Mike started fishing when he was 8 years old. “It was partly a way to spend time with my dad, who had been trip fishing and then came back and started lobstering. That was day boat fishing, and I could go with him,” Mike recalls. “When I was 8, my first job was to sit on the bait box and ‘hold down the lobster tank lid.’ I remember feeling very important about the position. I was given baby lobsters and crabs to play with and was taught the basics about baiting bait bags and banding lobsters.”
Mike grew up in Milbridge and now fishes out of Steuben / Dyer Bay. He got his first boat at 15, which he ran with his father, and then his younger sister went with him as a sternman. Mike has a long fishing heritage—4 generations to be specific. His grandfather was one of the first people to run to the Schoodic Ledges for lobsters, and his great grandfather fished out of dory style boats in the early 1900’s.
Mike graduated in 2015 from Maine Maritime Academy, and his intention was to ship out as an engineer. When his father died unexpectedly in 2016, Mike took over his offshore fishing operation (he already had a federal permit) and went fishing full time.
What does Mike like best about lobster fishing? “Lots!” he replies enthusiastically. “I can control what I do, how I do it. It’s the ultimate game of chess—when you see that trap come up loaded with lobsters and you know you did that—it’s a great feeling. And I love seeing every sunrise,” he adds thoughtfully.
Name of his boat? F/V Tina Marie. “It is my mother’s name; it’s a Wesmac 42. My father’s boat was Gale Warnings.”
Favorite way to eat lobster? “Classic lobster roll – cook for 8 minutes if a new shell – a little bit of mayo and salt and pepper.” For guests “from away,” Mike likes to prepare a grilled lobster. “Put the lobster on its back, drizzle some olive oil and flip it. The meat gets a really good, smoky flavor.”
Scariest time on the water? “Coming in one time with my dad, a squall picked up, the storms were supposed to pass to the south of us, but they hit us square on. A boat sank nearby, and we were bringing gear in from offshore. There were 20’ seas, and it took us 4 hours to go what usually takes 45 minutes.”
In his spare time? “Travel as much as I can, usually 1-2 trips per year. And I love to go jet skiing in the summer.”
Meet The People Behind the Fishery
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.