Brian Billings hails from Deer Isle, which lies along the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay. Fishing is at the heart of the economy and, like many Maine coastal towns, its heritage as well — with fishing families, like Brian’s, reaching back for generations. As he puts it, “My great grandfather, my grandfather and my father, they were all fishermen. I guess you could say I was born into it.”
“I first started fishing in a skiff, hand hauling with my brother, he’s also a fisherman.” When Brian was in junior high, he got a center console with a hydraulic hauler. “When I was in high school and college, I went with my father. I was pretty much always fishing if I wasn’t in school.”
Brian attended Maine Maritime Academy, and after graduating, he worked on a tugboat on the West Coast. “We went all the way from Alaska to Hawaii, and all along the West Coast, but I like where I’m from, and I wanted to come home.”
I asked Brian what he likes to do in his spare time. “Spare time?” he asked, sounding perplexed. “I don’t really have any. If I’m not working on projects around the house, I’m working building my business, but I do like doing anything outdoors-related.”
Name of his boat? Face Off, “because you’re always facing off against something out there. Weather, tides, boat problems, there is always a challenge.”
What’s his favorite way to eat New Shell lobster? “When I’m camping, on the rocks at the beach, it just tastes good there. I don’t even use butter, just the lobster cooked in saltwater.”
Meet The Lobstermen
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.