One of the most mouthwatering foods you will ever eat is a Maine lobster. The majority of people, however, are unaware of the amount of labor required to transport that delicious lobster from the ocean to their plates. Here is a peek at a day in the life of a Maine lobsterman in case you have ever wondered how this delectable crustacean is harvested for your dinner.
You must feel at ease in the early morning hours if you want to catch a Maine lobster. By 4 am, the majority of lobstermen in Maine have their boats out on the water. They can enjoy seeing the sunrise over the stunning Atlantic Ocean as a result. The lobstermen are well into their regular rounds by 6 a.m.
As the lobstermen walk from trap to trap, they always keep an eye out for the buoys of various colors they observe along the road. While keeping a sharp eye out for the color that denotes the presence of their own buoys, which alerts them that their traps are beneath, they must avoid the colors that are not their own buoys.
Many academics have drawn comparisons between the buoys used by Maine lobstermen and the ancient lords’ coats of arms. The buoys used by each lobsterman have their own unique colors and patterns, making them easy to identify. These recognizable buoys have given rise to an entire art movement that aims to recycle old buoys and amass beautiful images and literature about the buoys.
Knowing the ocean is essential for success as a lobsterman in Maine. Each lobsterman has the capacity to set up to 800 traps every day, but none of them have the time to maintain that many traps. Knowing which place each day has the best odds of producing a sizable load of lobsters is the key to success in lobstering. The time of year and the weather are just two of the many variables that affect this.
The majority of a lobsterman’s employment consists of baiting, setting, and inspecting his traps. Typically, teams of two men work as lobstermen. Typically, each captain has a sternman or apprentice whose responsibility it is to manage the traps while the captain manages the boat. Redfish and porgies are used as bait in the lobster traps to entice the lobsters. Over the past 200 years, little has changed about lobster traps. Although they are currently made of plastic-coated metal rather than wood, their design has not changed in the past 200 years.
A lobsterman’s existence is one that is constantly unpredictable. Although the majority of the lobsters are taken between June and December, the lobstermen never know what each day may bring. They occasionally capture enough to cover their running costs, but other times they don’t, leaving them feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot. Only those with deep emotional reserves can bear the uncertainty of the lobstering life. Getting the delectable Maine lobster onto guests’ plates is a difficult business.
“What time do the boats return after fishing?” Galilee, Narragansett
Where do you go to see the lobster boats dock and offload their catch? Do they still leave in March at the same time they do in other months?
Why Go On A Maine Lobster Boat Tour?
Is that the most opulent way to pass the time? Not necessarily, but it’s one of the most distinctive things a visitor to Maine can do. Anyone who doesn’t reside in New England should take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what it’s like to work in the vital fishing sector. The lobstermen of Maine are well-known and revered and do tasks on the water that few others could.
Lobster fishing has played a significant role in the history of Maine because fishermen’s traditions that date back generations have single-handedly protected the industry. In keeping with the comparison between pizza and New York, going on a lobster boat trip in Maine is comparable to working behind the counter of a real Italian pizzeria in the heart of Manhattan. We gain a fresh understanding of the things that attract us, such as a full fleet of lobster fishing boats, thanks to the tools of the trade and professional education.
Common Questions Regarding Maine Lobster Fishing
- How do you locate your catches? Each trap is marked by a fisherman using buoys of a different color. The fisherman is directed to his buoys using navigational tools or landmarks.
- How many lobsters can one trap hold? The time of year and the way the lobsters are behaving in a particular area will have a significant impact on how many lobsters a fisherman will catch in a trap. It’s not unusual for a trap to yield zero lobsters, especially in the spring. You can capture up to ten to twelve lobsters in a single trap during the best fall fishing.
- What’s the frequency of your hauls? Typically, a lobsterman will haul each of his traps at least once every week, and frequently more than once. Some fisherman haul their traps every day when the fishing is good.
- What number of traps do you haul each day? Depending on the weather, the tides, and the season, a fisherman may haul in fewer or more traps in a given day. A fisherman may haul no more than fifty traps on a light day. He’ll probably haul several hundred on a busy day.
- How do you store your boat and traps over the winter? When fishing is at its slowest in the winter, up to 70% of fisherman in the Down East use up all of their traps. The fisherman will paint his buoys and make any necessary repairs to the traps during this period. For the winter, some fisherman also bring their boats ashore. Particularly for fishermen operating smaller or older boats, this is true.
- Why are lobsters not red when they are caught? Most frequently, when people think of lobsters, they picture the vibrantly red crustaceans that are put on dinner platters. However, once cooked, lobsters only turn red. A lobster’s shell contains a complex mixture of colors that appears greenish-brown when the animal is alive. However, all the pigments except for red are destroyed by heat during the cooking process.
- Do lobsters experience pain when they are killed? Since they have no brains and only a very basic nerve system, lobsters do not feel pain when they are cooked. An organism’s nervous system needs to be more complicated in order for it to be able to sense pain.
- When you put lobsters in the pot, do they cry? No, lobsters do not weep since they lack vocal chords or any other means of vocalization. Dr. Robert Bayer, director of the research group the Lobster Institute and professor of animal and veterinary sciences at the University of Maine, claims that any noise you may hear when a lobster is cooking is most likely air exiting its stomach through its mouth.
- Do you eat lobster frequently? Some people believe that lobstermen consume lobster on a daily basis. However, a fisherman must subtract money from his weekly salary for each lobster he takes home to cook. So how frequently do fisherman eat lobster? Nearly 60% of the fishermen I surveyed consume lobster less frequently than once a month. Only 10% of the fishermen I interviewed regularly eat lobster.
Why leave so early are lobstermen?
Since the sea is always awake, getting a job in the lobstering business requires an early riser. A lot of lobstermen are out on the ocean by four in the morning, observing the sun rise over the Atlantic waves.
How long does a typical lobster boat measure?
The mainstay of Maine’s lobster fishing industry are lobster boats. A Down East lobster boat is compared to the pickup truck of the Maine coast by Chris Caswell in his article “So What is a lobster Boat.” The more than 6,000 lobstermen in Maine are able to pull in their catch thanks to these workboats. Licenses are frequently handed down from generation to generation because lobstering is a family heritage. Victor Cole, a lobsterman and native of Tenants Harbor, sums it up best:
Our lifeline is our fleet of lobster boats. We literally rely on them to keep us alive because of their safety, seaworthiness, and luck.
Have you ever wondered what kind of boats are used to capture live lobsters? The majority of lobster boats in Maine are small, with lengths between 22 and 40 feet, and are either skippered alone or with a skeleton crew of sternmen (deck hands) who assist with hauling traps. A winch is used to help pull the traps from the ocean floor and onto the boat. There is limited hold room, and the back decks are uncovered. Larger boats can fish farther offshore and in deeper waters. Due to the advancement of nautical technology throughout time and the growing economic competition among seafarers, lobster boats have undergone many changes.
The slower and less effective goods are generally left behind. Traditional wooden boats were not as strong or long-lasting as modern fiberglass boats, which were first launched in the 1970s and serve as a powerful barrier against the sea and strong winds. Furthermore, compared to wooden boats, fiberglass boats needed less upkeep and repair.
What is the price of a lobster boat?
Costs for lobster boats YachtWorld has a wide range of lobster boats for sale, with the least expensive one listed for $5,704 and the most expensive one going for $2,600,000. When deciding between a yacht for sale and your budget, keep in consideration the cost of ownership.
When does the lobster season end?
Maine and New Hampshire both have year-round lobster harvesting operations. Even yet, the bulk of lobsters are caught between late June and late December, when they are at their busiest. Although in smaller amounts, lobsters are also taken in the winter and early spring.
The Gulf of Maine, which includes the Bay of Fundy and boasts the largest tidal changes on earth, as well as cold, nutrient-rich water, is unquestionably the most active area for lobster fishing throughout the year.
Where in Maine can I find lobster?
- Maine’s CAMDEN. Cruises from Camden Harbor.
- Maine’s BOOTHBAY HARBOR. Muscongus, sail.
- MAINE’S HARPSWELL Tours on the West Wind Lobster Boat.
- HARRINGTON, MAINE. Sea Tours & Adventures by Robertson.
- Maine’s KENNEBUNK The scenic lobster boat tour at Kylie’s Chance.
- Maine’s KENNEBUNKPORT.
- Maine’s OGUNQUIT
- MAINLAND, OREGON
In Maine, are you able to catch your own lobsters?
Captain Tom Martin of the “Lucky Catch” movie inspects a lobster trap in Casco Bay while guiding tourists in search of the much sought-after delicacy. (Image courtesy of Harrison Shiels)
When Captain Tom Martin invited me to join “Lucky Catch,” a 37-foot lobster boat, to go pick up traps from the ocean floor near Portland, Maine, I had ideas of “Deadliest Catch.”
He assured me, though, that we would not be traveling very far out as we set out on a 90-minute journey through calm Casco Bay. “In just 10 minutes, we’ll be raising lobster traps that are 40 feet below the surface. There is a lot of food available to the lobsters, and the water temperature is just right for them.”
So I soon found myself filling a mesh net with herring for the lobsters, thanks to the strict guy Brian Rapp, while wearing a long orange apron and rubber gloves. Only larger lobsters are intended to be caught in the traps, which are inspected every three days. Remember the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”? Rapp said, “A lobster claw’s clamp is really unpleasant. The result will be a blood blister. When lobstermen recover the creatures from the 300 wooden or steel traps they will bring up by winch and check in a 12-hour day at sea, they use a pair of pliers to tighten rubber bands around the creature’s pincher and crusher.
On this June day, we’re only inspecting eight traps as part of the $25 tourist activity organized by the concierge at the Inn by the Sea in Crescent Beach.
But from November to April, when the risks are much higher and the waves are bigger, the “Lucky Catch” and her crew operate commercially throughout a 20-mile area.
However, for the time being, assistance from the people on board is optional and is accompanied by a brief marine biology lesson on concepts like “keepers,” “soft shells,” and “shedders,” among others.
You can catch and designate your own lobster while onboard, pay the wholesale boat price upon docking ($5 for a 1.5 lb. lobster), and actually hand-carry it across the pier to Portland Lobster Company if you don’t mind getting to know your lunch before you eat it.
Your catch will be waiting for you on a dish with a baked potato, corn on the cob, and melted butter ten minutes and $9.95 later. To wash everything down, I advise a Sea Dog blueberry beer from Portland.
Executive Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich devised a lobster sorbet for dessert at the Inn by the Sea. It’s a curiosity as well as a hit, he claimed. Although the idea might have made you cringe, it tasted rich and reviving like a mouthful of cold bisque.