New Brunswickers who want to try their hand at catching a lobster can view information on the lobster fishery, find out about where the best spots are to fish, or take a guided tour.
Many people from all over the world come up to New Brunswick each summer hoping for that big catch. Taking time away from work in season is an easy way for people to getaway and enjoy a trip with friends and family.
The New Brunswick Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is the government department responsible for fish, aquatic species and fishery resources in federally regulated areas.
Many people do not realize that the lobster fishery was a family business in New Brunswick before other types of commercial fishers came into the picture.
According to DFO, the average reward for a licensed commercial fisherman who catches a lobster is $7.50 per pound, depending on its location and size, but you can get up to $25.00 per pound for some undersized lobsters in specific areas around New Brunswick such as whiteshell Provincial Park.
There are 5 categories for lobster fishing: Commercial, Marine Recreational, Self-Serve, Souvenir and Trap Tags. (Trap tags are issued to NBLH).
To fish commercially you must have all the appropriate licences and pay all the applicable fees.
You have to be at least 16 years of age to purchase a commercial lobster licence, but it is legal to fish as long as you are under 18. You must be 19 years or older to hold a marine recreational licence and at least 16 years old if you wish to take part in a self-serve fishery.
You can’t fish commercially, or with a marine recreational licence, in New Brunswick during the first two weeks of May, the first two weeks of October and the last two weeks of October.
To get a lobster licence you must:
Be at least 16 years old Have all your parents’ permission Be physically fit Be able to lift 25 pounds (11.3 kg) Have one adult to accompany you while fishing Have a proper cold-water survival suit on board
If you want to guide someone else who fishes for lobsters and/or crabs, you must have specific federal licences for this too. You can apply for these licences through DFO’s office and be approved if you have an experienced guide. If you already have a commercial or recreational licence, there is no additional fee to be a guide.
DFO advises that for the first year of your licence you should ask more experienced fishermen about the best practices for your area and to always think safety. They also advise that if you are not confident with your equipment, take it to an expert and have it checked before use. Also make sure all of your equipment is in good working order before leaving home. If you need replacement parts or would like instructional DVDs on how to rig a line, they are available at sport shops across New Brunswick.
There are many hunting and fishing businesses in New Brunswick who can offer you good tips on what to bring and what to expect when trying out your fishing skills.
There are many different places in New Brunswick where it’s possible to fish for lobsters, crabs or other aquatic species. Some of the most popular places for lobster fishing include the following:
Grand Manan Island is located at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy and has some of the best lobster fishing in Atlantic Canada. The area has a long history as a traditional source for local fishermen and this is still true today.
THE LOBSTER FISHERY
There are two major seasons during which it is possible to catch lobsters in New Brunswick. These are:
Season 1: May 15 to June 15 (Lobster season)
Season 2: July 1 to August 15 (Crab season)
The seasons do not overlap, meaning you can catch lobster and crabs between the two periods only. You can use the same gear for both species, but bait and methods for catching each will be different. Lobsters tend to prefer smaller baited traps and longer lines, while crabs are more active at night and need shorter lines with smaller hooks.