Painted in 1996 by marine historian, boatbuilder and artist Paul Stubing, this well-researched watercolor shows a Friendship sloop, commonly called a sloop-boat by most fishermen, off the shore of Eagle Island in the Penobscot Bay about 1898. A lobsterman is hauling a trap from a peapod just behind the sloop-boat. There is a mackerel schooner riding to the wind with her mainsail up in the background, loading herring from a dory that took it from a herring weir. Paul Stubing described the painting:
Hilda and Helen was a 40-foot fishing vessel, built by Padebco Boats of Round Pond, Maine. Set up as a small dragger, one of her size was designed for inshore banks rather than off shore banks like Georges Bank. In 1967, there was still an inshore dragging industry; now there is not.
Model of the fishing schooner Joy. This model was built by the lighthouse keeper at Saddleback Ledge in Penobscot Bay. Schooners were the most popular type of sailing vessel used for both inshore and offshore fisheries throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The model builder did not set his model up with fishing gear.
View of the bridge aboard the 87-foot stern trawler Huntress, built at the Washburn & Doughty yard in Woolwich, Maine, in 1979. Note the radar monitor near the wheel. A modern bridge would have GPS, a fish finder, an auto pilot, and several radios. In this set up it is likely that the radio is out of view and there should be a LORAN available. This vessel has a compass with large compensators at each side, common on steel ships.
The dragger E.G. Winters was built at the Harvey F. Gamage shipyard in South Bristol, Maine, in 1976. This photo shows the central position of a radar unit. A corner of a radio shows on the left. Today's wheelhouse would have a plotting depth finder, a GPS unit, an auto pilot, and aboard a fishing vessel, a fish finder.
"Red" Boutilier took this picture as he reported on fishing vessel construction in the 1970s.
Lobster pounds are fenced off areas of water where lobsters can be stored while awaiting transportation or a better market. In this 1926 view of a Hancock, Maine, lobster pound, the fence can be seen; men in the foreground are netting up lobsters which can be stored in compartments in the float they are standing on to make them easier to retrieve for shipping. Many lobster pounds are quite large and need boats so that the operator can get around. Here they have a few dories and also a winch set up to help haul in a net.
When lobsters are caught their claws need to be immobilized to keep them from pinching the fishermen or other lobsters. In the past hand-whittled lobster plugs like these from Machias were inserted into the claw to keep it from opening. Today, fishermen use rubber claw bands hooked around the claws with a banding tool.
The v-notch tool is used to cut a "V" in the tail of female lobsters found to be carrying eggs. This is the kind of tool used today. It is much faster than using a knife to cut the notch, although it does cost $16.00, something more than a knife. The notch usually lasts through several moltings or several seasons. It is illegal to catch and keep a lobster with a V-notch in it. This rule helps preserve the breeding stock of lobsters.