STONINGTON — The year was 1937, and 7-year-old Andy Gove began his fishing career with a dinghy, a license for two traps and a tether.
“They started me out when I was 7 by tying me to a metal pipe, and having me row up and down the coast in my Peapod dingy,” the Stonington fisherman recalls. “Once I could do that, I was able to start lobstering.”
Gove, at age 83, has spent nearly his whole life on the water.
“I was born in 1930 and when the Depression got particularly hard for my folks, I was sent to live with my grandparents on Eagle Island,” Gove said. “Once on an island, there are not too many options for you. You’re either a farmer or a fisherman, and I was a terrible farmer.”
Gove has been the “Top Dog” in Stonington and Deer Isle for the majority of his fishing career, said sternman Justin Limeburner. He’s known for working the hardest, catching the most and traveling the farthest.
“Everyone knows Andy and respects him,” Limeburner said. “I am going out on my own pretty soon and there is no better teacher than Andy.”