Lobsters are known for their rich taste and are widely considered a delicacy. Although they were once considered the opposite of high-class, the decrease in supply and increase in demand has boosted lobster to the statusof a fine dining staple. Don’t let the term “fine-dining” scare you away though, anybody can enjoy a delectable lobster dish without breaking the bank if they know the best time to buy them. Whether you’re looking for a sweeter soft shell or a heartier hard shell lobster, we have got you covered. Our team of experts at FishingLicense.org are here to let you know the best time of year to buy lobsters so that you can get the freshest catches at the cheapest prices.
Soft Shell Lobsters
Soft shell lobsters are those that have recently molted their shells because they’ve grown too big to fit comfortably. Because they haven’t quite grown into their new shells yet, the lobsters pull in water from the ocean to expand their thin, new shells. During this transformation, the water marinates the lobster bringing about a sweeter and tenderer meat. The thinner shells are also easier to crack into to get to the lobster meat. People who don’t enjoy the labor of shell-cracking will prefer a soft shell lobster!
On the other hand, there are some negative traits about soft shell lobsters that may have you considering the alternative. For one, soft shell lobsters do not live as long out of water which makes them very difficult to ship. The team at FishingLicense.org recommends that you only buy locally caught soft shell lobsters in order to get the freshest meat possible. Because soft shell lobsters are relatively small compared to their new shells, they yield less meat per pound than hard shell lobsters because of the added water weight. An average yield for soft shells is around 15 to 20 percent meat. The water in their shells also causes shell cracking to be a messier experience, so be sure to protect your clothes from splashing lobster juice!
When is the best time to buy soft shell lobsters?
The summer months are when lobsters migrate closer to shore to warmer waters so they can shed their shells. After lobsters molt their shells, they need to feed. This makes them much easier to catch, thus soft-shell prices are cheapest during the summer. May is the best month to buy live soft shell lobsters because the supply is at its highest and the demand from summer tourists hasn’t begun. If you find yourself in Maine, Massachusetts or Rhode Island in May, the crew at FishingLicense.org hopes you treat yourself to some locally caught soft shell lobsters at their most affordable prices.
Hard Shell Lobsters
Hard shell lobsters have lived in their shells for longer than their soft shelled counterparts. Generally, hard shell lobsters will have scars, scuffs and darker pigments on their shells due to the time they’ve spent exploring the ocean floor. These lobsters have had time to grow, so they are usually heartier and filled to the brim with meat. Although they are tougher to crack open and usually require a lobster cracker, hard shell lobsters provide a firmer and denser texture that many people prefer! Harder shells also mean that the lobsters are sturdier and more likely to survive transportation. The FishingLicense.org experts recommend ordering hard shell lobsters if you want the freshest lobsters after being transported long-distances.
When is the best time to buy hard shell lobsters?
Fall is the best time of year to buy fresh hard shell lobsters. More specifically, lobster landings are at their highest and demand from tourists is at the lowest after Labor Day. Prices rise sharply when the winter weather begins to set in because lobster catchers are required to go into deeper and more treacherous waters to make their catch. Although hard shell lobsters are available year round, FishingLicense.org recommends ordering them between September and November for the lowest prices!