. Are we talking nets? Pole and line? Specifically, I'm looking at a small scale operation near a coast workable by one or two people.

Much appreciated!

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    – Vincent
    Oct 2, 2017 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


From memory there are three techniques you use from sail boats, pre-Brixham Trawler.

  1. Seine nets which can be set by wading, by small fishing boats with an attendant rowboat, or by a number of small vessels working in tandem.

  2. Long Lining with a mainline with multiple baited hooks spread along it to bring in a number of fish simultaneously.

  3. Fixed lines are similar to Long lines except you stretch the mainline across a river or estuary and take advantage of the tide to bring fish to the line.

Harpoon fishing has often been used for larger species including, Sturgeon, Marlin, Tuna, and of course Whales but most harpooning operations require larger vessels with full crews, even Inuit whaling canoes need to carry large total crews to help with the carcass.


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