Tonging oysters by hand from the bay bottom is tough, cold, rugged work. Men go out in small boats with rakes on the ends of handles which sometimes measure twenty-four feet in length. Most of the tonging is done in the cold weather when ice frequently forms on the handles. The teeth of the rake scrape the oysters off the bottom. Special areas are set aside for the hand tongers; dredgers are not allowed there. If either finds the other infringing an argument ensues.
A Aubrey Bodine/Baltimore Sun file photo