They were short on actual numbers but lobster fishermen approached Monday were quick to offer up generalities about the start of their fall season.
Most agreed catches Monday were better than they were on Saturday, the first fishing day of the new season.
Lobster Fishing Area 25 lobster fishermen on both sides of Northumberland Strait set their gear Friday in rough seas and, while they were permitted to fish their traps that day, the majority elected to leave them until Saturday, and then found their catch lighter than normal.
Howard’s Cove fishermen David Clements came closest to providing a number, indicating his Monday catch was about 450 pounds better than Saturday, but described the two catches combined as “way down” from previous starts.
“I hope they hold steady for a while,” he added, “to catch up.”
West Point fisherman Paul Wood, fuelling up before heading back out to fish the rest of his gear, described the catch as decent, although down from a normal start. He’s hoping the price will be up to help make up the difference.
Fishermen remained optimistic the lobsters will trap better once weather conditions improve.
Royal Star Foods manager Francis Morrissey said there still were not enough boats in by 5 o’clock Monday afternoon to get a sense of catches, but he said the low catches on Saturday were to be expected because of the windy weather conditions and strong tides Friday and Saturday. He noted weather conditions look much more favourable for this week. He commended fishermen for proper handling of their catches, noting that the lobsters were well-iced and the quality looks good.
Besides the rough start, weather-wise, fishermen pointed out they were dealing with some of the strongest moon tides of the year. Some indicated where they were finding their gear was not exactly where they had them marked on their plotters. The strong tides caused the traps to drag along the bottom.