Many of us have a romantic image of fishing: a weather-beaten waterman aboard a small fishing boat, hauling in a handmade rope net as a sou’wester approaches. Outside our beloved Chesapeake Bay, that romantic image—and the era it evokes—is mostly gone.
Today, you rarely buy fish that has been caught by a fisherman on a day boat. Most commercial fishing is industrial and international. There are pilots, crews, trawlers, nets and baited longlines that drift for miles, even radar tracking of schools of fish with increasingly fewer places to hide.