Joe Higgins, Tom and Parker with their fresh fish prints

Joe Higgins, Tom and Parker with their fresh fish prints

The New England Boating TV crew wrapped up its final day in Salem yesterday [July 18] and it was another busy—and hot—one.

After a restful night and a delicious Continental breakfast at the historic (and purportedly haunted) Salem Inn, we spent the day shooting land-based attractions, all of which are within easy walking distance of the waterfront and local marinas.

First stop was a visit to Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints & Tomo’s Tackle on Pickering Wharf. Co-owner Joe Higgins is a local artist who specializes in Gyotaku fish-printing, and he gave us a demonstration of how he goes about creating his unique works of art. Co-host Parker Kelley and I even got to make our own prints of a large cunner (bergall) to take home. Higgins sells his framed prints in the shop, and will even make prints from fish that customers bring to him. He also offers unique guided trips where he’ll take someone fishing, then bring the catch back to the shop for printing. The shop is also a well-stocked tackle shop carrying everything from live bait to high-end rods and reel. You can buy sinkers, plugs, tube lures, sinkers, Sabiki rigs, pliers, hooks to take on everything from stripers to tuna. Visiting fishermen will be glad to know there’s a good tackle shop close to the Salem waterfront.

You can’t shoot a TV show on Salem without covering the venerable Salem Witch Museum, which hasn’t changed since I first visited the place as a kid in the mid-‘70s! Yes, the same spooky soundtrack and creepy dioramas are still in use, including the infamous scene where poor Giles Corey is crushed beneath heavy stones (“More Weight!”). Next we visited a very different type of museum—the Peabody Essex Museum—where we interviewed Dan Finamor, curator of PEM’s maritime collection. We learned that the museum, which is considered one of the best art museums in the country, has its roots in Salem’s maritime trade. Ship captains from Salem formed a society where artifacts gathered from around the globe were brought back to the city, and this eclectic collection of items eventually came to serve as the foundation of the museum.

Stuffed penguin at the PEM

Stuffed penguin at the PEM

After PEM we took a much-needed lunch break at the Howling Wolf Taqueria. Great food served large in a laidback atmosphere. If you like Mexican, this is the place!

We wrapped up the shoot by filming our “wrap” and B-roll footage on the waterfront as evening descended, then returned to the Winter Park launch ramp to retrieve out GMC Sierra and Boston Whaler 250 Outrage.

Overall we had a wonderful time in the Witch City, aided in no small part by the weather. The only glitch was the theft of our GoPro camera, which we had left unattended in order to capture a time-lapse sequence. Guess we’re too trusting.

New England Boating TV, sponsored by GMC and Boston Whaler and their network of New England dealers. The show airs Monday, at 7:00 p.m. on NESN.


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