What’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Lobster?

As members of a true New England seafood destination, we at Weathervane Seafood Restaurants know what our guests like to eat. Spending time in communities throughout Maine and New Hampshire, we’ve learned a lot over the years about what our faithful fans enjoy eating.

One thing we’ve noticed is that by far the most popular of our delicious and hearty meals featured on our extensive menu has to be the lobster—served all year long at all of our restaurants!

Nothing else really compares to the lobster. Guests love satisfying their taste buds with the succulent and delectable lobster meat hidden inside the bright red shell of a freshly steamed Maine lobster. We get it. We love lobster too.

So, because we’re essentially lobster experts, we decided to share some of our expert knowledge about our favorite seafood dish with our loyal guests. In a previous post we covered the anatomy of the curious crustacean.

In this post we explain how the lobster season works and what our guests can expect on their plates throughout the year.

What to Know about Lobster Season

Lobsters are harvested year-round in Maine and New Hampshire, however the majority are caught between late June and late December when the lobsters are the most active. Lobsters are also harvested during the winter and early spring months, but in smaller quantities. Regardless of the time of year, lobster fishing is easily the most active in the Gulf of Maine, which includes the Bay of Fundy and has the highest tidal variations on the planet, as well as cold, nutrient-rich water.

Summer Time Is the Best Time for Lobsters

It’s hard to think of summer in New England and not think of lobster. Some of the largest lobster counts from fishermen come about during the warm summer months when lobstermen work around the clock to meet the demands of tourists and locals alike. There’s a reason for this:

Lobsters are more abundant in the summer because they migrate closer to shore to warmer waters—often shedding their shells. After lobsters molt, they like to eat, and hungry lobsters are considered easier to trap. The type of shell a lobster has is also indicative of the time of year they are caught.

Soft Shell or Hard Shell? That Is the Question

Most lobsters caught between the months of July and late September are typically characterized by a soft-shell. These soft-shell lobsters are not as strong and are more difficult to transport live. Also, soft-shell lobsters tend to have less meat per pound than hard-shell lobsters. As such, soft shell lobsters are typically cheaper.

Hard shell lobsters tend to be more abundant between mid-September and late November. Their shells are hard because they have yet to molt, and as result are packed full of delicious meat. Because of this, hard-shelled lobsters tend to be more expensive.


Weathervane Seafood Restaurants prides itself on offering the very best lobster to our guests—no matter the season, all year long. Our menu includes delicious lobster dishes such as the Lazy Man Lobster, Lobster Pie, Fresh Fried Lobster Tails, Single and Twin Lobster Dinners. For those feeling hungry, we even offer a meal featuring some of the largest lobsters we have in the tank. We can also sell and ship live Maine lobster or fresh cooked lobster meat right to your door.

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