Cunners

The cunners lurked below. They swam near the rock recesses and around the pilings of the wharf where we were eating lunch. The Cap’n pointed out a small group. “They don’t school, hang around together sometimes. They weren’t bad panfish, but were some bony.” How do you catch them? He laughed: ” They steal bait, they’ll catch themselves for you on a piece of bread.” ” During the Depression, kids would be sent down to catch them for dinner if there was nothing else.” “I’d rather take a minnow and fish for pollock, or jig for mackerel.”
I mentioned that when I went out with my dad, we often went for fluke and flounder. He answered by broadening out his Maine accent: ” Theah bottam fish. Garbage cleaners of the sea.” But you eat lobster and the tamale; I pointed out. He looked at me, filled his pipe, lit it, puffed it to life, and then ended the discussion by pointing out that – “lobsta is different.”