The first trawlers off the North East coast around Scarborough were not local fishermen. Instead they came from Southern ports such as Brixham or Lowestoft. Both Barking and Brixham claim the first use of the Beam trawl. Southern trawlers came up to Scarborough and made it the centre of the fishing industry on the North East coast. They were taking advantage of the good prices to be had in the coastal resort of Scarborough during the tourist season. This boom around Scarborough lasted between 1830 and 1840.
The height of the 1830's Scarborough boom came when the 'Silver pit' was discovered in 1835. This was discovered quite by chance when the fishing fleet was dispersed during a storm on the Dogger Bank. One boat became seperated from the rest and had not had chance to haul its nets up. The skipper was pleasantly surprised when his trawl was crammed full of fine soles. He came back to this place with the help of a navigator and soon the area was known as the 'Silver Pit'. At the height of this boom soles were so abundant that they sold for as little as 5/- a truck load. The boom was short lived here as the soles disapeared from the 'Silver Pit' in 1838.
The industry began to shift to Hull and later Grimsby. Scarborough was lacking in stores and repairs. In the 1860's the introduction of ice and Steam Trawlers further revolutionized the industry. In 1891 the first Grimsby trawler visited Iceland.
Scarborough boats stayed in British waters with the abundance of fish. They took only the best fish such as prime soles, brill and turbot. They simply discarded other fish such as plaice, dabs, ling and hake. Later when the railways were established these unpopular fish were used.
Scarborough boats were often the old style paddle trawler. But these were gradually replaced. The last of this type - the Constance - was sunk on 22nd March 1910. The new screw steam trawlers now took over such as the Otter, The Seal and the Dalhousie.
- Scarborough Evening News 26 February, 1926