Black and white photograph of John MacDonald of Burnside, Mannal and Neil MacLean of Hough with a catch of cod in the late 1960s.
Once plentiful on the fishing banks to the north and west of the island, cod and ling were fished commercially in the 19th century using long lines. In the 20th century only the local fishermen still went out to the banks for white fish for which there was a ready market on the island. They used bottom lines for cod, mid-water lines for smaller saithe and mackerel and small lines for flat fish.
Cod were fished using hand lines (‘beairt’) with two to six hooks on each baited with limpets (‘maorach’) or lugworms dug from the beach. Fishing line used to be made from horse hair either by spinning or plaiting it. It was still being made on Tiree in the 1940s.
Courtesy of Mrs Johann MacArthur