Krista Tripp hails from Spruce Head, Maine, and a long line of fishermen. She is one of 4 siblings, and all 4 kids came up fishing. “My brother John and I shared a boat; he would go stern for me and I would go stern for him, all up through high school. We fished Tommy’s Island when we were kids. My sisters Emily and Katey liked it alright, but John and I really took to it.”
Krista has lived and worked on the water her entire life. “I’ve dragged for scallops, urchins and always gone lobstering.” Krista fishes 400 of her own traps and also goes sternman. “I was on the waitlist to get a license for some time. This is my second season licensed; next year I’ll go up to 500 traps.”
Krista’s enthusiasm for her trade is palpable: “I am so excited to be able to fish my own gear and build my business.”
Krista went sternman for her father and for her grandfather. “My grandfather fished right up until he passed away,” Krista reflects. When he died, she purchased his boat, a 36’ BHM called Shearwater, named for a shorebird her grandfather was particularly fond of.
The thing Krista loves most about fishing? Freedom. “I love being my own boss, working outside and doing something physical to make a living. As fishermen, in many ways, we are the last of the ‘hunters.’ Fishing is an art, you have to know what you’re doing. I’m still learning every day; everyone has their own way of doing things and their own techniques.”
Being out on the water and part of nature each day is something Krista appreciates consistently. “Watching the sunset or sunrise, feeling the wind and the weather, watching the waves break, the salty smell of the sea, these are the things that make me feel free.” Then with a quick smile, she adds, “Of course, it can be miserable out there, too.”
Who does Krista take for a sternman? “I had a girl going with me last summer; that was just great, I want an all-girl boat, but she went along to college, so now I’m going myself. Sometimes my fiancé goes with me. This year I’m probably going to have to fish all winter. I’ve done that before with my father, and my brother does it. I’d rather not, but I expect the way the season’s been I’ll have to.”
Going as sternman and hauling her own gear doesn’t leave much downtime, but when she does get some, she likes to head to Tommy’s Island for the day. “I love gatherings out there or just lying in the sun on my own, it’s so peaceful. And, of course, I love alone time with my fiancé, and cooking when I get the time.” Gardening flowers or vegetables is also a favorite activity.
And when she’s not fishing every day, she likes to stay physically fit. “Taking care of my body is important in my downtime, so when I’m not working so much in the winter, I like to hit the gym to stay active and strong. I think it’s a necessity in this job to take care of yourself in every way.”
How does she like her New Shell Lobster? “Lobster is so versatile, you can cook it so many ways. Newburg’s, mac ‘n cheese, pasta salads, Caesar salad and a lobster Benedict are all great.” But her favorite way to eat it is just steamed up in saltwater with some butter. “I like it best this way because it’s simple and easy to feed to a big crowd, and still delicious! Family gatherings are something we’ve always had, and I love the family getting together over a lobster feed and sharing something we all appreciate. It’s our way of life and it’s always a celebration when we come together for a lobster feast.”
Meet The Lobstermen
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.