Best Portland Maine Lobster Fishing? Lucky Catch Lobster! [Review]

If you’re looking for the best Maine Lobster Fishing, you’ll want to take an excursion with Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises. Lucky Catch cruises from Portland Maine, where you’ll set and pull up lobster traps in beautiful Casco Bay. In this hands-on cruise, you’ll learn all about lobsters, lobstering, and more while enjoying a fun-filled adventure. One might even say it’s one of the quintessential Maine experience!

Along the way, you’ll also take in picturesque views of historic forts, lovely lighthouses, and southern Maine’s rugged coast. Ready to come aboard? Keep reading to find out all you need to know about lobster fishing in Maine with Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn all you need to do when booking a tour on Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises in Portland ME, as well as what to expect, including:

Point of Departure for Lobster Tour | Portland Maine

Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise tours depart from Long Wharf in Portland Maine. That’s 170 Commercial Street, which you’ll find in the Old Port District, right on the harbor beside Portland Lobster Company. Note that departure is NOT from the Portland ferry terminal, which is a few blocks away.

You’ll want to arrive at Long Wharf and check in at the ticket booth about 20 minutes before your tour departs. If you’re looking for parking, be sure you allow some extra time because it can be hard to find parking in the Old Port.

If you want to stay in Portland, the pier is just a short walk from the award-winning Portland Harbor Hotel.

Cruise Options for Best Lobster Cruises from Portland Maine

Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises offers several options when it comes to cruising out of Portland Maine.

Tours each last about an hour-and-a-half and run from the first weekend of May through the last weekend in October. Each vessel has limited occupancy to make sure everyone gets an up-close, hands on experience lobster fishing in Maine!

The most popular lobster boat cruise options offered by Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises include:

Portland Headlight Lobstering Cruise

The Portland Headlight Lobstering Cruise showcases the most scenic points of the lobster tours in Casco Bay, including:

  • Fort Gorges
  • Fort Scammel
  • Portland Headlight
  • Six other lighthouses

This is the tour we took and you’ll find more details about our experience later in this article.

Seal Watch Lobstering Cruise

The Seal Watch Lobstering Cruise offers beautiful views of lighthouses, forts, and islands, plus a trap stop at Seal Rock, which is also known as Halfway Rock. You’ll likely see the colony of (adorable) seals basking in the sun or playing in the water on this cruise.

White Head Passage Lobstering Cruise

White Head Passage Lobstering Cruise weaves around three rocky islands in Casco Bay, then proceeds to White Head Cliff. You’ll see Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse, several other lighthouses and forts, and the stony rock formation of Chief White Head over the water.

Special Excursions

In addition to the regularly scheduled tours, you can chose from Special Excursions below, or even charter a private cruise for a group or special occasion with Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises. Here are some options:

Traps and Apps

Traps and Apps is a special excursion that includes a stop at an oyster farm. You’ll learn about oysters and aquaculture, as well get a chance to shuck your own oysters!

Enjoy sampling fresh oysters and two other delicacies from the sea (usually seaweed and mussels), then end this tasty culinary tour with a delicious lobster roll. You’ll want to bring your own beverages to wash it down.

This tour runs on Saturday afternoons in June, July, and August.

Fort Gorges Excursion

Explore this stunning granite-walled Civil War battery in the middle of Portland Harbor that was built in the mid-1800s. One Lucky Catch’s Fort Gorges Excursion, you’ll discover this unique public park owned by the City of Portland – provided the tide is right.

That’s why this tour takes place on limited Sundays in July and August.

Any one of these Lucky Catch Cruises is sure to please. Keep reading below for more detailed insight. Click here if you’re ready to book a tour.

What to Wear (and Not to Wear) Lobster Fishing

So, what does one wear when lobster fishing?

Well, as you might imagine, lobster fishing is an affair suited to practical attire. That’s especially true if you want to participate. Everyone who wants a turn will get the chance to:

  • Stuff nets with bait (fish)
  • Help empty the catch from the traps
  • Throw lobster traps off the boat
  • Measure lobsters
  • Apply bands to the lobster claws
  • And other hands-on tasks

Therefore, you will want to dress comfortably including your shoes. Dress for fun and don’t wear anything you’d be afraid to get dirty.

It can also get cold and a bit windy out on the water, about 10-15 degrees cooler than on shore. For that reason, you will want to dress warmly with some extra layers, like a sweatshirt and windbreaker or a coat and hat in the late season. A hat will keep the sun at bay, too.

Lobster tours go out in rain or shine, so if it’s rainy, you’ll want to wear appropriate gear for the weather. Most of the boat is open to the elements, although there is some cover by the front of the boat. If there’s a thunderstorm, your tour will be canceled or sent back to dock for safety. (Don’t worry, you’ll get a refund if no traps were pulled.)

What not to bring? You should leave the pearls and heels behind–it’s not really a fancy kind of experience. The same goes for any expensive items that might slip off the boat or get damaged.

However, if you have a backpack or bag in tow, you are welcome to store them up at the front of the boat where they will be somewhat protected from the elements.

Getting Suited Up for Lobster Fishing

Once you’re onboard and you head out on the harbor to go lobster fishing in Maine with Lucky Catch Lobster Tours, you’ll be given everything you need for the experience. That includes:

  • A pair of sturdy rubber gloves
  • A rubber apron that slips over your head and ties easily

These things will allow you to take part in the fun without worrying about getting too dirty.

If you don’t feel comfortable participating, no problem. It’s 100% optional.

Portland Lobstering Excursion – Portland Headlight

Our tour, which we took toward the end of the season in October, was the Portland Head Light Tour. It was so much fun!

About a dozen of us took part on board in some degree or another.

First, we filled up the small nets with a few fish. That way, we’d be ready to replace the nets in the lobster traps when we pulled them up.

The crew members and the Captain took the time to tell us interesting history and anecdotes about the landmarks we passed by. This included various forts and lighthouses. We cruised around toward the lobster buoys. Each trap has a special marking, so we knew which ones were ours.

Bringing Up Traps

Then, we hoisted the traps up with a pulley near the front of the boat. This was the exciting part!

Even though it was late in the season and the lobsters are not as easy to catch when the waters get cool, we got to see some very cool sea life. Our haul included different types of crabs and Crustacean. We learned a lot about each type of wildlife!

For example, did you know that there are non-native crabs, or exotic crabs in Maine waters, like the Green Crab? Or that you’ll find hermit crabs out in the Maine ocean?

With each haul, we (cautiously) picked out the crabs and any other catch, re-baited the trap, and tossed it back into the water.

We learned a lot about lobsters, too, of course. The boat had some lobsters on board just in case we came up empty, but we finally did catch some!

Lobster Fishing Regulation in Maine (Can We Keep It?)

There are some important regulations about whether you can keep the lobster caught in the lobster trap.

For instance, the size of the lobster matters. To harvest, a lobster’s body must measure between 3.25″ – 5″ long. This measurement is from the eye socket along the back to the point where the tail joins the body (carapace).

This measurement is important because lobsters than the minimum need to do more growing, and larger lobsters are “breeders” that help the gene pool.

Another interesting tidbit we learned is that lobster fishermen must throw back any female lobsters carrying eggs (“berried”). In fact, lobster fisherman mark the reproductive female’s tail (right middle flipper) with a v-notch to let others know they cannot harvest this lobster.

She is protected for about 2 molting cycles, or about 2 years, until she outgrows the notch. This gives her more time to safely produce more young lobsters.

Additionally, you are not permitted to pull up lobster traps during certain times of day and year. Harvesting lobster is prohibited after 4 PM on Saturdays and all Sundays in June, July, or August per the State Conservation Laws.

Handling the Lobster

On the tour, we learned how to measure a lobster using a lobster gauge, and how to put the rubber bands on the lobsters’ claws with a lobster banding tool.

We also discovered how to tell the difference between a male and a female lobster:

  • A female’s top set of feelers (called ‘swimmerets’) are soft, translucent, and have crossed tips; Her tail is also broader to carry eggs (roe).
  • The male’s top feelers are bony, more opaque, and point upward to his body.

This was a very interactive part of the tour, and the crew made sure anyone who wanted to have a turn or see a demonstration close up had the opportunity.

Baiting the Lobster Traps

Once we’d pulled up the traps and re-baited it, they went back into the water. First, we’d put three fish into the net. Then, we secured the net inside of the trap again. Finally, we tossed the whole thing overboard. It was fun to toss the traps back into the ocean!

Click the video below to see what that was like:

Lobster To-Go for Dinner

After we were through with all the lobster fishing fun, it was time to head back to Portland. But not without first picking out a lobster to take home.

If you’d like to dine on a fresh lobster, you may select from the lobsters onboard at below market price.

The crew will package your live lobster up for you and you can take it home and cook it up yourself. Or, if you’d like to bring it to Portland Harbor Lobster. They will steam it up for you and add sides for a very affordable price.

This is a great finish to your Maine lobster fishing adventure—and it couldn’t be tastier.

Final Thoughts on Lucky Catch Lobster Tours

Taking a tour with Lucky Catch Cruises is a fantastic way to spend a few hours if you’re near Portland, Maine or planning a day trip. Not only is it fun, interesting, and offers the opportunity of lobster for dinner, it’s a great day out on the water exploring the scenic beauty of the waterfront.

If you’re looking for more day trips from Portland, you’ll also want to check out one or more of the islands off the Maine Coast. One of favorites is Peaks Island, where you can rent a golf cart to explore this charming little island in just a few hours.

Another darling island on the Casco Bay ferry route is Bailey Island in Harpswell – but you can also get here by car.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

18 thoughts on “Best Portland Maine Lobster Fishing? Lucky Catch Lobster! [Review]

  • March 25, 2022 at 11:18 am
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    Lobster fishing is something I’ve never heard of before and based on this post, it seems to be exciting! Aside from having fun, looks like I’d learn a lot about lobstering on this trip. Another adventure added now to my bucket list!

    Reply
    • March 28, 2022 at 9:38 am
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      Absolutely true, Maria! It’s a really fun thing to do, and I’m glad to add to your bucket list. 😉

      Reply
  • March 24, 2022 at 2:59 pm
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    Wow! That looks fun. I haven’t tried lobster fishing and would love to try. Thank you for the tips. Will keep in mind to dress comfortably.

    Reply
    • March 24, 2022 at 6:08 pm
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      Yes, it’s a lot of fun! Comfortable clothing and shoes that are appropriate for the boat will help make the experience more enjoyable.

      Reply
  • March 24, 2022 at 8:04 am
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    I really enjoyed reading this article. I can see that a lobster fishing tour would definitely be a highlight of a visit to Portland, Maine. It includes all the elements of a great day trip: learning new things, hands-on activities, and sightseeing. Oh, and also eating!

    Reply
    • March 24, 2022 at 6:13 pm
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      I’m so glad to hear that! You are absolutely correct – those are all the types of experiences I love!

      Reply
  • March 24, 2022 at 3:34 am
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    This looks like so much fun. I’ve never done lobster fishing before and didn’t realise you could go out and do this in Maine. We are planning a trip to Portland for a few weeks next year. Saving this one. Glad they provide you with an apron. What clothes would you recommend wearing.

    Reply
    • March 24, 2022 at 6:19 pm
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      It is! You will definitely enjoy it. I wore jeans and a casual top, sneakers. It’s not really a fancy occasion. 🙂 It’s always cool on the water, so depending on the season, you might also bring a windbreaker and/or sweatshirt!

      Reply
  • March 21, 2022 at 8:57 pm
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    I love the idea of going out for a lobster cruise. And seeing such great sights around Portland on the trip. Hubby would probably select the cruise that got him fresh delicacies from the sea. It would be exciting to see the catch but I might keep my hands away from those claws.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2022 at 8:09 am
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      Definitely a good idea to avoid the claws, Linda! Fortunately, it was easy to use the tool for banding them.

      Reply
  • March 21, 2022 at 3:09 pm
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    First time I read a post about a lobster fishing tour! I would love to try it and learn something new! Great that there is the possibility to buy some lobster from the catch and take it to the restaurant for preparation.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2022 at 8:10 am
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      There’s a first for everything, Natascha – and this was our first lobster tour! Really fun time. Hope you get the chance (and the delicious catch).

      Reply
  • March 21, 2022 at 1:51 pm
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    This lobster catching tour seems to be a lot of fun. If I I was not allergic to sea food, I’d probably book a tour with Lucky Catch company. From what you are describing, they are a serious company.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2022 at 8:16 am
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      Sorry, Anda! It was indeed a great time. Instead of a lobster tour, if you want to get out on the ocean for a tour in Portland, look into Lucky Catch Cruises’ Fort Gorges Excursion or their private charters. I highly recommend any tours associated with this company!

      Reply
  • March 21, 2022 at 1:40 pm
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    This sounds like a very interesting experience, especially that it is so educative as well. I had no idea that there were regulations for lobster catching, and that if the lobsters are smaller or bigger than a certain size they need to be put back in the water. It’s also interesting that some of the females are marked so that others know to release them. That is sustainable.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2022 at 8:17 am
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      Yes! I learned so much while on the tour, and just scratched the surface of the facts, here. Glad you found this info interesting, too!

      Reply
  • March 21, 2022 at 12:12 pm
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    This sounds like a fun experience! I also love seafood, so catching my own lobster, and then cooking it, would be ideal for me. Lucky Catch sounds like a great company to try this with. The oyster excursion also sound interesting and I get to eat oysters!

    Reply
    • March 21, 2022 at 12:21 pm
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      It was, Lisa! And I love oysters, too, so I look forward to doing the oyster excursion another time. Hope you can, too!

      Reply

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