Lobster Season: What is the Best Time of Year To Buy Lobster

Lobstering is done year-round off the coast of Maine by the 6000 plus lobstermen mostly working out of small coastal communities. But is there a lobster season? Is there a best time of year to buy Maine lobster? In general, the best lobsters can be caught before Memorial Day or after Labor Day than anytime in between. But this does not always hold true. Mother Nature does not always cooperate. As any New Englander knows the weather is highly unpredictable. Live lobsters are subject to seasonal changes and  government regulations affecting supply and demand.

What is the Best Time of Year To Buy Lobster?

Lobster fishing is most active in the Gulf of Maine, Bay of Fundy, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and coastal Nova Scotia. Maritime Canada has their own lobster seasons designed to manage and conserve the lobster catch for future  generations.

Learn More About Lobster Conservation Practices and Laws

Canada accounts for more than 60% of lobsters landings in North American and provides more than half of the world’s supply of Lobster. In Canada the lobster season typically peaks twice a year, once in the spring (April-June) and another in December. Canadian provinces have been split into 41 individual Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs). Each area is subject to its own season, ranging from eight weeks to eight months in length. The breaks in fishing times are timed with the molting period of the lobsters. The largest Canadian lobster catches are in areas 33 and 34 with the biggest haul generally coming in the month of November.

Lobster Seasons

Is Summertime Lobster the Best?

Summer is synonymous with lobster. Some of the highest lobster landings are in the summer months. Lobsterman work around the clock to meet the demand of the tourists on the coast. You’ll find more lobsters in the summer since they migrate in shore to warmer waters, many shedding their shells. After lobsters molt they need to feed. And hungry, active lobsters are easier to trap! Much of the product between July and late September is characterized by a soft-shell. These soft-shell lobsters are not as strong and are more difficult to transport live. What’s more soft-shell lobsters have less meat per pound than hard-shell lobsters. You’ll see a couple price levels in the summer; a cheap price for soft-shell lobsters, and higher prices for the limited hard-shell lobsters.

From mid September to late November lobster fishing is in full swing. The haul is great, especially for hard-shell, live lobsters. Much of the lobster inventory will be used to meet the demand for Christmas dinners and New Years celebrations. A bulk of the hard-shell lobsters are shipped overseas to Europe and Asia where they fetch top dollar. In anticipation of seasonal changes and when harvest exceeds demand, the excess is stored, or pounded to be made available when the catch is slower.

Lobsters are less active as water temperature drops. When water temperature are very cold (January through March), there is not too much lobster fishing going on. Cold weather, wind and rough seas make lobstering difficult. There are a few brave souls braving the elements. The quality of lobsters picks up again in May and June, just before molting, when the lobsters have more meat.

Best Months to Buy Lobster

January, February and March

Lobsters are scarce and the prices are at their highest. During the winter months lobsters move further offshore, requiring lobster boats to travel greater distances, and the harsh weather makes it more difficult for fishermen to work.

April, May and June

Prices will peak in early spring, but as the weather warms, lobster fishing picks up and prices drop in May and June. May is typically one of the best month of the year to buy live lobsters. The supplies are very good as the demand from summer resorts has yet to kick in. The lobsters are generally at their firmest and meatiest after the cold weather months.

October, November, December

Next to late spring, fall is one of the best times of year to buy good, hard-shell lobsters. After Labor Day all the tourists have gone home and the lobster landings are at their highest. Lobster prices stay reasonable, rising a bit at Christmas time. The price heads up again sharply as winter weather sets in.

Catching Maine Lobster Online

Lobster Maine Good quality lobsters are available year round from LobsterAnywhere.com. Our live lobsters come from the cold north Atlantic waters of Maine & Canada, and are packed with sweet, white meat from claw to tail. And it’s the very best of these live lobsters we ship to you. When you buy lobster from Lobsteranywhere.com, you’re getting fresh lobsters, always hard-shell lobsters. LobsterAnywhere has built their reputation by shipping only premium hard-shell Maine lobsters.

References
1. http://www.tastelobster.ca/eng_home.php
2. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/index-eng.htm
3. http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/lobster/
4.http://www.lobsterfrommaine.com/
5. White, Jasper Lobster At Home. Simon and Schuster, 1998 New York

11 Responses to Lobster Season: What is the Best Time of Year To Buy Lobster

  1. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    Regina Suggs August 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

    I’m from TN, I’m a cancer patient an my bucket list is I want to visit Maine an eat lobsters an tour the lighthouses we are thinking about this fall, where is the best place to eat lobster, the best lighthouse tour, an best place to stay with the best prices?

  2. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    Ronda August 3, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    I am looking to bring my daughter to the east coast for Christmas. She has a bucket list and Christmas in New England is on it as we currently live in Arizona. With that being said…I am looking for a place that gets LOTS of snow and also a place I can purchase lobster in December. Please help.

    • Avatar of lobsteranywhere
      Lobster Louie August 6, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

      Hello. Portland, Maine would be a fun small city to explore at Christmas time. You’ll find top notch lobster joints, plus if it snows, there will be lots! See Visit Portland Maine for some fun ideas.

  3. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    Susan Buesing April 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    I want a lobster delivery for a Mothers Day event on Sunday. Will a Saturday lobster deliver be safe for a Sunday boil?

    • Avatar of lobsteranywhere
      Lobster Louie April 13, 2017 at 9:48 am #

      Yes, properly refrigerated, your live hard-shell lobsters will be in good shape for your lobster boil on Sunday! Here are some tips for how to keep lobsters an extra day before cooking.

  4. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    James Malyuk December 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    I am having a party in early August and i am looking to purchase around 200 lobsters what would the price be for them let me know total price for shipping too maple hts Ohio thank you

    • Avatar of lobsteranywhere
      Lobster Louie December 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

      Hello– please stay in touch. Right now we cannot forecast the price of Lobster in July. But we sure can ship them to you!

  5. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    Kevin October 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    Planning on driving up from Virginia either next week or the following week. We plan to do some sightseeing, but want to try some of the local food to include lobster. We also would like to know the best place with the best prices to buy some lobster to take home with us.

  6. Avatar of lobsteranywhere
    Charles Estes November 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    We are planning a trip to Maine last of November, where can we go to purchase hard shell lobsters to carry back on plane with us. We would want between 75 and 100 lobsters.

    • Avatar of lobsteranywhere
      Lobster Louie November 12, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

      You would have to check with the airline you are flying to bring lobsters with you (carry on). Some airlines will allow one small box. For that many lobsters you would need at least three 30 lb. boxes. That’s a lot to lug to the airport. Might be cheaper and easier if we shipped your lobsters for you.

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