Steve trap1 How to Bait a Lobster TrapA lobster trap must be checked often for live lobsters.  If left unattended for too long, they die and another crawls in to eat it.  That one could eventually die of starvation and another would be attracted and come in to dine on him.  

That cycle is broken in modern traps by a plate covered opening.  The cover plate is held in place with ties that deteriorate after awhile that allow the cover to fall off, allowing trapped lobsters out.  

It doesn’t happen overnight, but will effectively render the trap useless once the cover ties deteriorate and the cover plate falls off.  Accordingly, if a trap is lost to a storm, it will no longer contain lobsters, ending the cycle of lobsters perishing within.

How to Bait a Lobster Trap

The bait is often dead herring -or some other type of fish, obtained from a fish market.  If stored, it is best kept in a freezer.  The bait is confined to a mesh bag within the trap.  The lobsters can only ‘nibble’ away at it through the bag and it lasts longer that way.

Lobster Trap Design

Old traps were made of wood slats and netting.  The newer ones are steel mesh, consisting of a chamber called the ‘head’ where the lobster enters after being attracted by the irresistible aroma of decaying fish.  He enters through an opening and is unable to exit the way he came in.  From there he is invited into the ‘parlor’ through an opening he is able to navigate easily.  

Once there, his ‘goose is cooked’ as he is unable to escape.  Juvenile lobsters, under a certain size can escape easily through an opening designed for that purpose.  His bigger brother must remain behind.


Lobstering News from Maine

A Portland, Maine lobster dealer has lobsters in three different -and rare, colors.  One, a calico color is thought to occur only once in thirty million such animals.  An orange and a blue lobster may occur every two million, or so.

Many Lobster Fishermen are Opting to Sit This Season Out

A glut of lobsters in Maine seems to be causing many of the 5,000 Maine lobster catchers to remain idle.  The ‘boat price’ is only about $2.00 per pound, a price many say is not worth leaving the house for.  Expenses are such that -even at $3.00/lb., it’s difficult for some to make enough profit.  A larger operation may have expenses upwards to $500/day for fuel, bait and labor.

The glut, caused by the early arrival of the soft shelled lobsters, may have been caused by warmer ocean temps.  Because the soft-shelled variety don’t ship well, there has been a sharp increase in the numbers on-hand in the lobster processing plants and holding pens, thereby creating a large back-log on the east coast.  

That is keeping prices down, much to the chagrin of lobstermen but to the delight of consumers.

Crab-to-Bait Conversion

In the video below, Steve demonstrates the finer art of converting a crab to lobster bait.  It’s a skill learned from Large Louis, a one-time acquaintance of Home and Garden 911, honed over many years of lobster catching along the Piscataqua River.  

Big Louie went on to hone his gardening skills after he was sent ‘up the river’ for his strong-arm tactics.  It was in Ossining that he vowed to abandon his heavy handed ways in favor of editing a ‘how-to-gardening‘ column in the local newspaper Westchester.  

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