All along the Chesapeake Bay and it's rivers and tributaries you can find commercial fishing vessels of various sizes working their trade. For the smaller work boats and their crews, the season will soon be over as the temperatures drop and the fish move to deeper waters. Operations like the one pictured below will call it a season soon after Thanksgiving and spend the next few months relaxing with family and awaiting the arrival of Spring to begin the next commercial fishing season.
Captain Joe Henderson (2nd from right) and crew work the waters of the Rappahannock River and are seen here coming home again with a load of fresh fish. During the season they head out 6 days per week, often leaving around 1:00 am and returning at 8:00 am. Many operations like this supply the fish processing houses in the area, as well as local residents who meet them at the dock upon their return.
This is a gill-netting operation, requiring nets to be placed at a specific licensed location. Many work several nets, some of which extend for 1000 feet from one end to the other. Make no mistake about it, this is hard work that requires a good deal of knowledge, grit and dedication.
After long, hard hours on the open water, taking on the elements, it nice to see these crews coming home again.
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