Trabucchi Gargano

Trabucco of Gargano - Fishing methods

Fishing with big net

A traditionla Trabucco uses a specific net that looks like a huge sack with trapezoid shaped borders.
Trabucchi Gargano
Fishing with the big net on a Trabucco
Antennas of a trabucco, extended for 40 meters over the sea, are the levers that carry out the task of sustaining the whole net weight when it's suspended over the water during the many fishing hunt of a fishing day.
Trabucchi Gargano
Net when completely immersed into the sea

Dimensions of the net are never the same from a trabucco to another one. For every trabucco a net is sewed in order to fit perfectly the specific characteristics of that Trabucco. But generally, we can say that a net measures 31 meters on the external side, 27 meters on the lateral sides and 24 meters on the side parallel to the land.
Trabucchi Gargano
Big net dimension

Net, that was made of cotton in the past, is produced in nylon since 1950 and it is composed of many parts. Net grid is wider on the top of the sack and, gradually, become very narrow at the bottom.

When Trabucco is not fishing, net is lifted on the deck and covers the whole area of it. Shortly before the beginning of a fishing day, net is lowered again into the sea.

Once into the sea, only 3 borders are kept few centimeters over the water surface. The fourth side of the net (the one against the current) is completely lowered up to the sea bottom.

At this stage one of the crew, walking perilously on the antenna above the open side of the net, sit on the end of it in order to catch sight of fishes approaching the trap.
Trabucchi Gargano
Out-looker for fishes

When a fish group enter into the net sack trough the side left opened, the observer on the antenna alerts the crew on the deck that close immediately, turning fast one of the 'ciucce' (special wooden capatns), the opened side of the net.

Then, turning simultaneously the two ciuccie, net is completely lifted above the sea surface with the fish into its bottom.

A hand net attached to a 13 meters long handle, managed from the deck trough ropes and pulleys, is used to collect the fishes from the net bottom and, once fish is collected, net is again lowered into the sea to begin a new fish hunt.
Trabucchi Gargano
Hand net used to collect fishes into the big net bottom

Trabucco can fish during daylight but is from sunset to dawn, thanks to fishes low visibility and thanks to a gas light used to attract them, that fishing hunt are much more effective.
Trabucchi Gargano
Gas lamp lowered close to the sea surface to begin the night fishing

Fishing with tangle net

A Trabucco can fish also with a tangle net that is lowered from the deck into the sea trough a rope passing into a pulley located at 40 meters from the Trabucco on the sea bottom.

This is a fishing method that can also be managed from a single man and doesn't need a whole crew.

Sadly, this is the method that old 'trabuccolanti use on that trabucchi that cannot fish anymore with a big net because, in the lack of maintenance due to the limited financial resources of these people, they have lost their most fragile element: the antennas.

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