Soft Shell Maine Lobsters

Summer in Maine is the time for soft shell lobsters.  Adult lobsters molt in the summer months, so soft shell lobsters (sometimes called “shedders” or shedder lobsters) start coming into the local markets in June and become more plentiful as the summer progresses.




Hard Shell Maine Lobsters

There is no special Maine lobster season for the hard-shell lobsters that are more commonly shipped out of state, since lobstering is done year-round in the waters off Maine.

More lobsters are caught in the summer months than during the winter, but that is mainly because the demand is higher due to tourism, and because the working conditions are easier.  During the winter months, lobsters move further offshore, requiring lobster boats to travel greater distances, and the harsh weather makes it more difficult for fishermen to work.  But lobsters are trapped throughout the year, so there is no “best time of the year” to order live Maine lobsters; you can enjoy them whenever you want a delicious treat.

Warm Water or Spiny Lobsters

Unlike the cold water lobsters from Maine, warm water lobsters from places like the Caribbean do have a fishing season, which varies by region.  For example, the Spiny lobster season runs from August 1 through March 31 in the Bahamas, and from August 6 though March 31 in Florida.  Many areas also have a special sport season for legal recreational fishing of the Spiny lobster; for example, the Florida Keys have a two-day sport fishing season in July, and California allows sport fishing from late September through mid March.

Because most Spiny lobsters are sold frozen or canned, however, they are available year round, and so there is little relationship between the fishing season and when frozen or canned Spiny lobsters are available in restaurants or to consumers.

14 Comments

  1. ARE THERE ANY LOBSTER BOATS A PERSON COULD GO OUT ON FOR A DAY OR HALF DAY BETWEEN OCTOBER 26 AND 31, 2010? IF SO–PLEASE GIVE ME SOME NAMES FOR ONES IN THE VERY SOUTHERN PART OF MAINE AND MAYBE AN IDEA OF PRICES FOR SUCH TRIP. WE DON’T HAVE TOO MANY LOBSTERS IN TENNESSEE AN I THINK IT WOULD BE A VERY INTERESTING THING TO DO.–THANK YOU–CLAUD VICK–PS OUR ONLY LOBSTERS ARE IN A TANK AT RED LOBSTER OR ON ICE AT THE GROCERY!!!

  2. We are planning to come there when would you say is the best time of the year. No festivals , please. We are looking for inexpensive lodging as well. What area is the nicest ? North or south east or west. Thanks, Sue

  3. Do you know why there are no lobsters in the waters off of the pacific northwest? What conditions are necessary for lobsters to be plentiful?

  4. We plan to be in Maine in the Down East & Acadia area in mid-September. Will we still be able to see working lobster boats and villages? Will eateries still have fresh lobsters?

  5. We are going to be in Southern Maine on Saturday Jan. 19. We are taking our son for his state report., which is Maine. Mine. We are from Illinios. Is there anywhere to go to learn about catching lobsters in the winter?
    Thanks!

  6. I really love the way Maine Lobster tastes. When is the best time for California residents to buy Maine lobster. And just a note: why is it so expensive? It used to be a poor person’s food a couple hundreds years ago. It was expensive only because of transport inland. Well, it’s not that expensive to ship anymore!! ok I’m done.

  7. It was explained to me that Lobster Licenses are like a lottery now, there is no guarantee that you get one even if you’ve had one all your life. Plus the price of the license has gone up, which makes the price of lobster go up. It’s great living in New England and having lobster year round.

  8. URGENT QUESTION!

    Some friends and I wanted to go to the Portland Lobsterfest this year – when exactly will it be taking place?

    We’re hoping it’ll be this weekend so we can attend!

    Or is there only the Maine Lobster Festival in August this year? Let me know as soon as possible. Thank you!

    Cheers,

    Mimi

  9. As in soft or hard shell? Both are the same lobster just different molt periods and hard shell usually all year. I’m a lobsterman living in a small town outside Portland.

  10. lol expensive for you while the fishermen are only getting $2 a pound or less in the summer

  11. We are planning a trip with friends Sept. and are wondering about the chance of “Lobstering” on a boat while we are there?
    Can something like this be set up?

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