The 2010 Maine lobster fishing season has started. My father and brother started setting off their traps this week, as did many of the other fishermen.
As I’ve mentioned before, the first few months of fishing are pretty much just “changing the water in the traps” but it’s important to get out there and mark your territory.
As my mother mentioned in her last email:
“What you see now are loads and loads of traps going down by or the trucks and trailers loaded up with traps and balloons lined right up on the road by the wharves. Everyone is setting now. Quite a few loads went out from Dean’s wharf. This week is the start of setting for the Cate’s and from our wharf. Your brother set out two big loads and then loaded the boat for today. Dad did the same. They loaded the trailers for the second load today. I will go down when they come in from the first load and help hook on or whatever so they can get back out there for the second load.”
Setting out the traps at the beginning of the lobster fishing season is pretty much the reverse of taking up the traps at the end of the season. The harbor is filled with boats piled high with lobster traps ready to set, the wharves are busy with fishermen winching traps off trailers and down onto their boats and the roads are filled with trucks going back and forth to the harbor with trap trailers.
It’s an “all hands on deck” affair, with one person on the wharf operating the winch, one person on the trailer hooking on the traps and one person down on the lobster boat unloading the traps and stacking them. Barrels of rope and bunches of buoys are also loaded onto the boat. Once the boat is piled high with traps (a 45 foot boat can store over 100 traps at a time), the fishermen head out the harbor to set. The fishermen and various folks in town are always really great about stopping what they’re doing to help each other load traps. It’s nice to see the community come together that way.
To read more about the Maine lobster fishing season, click here.