Portland, Maine (CNN) —
Captain Tom Martin turns the handle that draws up the lobster trap sitting on the ocean floor 45 feet below the surface to see what he can see.
It’s a guessing game every time: Will it be big enough — but not too big — to keep? Will it be a pregnant female, which he can’t keep?
“It’s easy to get hooked on it,” Martin says. “I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I still enjoy going out to pick up the traps and seeing what’s inside. It’s like playing a slot machine — you never know what’s going come up in the trap.”
Martin, the owner of Lucky Catch Cruises of out of Portland, Maine, will only catch a few lobsters on this fall day at traps he and his crew have lowered into Casco Bay after passing by the 1890s-era Spring Point Ledge Light and Fort Gorges, a Civil War-era fort. His traps are within view of Portland Head Light, a working lighthouse first lit in 1791.
When many people think of Maine, those iconic lobsters he’s pulling up in traps immediately come to mind.
There are endless ways to enjoy Maine’s favorite crustacean on a visit to the Pine Tree State, whether it’s the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, lobster done fancy at Eventide Oyster Co. or any of the dozens of lobster shacks along the coastline.
But it all comes back to the lobstermen and women who catch lobsters year-round, harvesting a record 130 million pounds of lobster worth $533 million in 2016, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
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When most people think of Maine, the first things that come to mind are the foods with which the state is practically synonymous: lobster and blueberries. Then the mind might wander a bit to visions of quaint coastal towns, rolling Atlantic waves, and dense forests with their heady scent of pine mixed with fresh sea air. And while Maine is certainly these things, it has so much more to offer, especially in Portland and its surrounding towns. Portland was once thought to simply be a small, weather-worn costal city playing second fiddle to big shots like Boston, but this has thankfully changed. This gem of a city is now a major destination for those looking for incredible food, small-batch breweries with cult followings, and amazing independent shops that will tempt you to blow your weekend budget in a ten-minute period. And if Portland isn’t enough, the rest of southern Maine presents ample attractions like cute costal towns and hikes offering vistas that make breaking a sweat very worthwhile.
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There are many food seasons for foodies to enjoy in the county! Fiddleheads, local strawberries, fresh peas, beet greens…YUM!
But the very best of all, and you are welcome to come to Aroostook and join us – new potatoes!
All along Route 1 and other roads as you drive throughout the county, you will see simple farm stands with the (usually) hand painted sign saying “new potatoes”. These kiosks are typically on the honor system. You simply put your money into the container and grab a bag.
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