Southwest Brook

Under The Bridge

Dennis Baker shared these pictures from Sou’west Brook, just outside Snook’s Harbour.  The bridge in the picture is being replaced by culverts, and for some reason this stirred up many childhood memories for many of us, me included.

Sou’west or Southwest Brook is closer to Snook’s Harbour than Apsey Brook, but most of us have walked over it, under it, and through it many many times over the years.  As well as spending time out on the beach, just walking around shore, trying to catch a twillick, or digging Cocks & Hens.

It’s probably the last of these style bridges remaining on the island.  When I was a boy, the main bridge in Apsey Brook was also the same style.  I don’t recall if the one in Sou’west brook had any railings, but there were wooden railings around the one over Apsey Brook, as well as around its twin which was nearer the beach on the road leading down from Roy’s that ran over to Ross’s and along by the family mill.  Many many years ago, trucks would come down over that road and buy lumber from Uncle Luther.

Many hours were spent hanging around the bridges, catching trout, wading on the creosote timbers, or playing in the many ways our imaginations led us.  One bridge memory leads into another, from walking in the brook to Island Pond, to making turpentine engines on mill strips in the brook near the mill. From the “Big Rock” that was underwater at high tide, but could be walked to on the sand when it was low.

It was always so cool under these bridges, a welcome relief on hot summer days, and you always kinda felt like you were sharing a secret when hidden there and a car drove over.

Another little part of our childhood is gone, and all we have are memories and experiences no other generation will get to have.

I can smell the creosote baking in the sun even now.

Cocks and Hens

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to go cod fishing.  Its funny, but we never called it that, a trip to the fishing grounds was usually just called going out in boat.  I guess the two just naturally went together, I mean why else go out in boat?

Usually cod fishing was done by the old standard hit and miss method of using a cod jigger.  You’d lower the jigger to bottom, and then pull it up a fathom or so and stroke the line back and forth, hoping to hook into a cod.

But other times we’d use a feathered hook, or a baited hook with some orange cloth on it.  Well I’m not sure the orange mattered as much as something to attract the fishes curiosity.  For bait we’d use squid, caplin, herring, or often, cocks and hens.

They are properly a soft shelled clam, but we always knew them by the name cocks and hens, I really have no idea why, maybe someone can enlighten me.  These clam live in the soft muddy tidal flats around the shore line.  For us. we’d usually go to Southwest Brook, near Snook’s Harbour at low tide and walk out on the mud.

The clams themselves live 6-8 inches deep in the mud, you could see where by the little round tube they left in the mud to let water and food in and waste out.  Finding these, we’d dig down with a shovel, generally a little ways away from the hole so as not to smash them.  The shells on these are very soft and easily broken.  Generally we’d dig up a 5 gallon bucket full of them along with some sand and ocean water to keep them moist, and leave them in the cool fishing stage.

On our next trip out in boat, we’d take the bucket, and open a cocks and hen, and put it on our hook as bait to try and catch a nice growler (Dad’s term for a big one that would make the old corded jigging line growl)!

Nothing I loved more than an early morning trip out in boat, spending a few hours on the water.