SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Island lobster fishermen are a proud lot.
This summer they will get to put that pride (and their skills) to the test.
The Journal Pioneer Lobster Trap Stacking competition makes its debut at the 62nd annual Summerside Lobster Carnival this summer and not only does the event have a new sponsor, it has more than pride on the line.
Island lobster fishermen will be vying for bragging rights and for cash.
There is $1,500 of prize money up for grabs at this year’s event.
Last year’s competition was open to the public, but this year it is open only to P.E.I. lobster fishermen and their boat crewmembers, explained Marlene Campbell of Culture Summerside, the group behind this year’s Summerside Lobster Carnival.
“This year we really wanted to up the game and wanted to make it a very professional competition with the experts in the field.
“Put the best against the best.”
There is no entry fee and the registration form will be online soon and can be found on their website at www.summersidelobstercarnival.website.
“This is a great opportunity for lobster fishermen to show the public just who’s best,” said Brad Works, managing editor of the Journal Pioneer. “Everyone wants to be the best, so we’re offering them a chance to prove it, and in the process, pocket a little extra money.
“Despite being on land, it’s also a great opportunity for the rest of us to see just how demanding lobster fishing can be.”
Local fisherman Ronnie Bigelow is supplying the traps for the competition.
Competitors will have to move 15 cement-weighted traps a distance of 30 ft. and restack them.
“They will be judged by speed and neatness of the traps,” said Campbell.
This year’s judges have yet to be determined.
The competition will be at the carnival grounds at Credit Union Place on July 12, at 7 p.m.
Campbell is encouraging all fishermen to give it a try.
“Take your chances on winning this year’s prizes.”
Last year’s first place prize was a lobster cookbook and a T-shirt.
“We’re really upping the game this year and that’s thanks to the sponsorship of the Summerside Journal Pioneer,” said Campbell.
The event should be interesting to see the calibre of skill the competitors have, she added.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the public to have a glimpse of what kind of work they do hour after hour. Hopefully it will be a beautiful day.
“No rough seas.”
Stacking the odds
First place - $1,000
Second place - $300
Third place - $200
Competitors are asked to bring their own gloves and safety boots.