Fishing For Success

Wanna get your mitts wet and quite possibly covered in fish? Then head out to Petty Harbour and see Kimberly Orren and Leo Hearn at Fishing for Success. 

On the day we head out in the boat, Liam Duggan  joins our crew to help bait the jiggers and haul in the catch. He’s also a great puffin-pointer-outter-too, we discovered. Orren and Hearn are passionate about sharing and celebrating the knowledge and skills they have gained when it comes to the ways of the traditional family fishery. They created Island Rooms as a sanctuary for people willing to learn and experience a way of life that sustained generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Fishing for Success is located in beautiful Petty Harbour, traditionally a thriving fishing village and now a protected fishing area. 

The traditional ways

Orren is particularly passionate about teaching the traditional ways to children, like my nephew Kaleb and my Daughter Elia, who joined my sister and I on our voyage. An interesting tidbit about Fishing for Success; as a non-profit and educational organization, they have special access and are able to participate in the recreational cod fishery every day of the season – not just on weekends.  

“Petty Harbour is only about 15 minutes away from downtown St. John’s, yet it offers a totally different perspective to a way of life,” Orren said. 

“We want to make space for everyone in the boat so we partner with First Light (a registered non-profit organization that serves the urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous community) and the Association for New Canadians and Choices for Youth and the YMCA and Canadian Wildlife Federation, with their Youth Leadership program. We want to provide social supports for others when it comes to having access to this way of life,” she added.

‘Wonderful therapy’

Nothing cures all like getting out on a boat on the ocean, seeing the coastline from a different view, or participating in catching your own food supply, she said. 

“If you think about nature and all of the wonderful therapy that it provides when you’re out there experiencing it, then you know that those type of experiences should be available to all.”

For more on Fishing for Success, including some hands-on cod-fish art, don’t miss an upcoming issue of The NL Herald or visit