Beach Combing

When I first noticed the dusty old round glass balls hanging from the rafter of the original Pirate’s Cove building, I questioned the owner, then Jimmy Cruz, what they were. Jimmy’s reply was, “Fish balls.

Fish balls are glass floats used to keep up and mark long fishing lines that have weights and baits or they can be used to hold up large or small fishing nets. Baseball size floats were probably used to float a salmon gill net.Big floats are used for heavier fishing.Most glass floats would be over 50 years old now.

I admire fish balls and have found many beachcombing along the island’s south east coast line I’ve also found some floating out ot sea while I was deep sea fishing. Every float is unique in design and wear.Rare ones have water inside for some unknown reason.Amber and gold colored glass are very rare.

Today plastic is used to make fish floats, for durability and longevity it makes sense for fisherman not to use glass. As time goes by the glass floats become more rare and valuable to collectors. The glass floats I find today have been out to sea for many years until changes in winds and currents push them over the reef or thru the Togcha Channel to our hard rock costal shoreline.

It is very fortunate to find a glass fish ball so many are broken along the rugged reef and shoreline. My heart sinks when I find the broken pieces –my heart sings when I see a survivor ahead. My pace will always quicken as I approach the treasured float for some have been snached right before my very eyes by others hungry for fish balls. Glass fish floats mostly originate from Japan.

Here on Guam we benifit from the trade winds which pushes the Northern Equatorial Current by us. These currents are rich with floating treasurers.