After moving to Maine last summer, I was looking for a summer job. I was given the opportunity to fill in as a stern man for a local lobstermen in Falmouth, Maine. I took the offer without hesitating and was very excited to experience lobster fishing first hand on the Jerry Rig II, which was the name of lobsterman Jerry’s boat. Jerry and I started our first day together around 8 in the morning, he was very laid back and treated lobstering as a hobby rather than a job, not to say we wouldn’t work hard. I met him in front of my apartment and we drove to the Portland harbor where he bought the bait we would use for that day. He uses haddock, which was fileted the night before and sold, by the barrel to the local lobstermen. After we loaded the barrels of dead haddock, we were off to Falmouth to load the boat. Jerry has been lobster fishing for almost 20 years and is very passionate about lobstering. He has 800 traps in the water which is the maximum amount allowed by the State of Maine. He has accumulated this many over the years after starting with only 25 traps. He has ten traps on a string, so he has 80 strings in the water. Once arriving to the Falmouth Town Landing my real work began. Jerry rowed out to his boat that was secured on a mooring, and I was in charge of dragging the barrels of bait down to the dock. Once the bait was loaded, we began heading out to the traps. I was told to grab the steering wheel as Jerry suited up in his rubber gear. After he was done, I was told to suit up as well. Once having the rubber coveralls, boots and gloves, it became a reality that I was to be a true stern man in Maine. We didn’t waste any time and he began to teach me what my responsibilities would be. It turned out that he was putting a lot of trust in me. My job included preparing the bait, baiting the traps, and dropping the traps safely.
I began baiting the rods with two haddock for each trap. The traps were on strings of ten, so he had about 80...
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