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Aug 26, 2011 02:00 PM

Buying lobster at the dock

We have friends coming this week from Seattle and want to take them to buy lobster straight from the dock. We're hoping we can find a place where the lobstermen have just brought in their catch or some local shack super nearby where it was just brought in. We can go north or south. I'm thinking probably Gloucester but I'm all ears to hear your suggestions, tips, and experiences.


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  1. its been a while but I used to buy them off the boats in Gloucester, near steve connolly's seafood is my recollection.

    1. The trick with this is timing. They don't follow any particular schedule. They come in to the dock, they unload, they go home. You can certainly hit State pier in Gloucester, or even better the docks around towards rocky neck. More smaller boats back there.

      That said, unless they have presold everything, pretty much any lobsterman will be glad to sell you some.

      Some go early, some go late so it is luck of the draw on timing.

      Towards rocky neck there are also some wholesale/retail operations as a back up.

      Good luck with it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy

        I have a place in Maine so I spend a lot of time watching lobster fishing. StriperGuy is (as usual) absolutely correct, the timing is highly variable. Here the tides are 10 ft so the lobster guys will go out of their way to pull traps at low tide, even if it means going out at three in the morning. With their very loud diesel engines. With no mufflers. Which is *fine* with me in case anyone asks.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Hi StriperGuy. A quick question, por favor: where is rocky neck? I tried my, ahem, trusty Google Map thingy, but it only lands in Glouchester with an
          accompanying query if " you mean some other rocky neck..?"

          Would appreciate any direction/clues you might provide, so us fresh-lobster
          hunting mid-state Vermonters can come a'running.

          (promise to limit our quest so that more than enough lobster awaits your needs.

          Stan Swienckowski at:

          1. re: stanfromvermont

            Sorry, just saw your post:

            There is in fact a Rocky Neck Ave that leads out to Rocky Neck.

            Or you can just google this address:

            Rocky Neck Art Colony
            6 Wonson Street
            Gloucester, MA 01930

        2. There are several places in Gloucester, last week they were $4.50 pp on E, Main in back of Smok'in Jim's..

          10 Replies
            1. re: StriperGuy

              It sounds like the place behind Smokin' Jim's is a wholesale/retail place, is that right? That will be a great back-up if I can't catch anyone on the docks. It sounds like the docks towards Rocky Neck are the place to head especially if there's also a retail back-up there.

              Gloucester here we come! (After Irene)

                1. re: lowandslow

                  While you're planning such a great outing up there, i bet your friends would love the view from Fort Sewall in Marblehead; my fav oceanside view in MA. I'm a complete PNW devotee, but even Gig Harbor in WA doesn't have the harbor view w/ ocean view (boats, lighthouse, islands,Victorian yacht clubs, houses and history) that Marblehead has.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    There used to be a guy that sold lobsters right on the dock in Marblehead - don't know if he's still there. Posted by NSDishGal on the Chowhound thread:

                    "If you are ever out near near Marblehead, there is a great guy named Paul Crowell who sells lobsters fresh from the water out of the back of his truck on weekends between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Super fresh and tasty, his prices are great; usually a dollar or two above what he would make selling them wholesale. He is cash only and sets up down on Front St., just behind The Landing restaurant."

                    Never had them from there, always meant to try them.

                    1. re: threedogs

                      thnx so much for linking that. i've been thinking about it lately, but unfortnately we never go on wkends bec of the parking problem.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        It's so sad that I lived near there for so long (and a good friend of mine is right nearby) - yet I STILL haven't bought any!

                      2. re: threedogs

                        I haven't seen Paul Crowell this year on the dock.

                        Some of the fishermen will sell right off the boat at the Fishing Dock.

                        1. re: 9lives

                          Do any of the other fishermen sell lobster? (I'm still queasy about cooking lobster myself - getting over it, but still haven't tried it... yet...)

                      3. re: opinionatedchef

                        The last name of the guy selling lobsters is actually Rowell. Super nice guy. He's sold lobsters at the Salem Farmer's Market (Thursdays, Front Street in Salem) in the past. He's a lobsterman, so I'm assuming he sells the lobsters he catches.

                        Another option is Lynch Lobster Co. out of Beverly (38 Water St.).

                2. marblehead pier today, sat., does have a small truck w/ guy sitting on sidewalk, but $5 something!

                  here's a current thread on a rockport spot:

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Can get them cheaper at the dock in Gloucesta!

                    1. re: treb

                      yes, that's why my exclamation point!