Fishing Tools

Florida people modified the hard structures of shells to create an assortment of tools such as axes and scrapers. Net gauges, fashioned out of clam or whelk shells, were a standard of measurement for weaving net mesh. Hooks were carved from the toe bones of deer. Composite hooks were a blend of oak for the shaft of the hook and a barb splintered from a deer’s leg bone. 

Adam’s Needle, a native yucca, in bloom

Hook made from a deer’s toe bone.

Gag hooks were made from the center columnella of small lightning whelks.

The forests surrounding the bays provided fiber for nets. Spaniards describe nets being made from a fiber called silk grass which may have been from a native yucca known as Adam’s Needle. There was also native cotton available for making cordage.

Adam’s Needle leaves can be stripped and processed into cordage.