Written by Leslie Taylor
CAPE COD — Chatham fisherman John Tuttle was born and raised on the Cape and fishing seemed like a logical choice for a career when he started 35 years ago. In the years since, he has seen many changes.
When he first began fishing, he started off sea scalloping out of Hyannis. He then moved to Chatham to continue scalloping, but switched to ground fishing for cod a few years later. Two years ago, he made the switch to fishing for dogfish off his 40-foot fishing vessel Cuda.
“The ground fish stocks are in tough shape, so it was a good alternative for me,” he says. “There’s a big biomass of dogfish on the East Coast now. It’s historically high and basically it’s taking over the ocean.”
Since the price of dogfish is so low, John fishes alone out of the Chatham Fish Pier. He uses long lines that are pre-baited with herring before he heads out to sea. He goes anywhere from three to 10 miles out and uses fish-finding equipment to locate the dogfish.
“They’re not hard to find,” he says. “They’re everywhere. They’re actually a little sand shark.”
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