Pam Pardy-Ghent: In The Blood & The Fish Guts

There’s no denying the fact that Newfoundland is the type of province that gets into your heart and soul, but it’s also the kind of a place that goes just a little deeper, particularly when it’s bred into your bloodline. 

My niece Claire was born in Ontario and calls Niagara Falls home, but there’s no question she also considers this place and its people to be her homeland as well. 

Little wonder. My sister has been bringing her youngest daughter ‘home’ since she was a few weeks old. Claire hasn’t missed a summer yet that I know of. Last year, her mother was on maternity leave having gifted the family with a baby brother, so their time in this province was gleefully extended. This year, there was no summer trip planned as my sister had foot surgery booked and it would leave her tits up (as the saying goes) for two months.

Born to Run Free

The solution was to send Claire, who turns 11 in August, down with my daughter, who turned 10 in July. Well, Claire has been with us for three glorious weeks now, and it’s been incredible. Claire was born to run free. She was destined to untangle a trout line and get lost in the woods. Heck, even the Newfoundland climate (RDF) agrees with this kid.

But what she dearly loves most of all is cod fishing. A good friend of mine was heading out on the sea for the day and invited us along. Immediately Claire was like someone born on a boat. While familiar with hand lines thanks to poppy’s tutorial, she took to rod fishing with Captain Rod like, well; like a fish takes to water. She pushed away help as she eagerly watched, and instantly absorbed, what she had to do; from casting to rod movement to grabbing the net. 

While not every cast was successful we did catch what we set out at sea to catch; the king of all; cod. But not only did we land cod fish but sculpins and flatfish too. But the best part? Each and every reel was gifted with flushed cheeks and excited squeals. 

Up-Along Influences

My daughter, usually more reserved, couldn’t keep it in either. Claire’s excitement was contagious. Elia caught the first fish at first cast and a competition was on! Claire caught the one to beat size-wise and none of us could match her. She retained the braggin’ rights on that one.

While we’ll be doing many things this summer; from camping to swimming to movies and mini road trips, there’s little doubt that this day on the water was a highlight of her month on The Rock.

When it’s born in ya, you come by it honestly. When it comes to fishin’ and out at sea, you can take the girl out of the bay, but you’ll never take the bay from the girl, even when the bloodline is once removed and slightly watered down with up-along influences. Newfoundland and fishing for cod; when it’s in your genes, you’re just hooked. 

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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