When you’re on the coast of Maine, it’s all about the lobster! A great way to really get up close and personal with Maine’s favorite crustacean is with an educational boat tour with Lucky Catch Cruises in Portland. They offer a fun experience which shows you how lobsters are harvested, and you will learn so much about the biology and conservation of lobsters. Also, the scenery is gorgeous and you get to pass by several lighthouses and Civil War fortresses, including the famous and picturesque Portland Head Lighthouse.
The 90-minute cruise takes you around Casco Bay, and you will haul up three lobster traps along the way.
Here, our guide is demonstrating how they measure each and every lobster that is caught, to ensure they are the appropriate size. If they’re too small, they’re thrown back in so they can grow a bit more.
Holding a lobster is not as scary as it looks, even with bare hands (which I did). They do wiggle a lot, though.
Each member of the tour got a hands-on experience with lobstering. Whether it was hauling up the trap from the bottom of the ocean, changing out the bait bag, pushing the trap back in, or checking out the other things that happen to come up in the traps (like crabs and seaweed), everybody had an opportunity to do something, or hold something.
Here, our guide is showing us a few things about the physiology of the lobster. We learned about how the two claws are different, how to tell the difference between males and females, which ones have recently molted, or may be laying eggs, and even evidence of past injuries.
One awesome thing that they offer: you can buy lobsters right off the boat at the end of your tour at wholesale boat price (typically around $5/lb). They will package it up for you, tag it with a number, and you can take it over to the Portland Lobster Co. right at the pier next to the Lucky Catch booth and have it cooked up for you and served with all the traditional lobster dinner sides for $10. How fun is that? I really wish I liked lobster. Sadly, I do not. But I enjoy the whole seafood restaurant ambiance even though I don’t partake in much of it. I wish my husband Dave could have gone on this trip with us, because he would have loved it.
Thank you, Lucky Catch, for the wonderful memories and experiences on this lobstering excursion! We enjoyed learning all about lobsters and the industry, as well as enjoying the beautiful scenery around Casco Bay!