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The Tile Fish Story
The talk around the Stonington dock was that Tile Fish was mostly brought in during the cold winter months. It’s during this time (weather permitting)that the boats fish further off shore along the shelf. They are caught about 100 miles off shore in water around 300 feet deep.
Jack knew the captain of the “Anne Kathryn” which was home ported in Stonington.
He was a good friend of the family. He asked him if he would be so kind as to bring him back a Tile Fish for rubbing. Dock workers said that this was a nice looking fish with a fine shape and a large dorsal fin. He said he would and commented that not any fish would do. It had to be a fish which went into the net last, meaning ... it would be in the best of shape. If it was one of the first fish in the net, it’s fins and tail would most probably be roughed up by the thousands of fish which follow it and not in a suitable condition for a fish rubbing.
On a trip out fishing in deep water, Harry called in to Jack and told him that he had a Tile Fish which was in good condition and did he want it. Jack said he’d take it. Harry told him he would put it in a special cooler on ice and would be docking at 9:15 the next morning, and to meet him at the dock.
Jack was at the dock in the morning when the boat arrived. He got the fish from Harry. It was a nice looking fish and in good condition. Home it went for the three hour fish rubbing session where Jack was able to make several nice rubbings of it. It was another fish to add to the “KECHENENY” fish print collection.
Jack has a link to a You-tube slide show on his on “KECHENENY” Fish Prints web site. On the show you can see the fish down on the boat just before the deck hand handed it up to Jack. On a later trip, they brought in a smaller fish which was photographed and appears in the slide show as well.
And that’s how the Tile Fish came to be.