It was a beautiful afternoon to get out on the bay with my grandson Dustin and my nephew Bryan, along with his wife Rebecca and daughter Hailey. It was Dustin's first experience with the intricate art of catching lobsters. . Bryan, who learned the art of catching those spiny, delicacies from his grandfather, DJ, met us with, in fact, his grand dads old boat, at the Belfast Public Landing.
Well actually it is a new "old" boat as Bryan has immensely improved it from the old DJ days. Anyways, soon we were off The Battery to the first buoy, floating upright as if at attention. Much easier to "latch" onto nowadays as compared to old floating warp, gaff days..
Quickly Bryan had the pot warp engaged in the knee activated hauler and even more quickly the trap was revealed from the shallow waters and was on the working shelf to the immense interest of Dustin and Hailey.And just like that we had our first lobster.... except..
it was a notched female laden with eggs. And after the quick inspection by our curious crew, she was over the side, the lobster, not Hailey.
Now we were on to the next set of traps, with the process repeating itself.. and with Hailey and Dustin anticipating the haul..
This time a different story..no eggs..but to my experienced eye, honed to a sharpness from those long ago days of lobstering with my old man, this particular bug looked a bit undersized to me. However with an expert check on the guage, and after a mild rebuke directed toward me from Bryan..
the next thing I saw was the claw bands slipping over the crusher and pincer. Another upgrade from the days of the sharpened wooden, flat sided pegs that we used to insert behind the moving portion of the claws in order to immobilize them.
(And by the way..check out the lovely bucket of bait that was supplied to Bryan by a professional fisherman, Brad. Anyways, I digress..)
And quick as Jack flew over the candlestick, our lobster landed in the bottom of the bucket..our first keeper..or should I say keepa'?
Of course Dustin, now having deemed himself a bonafide deckhand, had to make sure all was in order and that the creature had settled in.
(Oh and Hailey? She said her Dad looked like a princess in his white fishing bibs.)
Dustin was curious about the trap and buoy set up and found a way to help by tossing the buoy back into the water after the trap was reset. However he wasn't all that enthusiastic about the bait bucket, sorry Brad. Who knows, maybe there is a future stern man in the making?
After hauling about a third of Bryan's traps we were as close to the marina as we were going to get, so we decided to head back so poor Bryan could get the rest of this traps tended before dark.
On the way back we came across a pair of harbor seals basking in the late summer sun.
It was a fabulous couple of hours on the bay with my nephew Bryan and grandson Dustin and niece Becca and grand niece Hailey.
And to top it all off?
To be back in my Dad's old boat, very fond memories of the old days washing over me.. with DJ and Uncle Oscar..haulin' traps..catchin' bugs...