17th August 1893

St Peter Port inundated with fish

Under the headline “Extraordinary Sight on the Breakwater,” The Star of 17 August 1893 reported that at least 150 people had been lining Castle Breakwater every night for several days, “fishing with rods and ground lines, and hauling up high and dry, mackerel, horse mackerel and whiting in wonderful numbers. The sea below the breakwater, during the time mentioned, was literally alive with the fish which were distinctly observable swimming about in hundreds.”

There had been an unprecedented run on fishing tackle, said the paper, and “individual catched of 40 and 50 mackerel etc were not uncommon – in one instance a gentleman pulled up no less than four horse mackerel in three minutes.”

Most likely explanation was that a shoal of white bait, the mackerel’s food, had clustered close to the breakwater.


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