Sharing the catch
Fishing moved from Garry to Cladach Ghiordail in the early 1900s and for years an abundance of fish was landed there by the local boats. Before carrying the fish up the steep slope there would be the sharing of the catch, with always a share for someone in need.
Làithean an Iasgaich
The book "Laithean an Iasgaich" focuses heavily on one of the most successful branches of the Lewis fishing industry - Tolastadh bho Thuath!
Of the books many features a fishing Registry has been included which clearly displays all known fishing vessels belonging to Tolstonians. Also included are many photographs, press excerpts and much more!
Closing The Minch
Tolsta fishermen who went out to protect their nets from a poaching seine netter in Broad Bay were 'fired on' by the crew of the netter who pelted them with potatoes and coal and turned a hose on them.
Councillor Allan Cameron, North Tolsta told the story to Ross and Cromarty County Council at their last meeting. The council decided to seek the support of other local authorities in the crofting counties in asking the Scottish Home Department to close the Minch to trawlers and seine netters.
Extract from a letter, written by Donald Macdonald in 1987 to the pupils of Tolsta Primary School, describing life in the village around 1920.
"Trout fishing with rod and worm was popular. Sand eels were caught on Giordale Beach with a corran shiol - a sickle whose blade had been straightened and which had a hook at its end. These sand eels, caught at ebb tide, could be boiled and eaten or used as bait on small lines for catching flounders, haddocks and gurnards.
Dòmhnall Iain Mhòir (5), author of the 'Operation at Sea' story (4), has an amazing knowledge of rock fishing and of inshore fishing in the Tolsta area. Since the evening of the Aig Muir 'get together' Dòmhnall has written out a list of approximately 50 sea fishing rocks in the stretch of coast-line from Geodha Alla Thòlain ( Seanchas 46 feature 7) to Heisgeir (Seanchas34 feature 55), with an indication of how accessible each rock is.
Lewis fisherman gets trip on board Accord
Report from the Buchan Observer August 1989
An 82 year old Lewis man relived his fishing days last week when he went out for a trip on the Peterhead – registered Accord.
Donald Dodalan Smith was in Peterhead visiting the skipper of the Accord, Mr Jim Duthie, and asked if he could possibly go out for a trip on the vessel. Mr Smith, who went to sea with Mr Duthie’s father on the first Accord, was delighted when Mr Duthie agreed to take him out – weather permitting of course.
1935 Bonnie Lass incident
Some dates are imprinted in the history of Tolsta and Thursday 14th February 1935 is one such date.
For several days prior to the fourteenth, bad weather had been forecast, but on that day the weather appeared settled. The forecasted storm seemed to have passed by and several crews decided to go fishing with small lines.
Once the mid-day church meeting was over, five boats were launched from Giordail – the ‘Kate’, the ‘Zealanda’, the ‘Bonnie Lass’, the ‘Rìbhinn Og’ and the ‘Graceful’. They did not have the number of fishermen necessary to crew a sixth boat so, as was customary, the men with baited lines were divided out amongst the five boats and Murdo Mackenzie, (Tobaidh), New Tolsta ended up in the ‘Bonnie Lass’ on that day.
Fishing pre-1890 style
"The Tolstonians did not fish out of Giordail before 1890. They fished out of Garry. Men from Point fished out of Giordail and Port nam Bothag. There is a place over from the pier called Port mhic Chailein Thorcuill, after a man from Knock, Point and the bothies there were occupied by the men from Point.