I'm from Maine and I'm allergic to lobster. The irony of this is not lost on me. I grew up in a tiny lobstering village on the coast, but, save for one near-miss when my grandmother absent-mindedly tried to feed me a claw, I've never tasted it. So it was somewhat paradoxical when my sister (who is also allergic to shellfish) and I boarded the Lucky Catch, a working lobster boat off the shores of Portland, Maine.
Growing up, I watched my family and friends crack open tails and scarf down lobster rolls. I saw lobstermen haul their catch onto the pier and refereed many kitchen-floor crustacean races. But, because of my body's aversion to shellfish, I couldn't actually tell you much about lobsters. So, when I recently got the opportunity to don some highly fashionable orange overalls and spend an afternoon on a lobster boat, I knew it was my chance to really get to know my home state's most prized delicacy. Here, seven things I learned while lobstering.
1. Lobsters love smelly fish. For bait, our captain, Tom, stuffed four dead herring into a small net bag and cinched it closed. Lobsters love these oily, smelly fish, which are caught in the billions with a massive underwater net.