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Who Needs a Reservation at The Red Lobster?

May 30, 2012

We don’t. Not when you have your own lobster traps and a hubby who loves to be out at sea. Here, with a live Rhode Island report, the intrepid and able fisherman, Mr. EOS:

Yesterday morning, the fog lifted just enough, and the surf subsided, such that I could launch from the beach and see if a fish and/or lobster dinner was in my future.

First, I had to collect a few crabs for fish bait. As occasionally happens, I find a treasure among the rocks; this time it was this big Atom swimmer with an eelskin slipped over it. That’s an old trick, but one rarely seen nowadays, I suspect. And I hadn’t found a big swimming lure like that since I was a kid. That hideous fluorescent job tho… hooks painted too!

I caught no fish, but collected a pair of keeper lobsters. One had the shell virus that ruins their saleability, but a) I don’t sell with my recreational license, and b) the meat is fine. The “after” picture shows the shell disease best. I’ll let you know how they taste tomorrow!

Oh, and if anyone catches a mess of Long Island Sound bluefish, save me the carcasses – I am totally OUT of lobster bait now.

And ready to eat………

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23 Comments
  1. Catherine permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:44 am

    Mmmmmmm. And to think this weekend, I paid two arms and five legs for lobster rolls in Maine. And you can have them free. Why aren’t be best friends??

  2. Peter permalink
    May 30, 2012 8:16 am

    What causes the shell virus? And how do you know that the meat is safe to eat?

  3. michigan permalink
    May 30, 2012 9:31 am

    Geez, that shell virus looks bad. I wonder if that toenail stuff would work.

  4. Swanton permalink
    May 30, 2012 1:54 pm

    Maine lobstermen have noticed a lot of soft shells for so early in the season. Is that the case in RI as well?
    Lobster rolls are ridiculously easy to make. Boil or steam a lobster- or have the market do it for you- remove the meat from claws, knuckles and tail, mix with a little mayo ( Hellman’s is what I use) and put in a toasted & buttered top sliced hot dog roll ( Peppridge Farm works for me).
    Even easier is to buy fresh lobster meat, toss with mayo and pop into the toasted roll. Still cheaper than buying a ready made lobster roll.
    But every now and then, the need for a lobster roll is so urgent you bite the bullet, ignore the cost and order one at a New England coastal restaurant, smell the salt air and savor every single morsel. Bliss.

  5. Mr. EOS permalink
    May 30, 2012 4:18 pm

    Well Catherine, if you should show up with a barrel full of fish carcasses for lobster bait, we WILL be friends! I think Mrs. EOS has plenty of room for them in her freezer. My lobsters aren’t exactly “free” when you factor in $60 of license fees per year. What is priceless tho: being out on the water.

    Here is a link that explains the shell disease: http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=32687

    The “good” lobster had a soft shell; soft in the sense that I could pick it without using the cracker. I have never associated that condition with any particular time of year; then again, my season is short and the sample small. So far, no berried females in the traps.

  6. Swanton permalink
    May 30, 2012 6:01 pm

    Here’s a recent story on soft shell lobsters-

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/05/26/153702224/soft-shell-lobsters-so-soon-its-a-mystery-in-maine

    Both soft and hard shells have their fans. I prefer hard shells because the lobster meat in the soft shells can be a bit squishy if boiled and not steamed. Done properly, the meat is just a tad sweeter, though. If the shell is too hard, I am perfectly happy to use a hammer on the claws.
    It shouldn’t take long to recoup that license fee, Mr EOS. How many traps ya got? A barrel of fish bodies ought to be good for a week or two.
    It isn’t hard to get a good lobster dinner but I’m always on the hunt for great fried clams. Gosh, I love good fried clams.

  7. May 30, 2012 6:15 pm

    I’ll let Mr. EOS reply to the top half of your question but as for the fried clams, if you could transport me back to the 950s, I’d say Howard Johnson’s!! The last friend clams we had in RI were so bad, we didn’t finish them, so mushy.

    Here’s a link to a site for making your own fried clams, overnight delivery, ingredients, and all.

  8. Mr. EOS permalink
    May 30, 2012 6:39 pm

    A recreational lobster license in RI allows one to fish 5 traps. Which I do. However, one trap is buried in sand from a recent storm, so I am effectively fishing 4 at the moment (and hoping the buried trap was empty). Bait has become a real issue for me, as I fish to get bait and have fish fillets as a by-product. Not having much luck this year fishing tho. Last year, I got 4 lobsters, and 4 so far this summer. That’s $15 per lobster, ignoring variable costs and boat amortization, so I have a way to go in order to be ahead of the game! But as I said before, being out on the ocean is a priceless reward.

  9. Swanton permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:05 pm

    Let me know how that recipe turn out, EOS. I’ll be too busy boiling up those bugs for lobster rolls. And, I loved those HoJo clams of yore. Nothing like ‘em.

  10. May 30, 2012 7:16 pm

    Oh, I’m not going to make those fried clams. I can’t think of a messier idea.

    The bigger question to you: do you put malt vinegar on your fried clams? Most new Englanders do.

  11. anon permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:31 pm

    the best fried clams we ever had was on Martha’s Vineyard about five years ago, in Oak Bluffs, Darn if I can remember the name of the place, a hole in the wall, but good crispy batter. I’m too young to remember HoJos but my mom (sorry) said they were the best, in a top-open hot dog roll that was grilled. The ones we had on MV were in a newspaper cone, like how one gets pomme frites in Paris; and yes to malt vinegar. yes yes yes. now my mind is singularly on fried clams. darn you!

  12. Old Vineyard Guy permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:49 pm

    @austin: You probably got them at Giordano’s, a fixture in OB. Although I’ve never known them to serve them in a paper cone. That stumps me. There used to be a place up-island, like a roach coach that sold them that way. Hope you can remember.

    http://giosmv.com/?page_id=239/

  13. Peter permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:50 pm

    Mr. EOS: that atom have any retail value?

  14. Swanton permalink
    May 30, 2012 8:15 pm

    I don’t put anything on my fried clams although many people like a little tartar sauce with them. I come from the era of buying fried clams by the pint or the quart. They came in cardboard cartons. We ate them quickly so they wouldn’t get soggy. Never tried them with malt vinegar. Too new-fangled for me.
    Yarmouth, Maine has an annual clam festival in July. I’ve never cared for the fried clams there. Too much corn meal batter for my taste. Worth a try at least once for clam lovers, though.
    Just read that nearby clam flats are now closed due to red tide. Rats.
    Mr EOS- If you haul a few lobsters so much the better but you already know the truth in
    “Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolute nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

  15. Mr. EOS permalink
    May 30, 2012 8:29 pm

    Swanton: Amen to that thought. And Peter, the Atom has a retail value if you want to buy it! Actually, most of my “found objects” hang from a shelf in the kitchen here (and were the subject of an EOS post some time ago). I enjoy looking at the colorful display, and a few do end up in my tackle box. In any given year, I find more lures than I lose.

  16. fisher permalink
    May 31, 2012 2:26 pm

    When we were kids and had lobster pots also in RI–when low on bait we took fish cat food in a can puched a few holes in the can–worked like a charm–and lasted for the better part of a week as I recall.

  17. Mr. EOS permalink
    May 31, 2012 8:19 pm

    Fisher: Thanks – I may have to try that!

  18. June 5, 2012 10:23 am

    Drooling a little here, at the thought of eating lobster. Also, just had a frightening flashback about the time my husband and I got caught on a trap in our sailboat on the way to Block. Makes me have a love/hate relationship with the things. And a funny lobster story – my uncle sent us some from a fish store in Martha’s Vineyard. As a temporary hold until the critters got put in the pot for dinner, my husband and I put them in the vegetable crisper, usually reserved for the kids’ juice boxes (they were in elementary school at the time). Are we evil parents because we told the boys to go grab some juice boxes from the fridge, and had a really good laugh when they opened the drawer and screamed?

  19. June 5, 2012 10:39 am

    AA: You ARE alive, and well, despite being laid off from your job. Sorry about that. I’m embarrassed to say I deleted you from my blogroll when you hadn’t posted for um, a loooonnnnnnggg time, but now I can see why and am going to put you right back up. YEAH!!

    LOVE your kids and lobster story. You know, if you did that today, someone would turn you in to social services. Gee, parents can’t have fun anymore at the expense of their children.

    So nice of you to pop in here. It’s like old-home week. Priya said hi today too. Do you know she’s expecting her first baby – any day now!

  20. June 6, 2012 9:53 am

    It’s like a reunion! What, Priya is expecting? That’s so wonderful! I’m going to have to get over to her blog to congratulate her and keep tabs on the arrival. And warn her not to put lobsters in the vegetable crisper!

    P.S. No worries about deleting me from the Blog Roll – well deserved! I am going to write this 50 times now: Don’t let life get in the way of blogging!

  21. June 6, 2012 10:00 am

    Wait, Partial View is deleted? Where is Priya???

  22. June 6, 2012 10:03 am

    I put you back on the blogroll. Deservedly so. Like others, I was worried when you stopped blogging. Funny how we care for each other so without even knowing one another. Great sisterhood.

    Priya has changed her blog to a private one, by invite only. She was receiving some unwanted comments and felt it best to stay private. Send her an email and she’ll gladly add you.

  23. June 6, 2012 10:08 am

    Thank you – I’ll send her a note!

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