Maine without a doubt is the lobstering capital of the world. Do epicureans find Thai lobster on the menus of the finest restaurants? Of course not. Maine lobster is the standard for the best, juiciest, most succulent lobster.
Lobsters may be found also throughout the Caribbean, and Belizean lobsters, while not in the same class as Mainers, are quite delicious. The season runs from June through the end of February. A break of four months occurs before the lobstermen set their traps again on June 15th.
During the off season the lobstermen remove their traps from the sea and store them. Before resetting them they scrub the traps in saltwater until they’re free of barnacles, algae and other growth and soak them until they swell and turn brown.
When lobster season rolls around again, the lobstermen stack the scrubbed traps onto their lanchas and spread them out in the aqua waters, often marking their location with a stick. The shallow waters around Caye Caulker, for example, are dotted with sticks that appear to be in the middle of nowhere. The odd GPS waypoints have a purpose though. The lobstermen line up the sticks with a point on land, say a house or a tower, to locate their traps.
A lobsterman knows a trap is full by its color. Lobsters enter the brown traps and cling to a stick inside. They use their tails to clean house, swishing the sand around this way and that to make it homey. When the lobsterman sees a white trap, he knows that his lobsters will appear on a local menu.