At 4:30 a.m., Sadie Samuels is up and at ‘em. After brushing her teeth, brewing her morning coffee and packing snacks, she’s off to the harbor to get her boat off the hook and loaded with bait and fuel. For her, early mornings have been a part of life since childhood.
“When I was little, I always wanted to go on my dad’s lobster boat,” said Sadie. “He said if I could be by the front door with my boots on when he left, I could go. So, the next day he got up to go to work and found me sleeping in front of the door with my little yellow boots on. He figured pretty quickly that I was in love.”
Sadie, now 31, runs her own lobster boat out of Rockport, Maine. After a long day of hauling traps, she heads over to her restaurant, Must Be Nice Lobster, and works there until closing up shop around 8:00 p.m.
The life of a lobsterman and restaurant owner certainly isn’t easy. It’s filled with long hours, demanding conditions and physical labor, but Sadie wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“If I ever complained, my dad would say something along the lines of, ‘Well, you are either a fisherman or you’re not, kid,’” said Sadie. “You have to be tough and that’s what he taught me to be.”
When Sadie’s not hauling traps or working at her restaurant – a business she built up from a farmer’s market stand – she likes to spend time creating art, fishing in the Bahamas during the off-season and educating people about the fishery.
“I try to show people that fishermen don’t always look like the character in their head. Sometimes we’re young women,” said Sadie. “I also use social media to educate people about how our fishery is one of the most sustainable on the planet. We regulate ourselves to keep our environment and our industry healthy.”
As a young person in the industry already fishing 800 traps, it’s clear Sadie is making her own way in the fishery she grew up in.
“I always looked up to the men and women who braved the seas to provide for their families and communities in an honest way,” said Sadie. “I’m really proud to be a part of this community.”
What is your favorite way to eat Maine Lobster?
“A Must Be Nice Lobster Roll, of course.”
What is the best part of living in Maine?
“My favorite part of living in Maine would have to be lobstering and being on the ocean.”
What makes you proud to go to work every day?
“My love of fishing and my paycheck. I can’t wait to haul my first trap almost as much as I can’t wait to haul my last.”
What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery?
“My question would be: what isn’t special about the Maine Lobster fishery? It’s a really unique fishery comprised of many generational fishing families.”
Meet The People Behind the Fishery
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.