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I think the verb trawl is used more in sense of the process of fishing and mostly followed by where the fishing process takes place and in this usage it sounds as if fishermen tried to catch fish in a place but it is not clear if they succeed.

I'd like to ask if it sounds natural if I say:

Fishermen trawled at least 100 kg of fish..

or

Fishermen trawled an amount of fish that they have never before at this time of year.

Maybe I can use the verb catch but I just want to know if I can use the verb trawl because it gives information as to how the fish is caught but I am not sure the verbs catch and trawl can be synonym in this sense.

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When I wrote my answer I was young and stupid. I've since matured and would like to state:

most of what I've written below is nonsense. Your sentence "fishermen trawled at least 100 kg of fish" is fine. It's not very natural, but it's fine.

Anyway, original answer:


No, it doesn't really make sense, as "to trawl" generally describes the process of fishing, rather than actually catching the fish.

You can't trawl a fish but you can trawl for fish.

So I'm afraid you'd have to say something along the lines of:

The fishermen caught more fish than they'd ever caught before during that time of year.

You can use trawler (as a noun) to describe the boat, so you could also say:

The trawlers pulled in at least 100kg of fish

where "pulled in" is a colloquial way of saying "caught."


I thought I'd correct your second sentence's grammar (your first sentence is fine):

Fishermen trawled an amount of fish that they have never before at this time of year.

You need a verb between "never" and "before," and if you're mentioning a previous date you need to say "that time of year" instead of "this time of year." ('This time of year' is too ambiguous, it would generally refer to the time of year it was when you wrote this sentence.)

Fishermen trawled an amount of fish that they have never trawled before at that time of year.

  • Some dictionaries provide definitions that suggest trawl could be used in this way. See Wordnik, for example, which includes these definitions: To catch (fish) with a trawl; To catch or take with a trawl-net. I found this sample usage in a thesis: It was near the mouth of this river in 1938 that Captain Hendrik Goosen trawled a catch of fish. – J.R. Mar 8 '16 at 15:10
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    He trawled a catch. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 8 '16 at 18:30
  • @theonlygusti - If you don't like Wordnik, I can use Def 3 from the OED: trans. To catch or take with a trawl or trawl-net. But you and I both seem to agree that it's not a common usage. – J.R. Mar 8 '16 at 23:19
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Fishermen trawled at least 100 kg of fish.

There is nothing wrong with this sentence, although I haven't heard the verb trawl used that way very often. If you wanted to use caught yet still convey the additional information, you could say:

Fishermen caught at least 100 kg of fish while trawling.

or:

Fishermen went trawling and caught at least 100 kg of fish.

As for your second sentence, I'd reword it as follows:

Fishermen trawled more fish than they ever have before at this time of year.

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