Fish hooks are used to catch fish for restaurants and bars, barreleyes for hunting and even for fish dinners.
But the story of how a fisherman became one of the first to use these hooks is a tale of a town caught in a fish boom and a story about an unlikely fisherman who is trying to change the course of the industry.
More than 150 years ago, a fisherman named John Cuthbertson made his mark on the Pacific Northwest with his signature line of fishhooks.
But today, he says he is “a fisherman for life.”
“When I was a boy, I always wanted to go fishing, and that’s what I always did,” Cuthberson said.
“My father had always told me that when you are little, you can’t make your own money.
You can only work in a job that someone else gives you.”
Cuthbersons family, however, did not make it to fishing as a boy.
It was a harsh life of working on a ranch in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“We had a lot to feed our family, but we also had to go out to sea to get food,” Cox said.
“You didn’t have the money to do any of that, and you didn’t know where to go to get some water, and there was always the possibility of getting sick or getting killed by the fish.
You had to look after your family, and I had to do that, too.”
So when Cuthbert’s father died suddenly in 1894, his older brother took over the family business.
John Cuthberedtson’s father and his brother John were the sole members of the family, working with their father’s old fishing boat to catch their father-in-law’s catch.
But there were other men who followed in the family tradition, too, and John Cox, now 55, says he has seen many of them “in the wild.”
The Cuthbrings were lucky, in part because they were able to get fish for their family.
John and his father, John Cogan, bought a farm in northern Kentucky and soon set about building a small fish farm on their property.
The family also opened a local barbershop.
But when the Cogan family got the call to open a larger fish farm in southern Kentucky, the family’s dreams of a bigger family came to a crashing halt.
“The land wasn’t fertile enough for a family to keep a large fish farm, and the only place that was willing to give us the land was the town of Barreley,” John Cuthertson said in an interview with The Associated Press.
John’s father had died when he was just 20 years old, and his mother had gone on to become one of his best friends.
But in 1892, John’s mother died.
“They didn’t let me leave my parents house without my father-of-arms, so I had my dad-of, and then the family moved on to Barrellas,” John said.
Barreley, which sits on the shores of Lake Erie, was one of three places John Cathersons grandfather and father had settled when he and his family arrived in Barrely.
He grew up around fishing and fishing, fishing in the water and on the beach, and even working as a barber.
“Barreleys fish was not the most beautiful thing, but it was a little bit of everything,” John remembered.
“We used to go and fish the whole day, and we used to fish and fish until 2 or 3 in the morning, and when we got home, we’d put the fish on the grill and cook the fish and then we’d have dinner.
That’s how we got by.”
But by the time John Citherans grandfather died in 1893, he was running out of fish.
“The only fish we had were small snapper,” John recalled.
“I was trying to sell them for a lot more money than they were worth, and my father was trying, too.
They were getting sick of us.”
John Cithersons father was determined to keep the family fishing.
“When I went fishing, I was going out with my father, and he told me what he thought about the whole business,” John says.
“He said, ‘You can’t fish a fish until you have two fish.'”
The family began working together and became successful.
John had a boat, but John says his father was a bigger man, so he used to drive John and his grandfather to places like Blythe, Kentucky, where he and John were able, with the help of the local fishermen, to get to Barren Island.
In the early 1900s, Barren was a fishing town.
“It’s in the heart of the forest and it’s surrounded by a big bay