Maine Lobster Season: Is It Everything It’s Cracked Up to Be?

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lobster fishing cages

Photo by Kim Traynor licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

If there’s one thing Maine is known for, it’s lobster, and if you haven’t yet gotten your hands on some in-season lobster, you’re missing out. Maine fisherman catch lobster all year, but there’s a specific time of year that these crustaceans are “in-season,” meaning that they’re easier to find, are usually lower in price, and may even taste better than those caught in the off-season.

When is Lobster Season in Maine?

So, just when is Maine lobster season? If you ask the locals, it’s all year because there’s never a wrong time for lobster! However, lobster fishermen will likely sing a different tune.

Mid-July to late September is the period when lobsters are considered to be in-season in New England. New England waters can be more frigid than southern zones through June and even the beginning of July, so fishermen don’t tend to see as many lobsters around at this time. At the beginning of July, our lobster friends begin shedding their shells to cool themselves off and grow. As they molt, they move closer to the shore, which has warmer temperatures to keep them comfortable and is a better place for them to find food to fill their growing bellies.

When they do this, it’s easier for fishermen to catch a bunch of lobsters at a time than it is when the crustaceans venture off into cooler waters for the winter.

Why is Lobster Season in Maine so Important?

Lobster season is a big deal not just in Maine, but all over the country where people enjoy Maine lobsters! With the animals being more plentiful during the in-season, it creates a couple of perks for lobster lovers:

Hard Shell vs Soft Shell

During the end of the lobster season, the crustaceans start forming their harder shells to keep them insulated in cold waters throughout the fall and winter. Throughout July and August, most lobsters will have a softer shell because they recently molted their hard shell.

If you’ve ever tried to crack open a hard lobster shell, you know that it takes a lot of work! Many people prefer a softer shell that requires less time and effort to open to get to the meat. In-season lobsters tend to have the softest shells.

However, soft-shelled lobsters tend to be a little smaller than their hard-shelled counterparts, which have had more time to grow after molting and usually are packed with thicker and more meat. If the size is what you’re after, you may want to snatch up some lobsters in October or November.

Lower Prices

In-season lobsters are much more accessible for fishermen to catch because they hang out onshore in packs. It’s safe to say, then, that the price-per-pound decreases in July, August, and September, especially in Maine, New Hampshire, and other common fishing spots. You might see anywhere from a $1 to $3 drop per-pound if you buy your lobsters in the grocery store during lobster season.

If you order lobster online, you might even notice a drop in average prices during these months, but the shipping charges will likely remain the same (it takes a lot of work to deliver live lobster and keep them safe for you to eat!).

Conclusion: It’s Lobster Season, Maine!

When it’s lobster season in Maine, lobster-lovers all over the country rejoice. Although you can enjoy lobster throughout the year, it can be even more of a treat when prices are at their lowest and shells are easy to crack open. Thanks to Maine Lobster House, we make it simple for you to enjoy lobsters all year with our convenient online ordering and live lobster delivery!