The Lure and Lore of Commercial Fishing in New England

by Charles “Tiggie” Peluso



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 11/11/2008

Recognition Programs

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 316
ISBN : 9781440101649
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 316
ISBN : 9781440110115

About the Book

Winner of the IPPY North-East Best Regional Nonfiction Bronze Medal.

Tiggie: The Lure and Lore of Commercial Fishing in New England begins more than 30 years ago in a remote cove on Cape Cod’s Pleasant Bay. Macfarlane, a young marine biologist newly deputized by the Orleans shellfish warden, gathers up her courage to confront one of the Cape’s crustiest, crankiest commercial fishermen, a local legend named Tiggie Peluso. It’s more than a contest between youth and age, or rules and reason, or book knowledge and hard-earned practical experience. It’s a clash of two strong wills and two warring cultures – a bucolic, rustic Cape Cod that is in the process of changing beyond recognition, and an industry that is losing its past under a tsunami of foreign competition, legalisms and new technology.
In Tiggie we hear both their voices. Tiggie’s personal stories about fishing in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are at once poignant, matter-of-fact and haunting in his appreciation of the beauty around him, and reverence for all life, especially in the sea. We meet his crew mates and friends, learn about their idiosyncrasies and their humanness, their struggles to make ends meet, their financial binges in good times. We come to understand their disdain for those who try to regulate what they do, their less-than-perfect relationships with women and, above all, their love of the life they have chosen.
Sandy Macfarlane is the author of Rowing Forward, Looking Back, a chronicle of life in a small coastal community bombarded by development pressures. She and Tiggie, now both retired, met regularly at the local coffee shop over several years. Their breakfast conversations and Tiggie’s stories interweave past and present and the threads of their very different lives.
Tiggie is more than a memoir or a how-to book, but it combines the virtues of each. With detailed insights into the catching of fish and moving reflections on the beauty of the rituals, the surroundings, the characters, it captures the moments and the moods of a vanishing way of life.

About the Author

Sandy Macfarlane, grew up and has always lived near the sea she loves. The first municipal Shellfish Biologist in Massachusetts, later Conservation Administrator for Orleans, she was responsible for the town’s comprehensive shellfish programs. Her first book, Rowing Forward, Looking Back is a clam’s eye view of Mother Nature vs. human nature. She later collaborated with Tiggie Peluso, a local fisherman, with whom she had shared shellfish experiences – on opposite sides of the law.

Tiggie Peluso arrived on Cape Cod in 1946 after serving in the Army in World War II, to begin a career in commercial fishing. He became proficient in four separate types of fishing – longlining for cod, haddock and halibut; shellfishing for scallops, quahaugs, and clams; rod and reel and flyfishing for striped bass; and fresh water fishing – an unusual achievement. He was one of the founding members and president of the Chatham Seafood Coop, the second largest fisherman’s cooperative in New England. His early fishing experiences, come to life in Tiggie. He passed away in 2008.