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Captain Pat's weekly fishing report
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The past week was a bit on the slow side with the water temp. still down in the 50's. The one exception was the old ice house just off the beach on North Captiva. Every time you'd go by, there would one to three boats tied up to a piling with the fishermen attempting to get their lines as far under the old stilt structure as the barnicle gods would allow. The ice house has got to be the number one sheepshead fishing destination in the northern sound and every time we go by, someone on the boat asks why it is  built on the water and who owns it? I'm not sure about ownership although, I believe its privately owned and I have learned alittle of its history. The ice house was built in 1924 by the Punta Gorda Fish Co. which was owned by the Chadwick Bros. The coming of the railroad to Punta Gorda opened up the northern markets to fresh Gulf seafood. Boats were slow back then and the trip from the fishing grounds to Punta Gorda docks couldn't be made in a timely fashion, nor could the fisherman keep their catch fresh even over  a short period in the intense heat. So the Chadwicks built houses for fisherman and ice houses for their catch. What were called 'run boats', were much bigger then the skiffs the fishermen used.They would pick up the fish, replenish the ice in the ice houses, and keep the fishermen well supplied with the necessities they needed. The houses were well built, using local pine and cypress to help them withstand the elements. Two hurricanes had just hit the area, the first in 1921 and the second in 1923 and with that back drop these structures had to be sound. The design was such, that in the event the fish should migrate from their current habitat, the structures could be lifted from their pilings and moved to the new fishing grounds. They continued to be used untill after WWII when faster engines, refrigeration, and the expansion of fish processing sites made them obsolete. In 1989 they were added to the National Registry of Historic Places and are a reminder of an earlier fishing industry that drove our economic engine.
                                                                                                    Tight Lines,
                                                                                                     Capt. Pat


Posted in Captain's Blog | 1 Comment | Add a Comment
Jesse
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 7:20 PM
Good report and accurate history. Yes the house is privately owned by my family. I grew up on that house. It is a very good fishing spot but we kindly ask that nobody tie up to the pilings. Anchoring up and tossing lines under is perfectly fine but touching the structure itself is considered trespassing. Tight lines.

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