Skip directly to site content
add bookmark

How Mainers Fish for Lobster

The sun’s rays are just beginning to lighten the sky over the sea’s dark horizon as lobstermen row out to their boats. The law in Maine says from June through August they can only pull traps half an hour before dawn to half an hour after dusk and never on Sundays, so they make the most of the time they have.

There’s a lot to know about fishing for “bugs,” as the tasty crustaceans are often called by those who harvest them. Lobstermen must know how to read the sea’s mood to be successful since water temperature and tides affect their catch. Those colorful buoys you see bobbing on the surface of Maine waters all have unique colors and combinations that are assigned to each lobsterman. The buoys are attached to the traps that lure the lobsters inside.

Some lobstermen prefer to work alone, but others have sternmen, who bait the traps by hand with aged and salted herring or alewives. While the bait smells horrid to people, it’s a siren call to lobster as they patrol the ocean’s floors. Together, the captain and the sternman haul traps and measure all that’s caught. Lobsters that are too small or too big are thrown back to keep the population healthy and growing. Egg-bearing females are notched at the tail and thrown back, as well.

Ever wonder about those banded claws? There’s a reason they have those big, delicious claws. The rubber bands are necessary as lobsters can give a mean bite, plus lobsters are solitary creatures by nature and don’t take kindly to sharing space with others.

It is a hard life but ask any lobsterman if they’d do anything different. The answer is always a resounding no.

Businesses & Organizations

Retrieving results.
  • The Rufus Porter Museum celebrates the life and times of a remarkably creative American genius who worked throughout Maine, New England, and beyond.

    Phone: (207) 647-2828


    Address: 121 Main Street , Bridgton

    History and Maritime Art and Craft Museums
  • A look at life in rural, 19th-century Maine

    Phone: (207) 933-2287


    Address: 748 Main Street PO Box 352 , Monmouth

    History and Maritime Museums
  • Highlighting local maritime history.

    Phone: 207-315-6125

    Address: 16A Wharf St. Pier 1 , Boothbay Harbor

    Gifts History and Maritime Museums
  • Historic tours of Maine - walking, cruises, haunts, tasting, maritime, lighthouses and more.

    Phone: (207) 380-3806


    Address: PO Box 545 , Damariscotta

    Boat Cruises Guided Tours History and Maritime
  • A beautiful monument to Maine's Veterans, the Veterans Count Heroes Wall is a place for reflection and giving thanks to all who have served our great country. With two great locations- this monument is one to top your list when visiting Maine.

    Phone: 207-828-0754


    History and Maritime Maine's Heritage
  • Maine's most unique attraction and campground! A desert 8 minutes from the flagship LL Bean Store and Freeport Outlets. Walking tours, hiking, tent & trailer camping, kids playground, 200 year old barn and cafe.

    Phone: (207) 850-3025


    Address: 95 Desert Road , Freeport

    Camping Resorts Private Camping Areas History and Maritime

Related Articles

Retrieving results.

Get inspired at the Maine Quarterly

  • The Can't-Miss MidCoast: What to Eat, Drink, Do in Maine.

  • Bourgeois Guitars

No results found.

Businesses and locations related to: How Mainers Fish for Lobster

Loading markers...

Searching for ""Almost there...