Tag Archives: lobster fishing

Lobster Season on Prince Edward Island

Ah, yes, springtime on PEI.  One of the harbingers of spring that we Islanders most look forward to is the opening of lobster season.

Lobster Fishing in PEI
Setting Day for the Spring Lobster Fishery in Prince Edward Island, Canada

Wharves around the Island are humming with activity as fishers prepare their boats, gear, and lobster traps for the lobster fishing season.

Fishing Shacks
North Rustico, PEI

Some have fished all their lives and some come from generations of fishers before them.

Lobster Traps
Checking on the Lobster Traps

On PEI, there are actually two lobster fishing seasons. The first runs from May till the end of June and the second from August until October.

Many of the wharves on PEI are very picturesque and are an integral part of the local towns and villages like the one in French River seen in the photo below.

Fishing Harbour, PEI
French River, PEI, Canada

In fact, several are located right in the middle of the towns and villages like those in Victoria and North Rustico, for example.

Fishing Boats in Victoria Harbour, PEI
Victoria Harbour, PEI

They tend to draw many tourists each year because they are colorful and there’s always some kind of activity going on, particularly during fishing season.

Fishing Village of North Rustico, PEI
North Rustico, PEI

I find fishing ports interesting subjects to photograph – intriguing subject matter, colorful objects, and a variety of lines, shapes, and colors. Maybe even the fisher’s laundry!

Lobster Fishing
Fisherman’s Laundry

Preparations for Setting Day – the day all the boats leave ports in their boats laden with lobster traps to drop at sea – see shiny boats, new traps, and colorful lines and buoys.

PEI Harbour
New London Harbour, PEI
Lobster Traps
Lobster Traps

Many Islanders, regardless if they have family members in the fishing industry or not, gather on beaches and wharves before daybreak, around 5:30am or so, to see the lobster fishers off.

Gathering at French River, PEI, to Watch Lobster Boats Head out on Opening Day of the Season

The boats leave the harbours at 6:00am and it is quite a sight to see at sunrise, particularly if it is a large harbour or in an area where boats from more than one harbour gather to go out all together, as is the case in French River where these photos were taken. Dozens of boats parade out to lay the first traps of the season. Of course, mouths are watering, too, for that first bite of lobster, fresh from the cold waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In my opinion, this is the best lobster that is the sweetest, most tender, and it usually has the whitest meat.

Heading out of French River with a Load of Lobster Traps
Heading out of French River with a Load of Lobster Traps

If opening day is on a weekday, the first catch for market will be back on the wharf the following day. However, if opening day falls on a Saturday, the first catch will be hauled in on Monday as PEI fishers, by gentleman’s agreement, don’t fish on Sundays.

Lobster Fishing Boat
Arriving Back at Port with the Day’s Catch, North Lake, PEI
Catch of the Day
Steamed Lobster
Fresh Steamed Lobster in the Shell

If you’re a lobster lover, there is nothing better than chowing down on a steamed lobster that is accompanied by homemade potato salad.  It’s a PEI tradition! Lobster is commonly dipped in melted butter and the lobster may be eaten hot or cold.

Lobster Dinner
Lobster Feed, PEI Style!
Lobster for Dinner!

Lobster is so popular on PEI, in fact, that some Island restaurants specialize in what are known as “lobster suppers”. These are feasts that include, not only lobster and salads, but all the seafood chowder, steamed mussels, homemade rolls, and desserts you can eat. Best wear clothes with elasticized waistbands for one of these dinners because you won’t go away hungry!  These suppers are hugely popular with tourists because it’s a great way to experience a traditional PEI lobster feed in beautiful rural PEI settings. The two main lobster suppers are both located on the north side of the Island. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, in operation since 1958, is the longest running lobster supper and is located alongside the River Clyde in beautiful New Glasgow, PEI.  The second lobster supper, Fisherman’s Wharf, is located right in the center of the fishing village of North Rustico. It boasts a 60-foot long salad bar.

The Island has many lighthouses, like the New London Range Rear Lighthouse shown in the photo below, that guide boats safely back to shore.  This lighthouse is sometimes referred to as the Yankee Hill Lighthouse in French River. You can read more about this lighthouse here.

PEI Lighthouse
New London Range Rear Lighthouse




The Seaside Village of Victoria-by-the-Sea, PEI

Fishing Boats in Victoria Harbour, PEI
Victoria Harbour, PEI

Victoria-by-the-Sea, a small fishing village, is located just off the Trans Canada Highway near Crapaud, about half way between Charlottetown and Summerside on PEI’s south shore. With a year round population of less than 200, summer brings a lot of visitors to this tiny, quaint village that is neatly laid out in a square grid. The village is very logically designed and it would be impossible to get lost!

Founded in 1819, Victoria was once a bustling seaport with schooners and steamboats making regular visits. Today, the life of the seamen is still evident and you can see fishing boats coming and going and landing their daily catches.

Trap Setting
Setting Crab Traps
Arriving in Victoria Harbour, PEI
Arriving Back in Port

Sailboats are a common sight in and around Victoria.

Sailing in PEI
Sailing into Victoria

A number of small pleasure craft find their way into the sheltered local harbour in the summer months.

Sailing in PEI
Pleasure Craft Docking in the Harbour

It’s quite extraordinary that this tiny village boasts no less than four lighthouses and it certainly attests to its long history with the sea.  The one in the photo below is the Seaport Lighthouse, built in 1879. It is the most recognizable of the four because it sits just adjacent to the harbour and is hard to miss.

Lighthouse with lupins
Seaport Lighthouse

The second lighthouse known as Leard’s Back Range was built in 1878 and sits in a field just to the entrance of the village.

Lighthouse in a field of potatoes
Leard’s Back Range Lighthouse

The third lighthouse is known as the Wright’s Back Range and was built in 1894.

PEI Lighthouse
Wrights Back Range Lighthouse

The fourth lighthouse – Wright’s Front Range – is very small (only 3.7 metres in height). Built in 1903, it sits on the edge of an Island red cliff.

Wright's Front Range Lighthouse
Wright’s Front Range Lighthouse

Water plays a big role around the Island for obvious reasons (we are, after all, an Island). Locals and tourists alike enjoy the sports of kayaking and  paddleboarding out from the harbour.

Paddleboarding in Victoria, PEI

It’s not uncommon to see kiteboarders out skimming the water around the shores of Victoria.

Water Sports in PEI

The village is flat terrain and easy to stroll around.  Look for interesting styles of houses like this one next to an antique shop.

Almost every house has hanging or sitting baskets of colorful flowers.

Many of the homes have cozy verandahs.

A Cozy Verandah

Houses are in a myriad of colors.

Victoria PEI Architecture
Colorful houses in the seaside village

A favorite house in the village is this turquoise colored home with its dormers.

Victoria PEI Architecture
The Turquoise House

When I started my early morning stroll through the village, it was very foggy and, as the fog started to lift, it gave way to some very soft lighting for photos.

The photo below is of a home  with Queen Anne Revival influences found on Nelson Street. This property was once known as Dunrovin, one of the first tourist homes on PEI.  For many years, the Wood family ran this tourist business that included accommodations in both the house and cottages on the property.  At the time of writing, the cottages are being restored and will operate under the name of Victoria Cottages.

Home in Victoria, PEI
Stately Architecture in Victoria, PEI

The Orient Hotel, built in 1900, welcomes summer guests to its bed and breakfast on Main Street. This local landmark is known for its colorful array of chairs on the front verandah that invite guests to stop and pause awhile.

Accommodations in Victoria, PEI
The Orient Hotel

In the center of the village, on Main Street, you will find the old community hall that has been turned into a summer playhouse theatre. Each year, the playhouse features two to three plays and a Monday night concert series all of which are popular with both tourists and locals.

Island Theatre
Victoria Playhouse

Look for some quaint shops throughout the village, many of them in older traditional homes.

PEI Pottery
Michael Stanley Pottery

There are several casual eating establishments in the village. The Landmark Café is the oldest restaurant still in operation and is just adjacent to the Victoria Playhouse Theatre on the corner of Main and Howard Streets.


Victoria Restaurant
Landmark Café

More restaurants and shops can be found along the harbour at the foot of Main Street.

Eating in Victoria, PEI
Harbour Shops and Restaurants

Perhaps you’ll stop by the Lobster Barn for a PEI lobster roll.

Lobster Rolls
Lobster Roll from the Lobster Barn

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to drop in to the Island Chocolates factory on Main Street where you can watch chocolates being made onsite and, of course, buy a sweet treat or two.

PEI candy
Island Chocolates
Island-made Chocolates
Chocolates from Island Chocolates

Be sure to stop by The Studio Gallery on Howard Street to check out the work of  various Island artists.

PEI art
The Studio Gallery

And, if antiques are your passion, you will need to browse through the Coach House Antiques shop on Russell Street.

PEI Antiques
Coach House Antique Shop

You will definitely want to plan some beach time while visiting Victoria. There is a lovely little park within walking distance to the village that provides access to the beach.

PEI Beaches
Beach Time in Victoria, PEI

No matter where you look in Victoria, you will find intriguing land and seascapes.

A seaside village in PEI
Victoria Landscape
South Shore of PEI
Victoria-by-the-Sea, PEI
Former Victoria United Church, PEI
Church in Victoria, PEI

Some of the most amazing sunsets can be found over Victoria.

Island Sunset
Sunset in Victoria

The Confederation Bridge makes a stunning backdrop for a magnificent sunset.

PEI Sunset
Sun Sets Behind the Confederation Bridge

And, if you are lucky enough to be in Victoria at sunset when the tide is low, take a walk on the sandbars and maybe do a little beachcombing.

Sunset in Victoria
Walking the Sandbars at Sunset

Victoria-by-the-Sea is a charming seacoast village in Canada’s smallest province and is worth a visit. Whether it’s theatre, dining, water sports, local craft shopping and antiquing or simply spending a day enjoying the beach and warm waters of the Island’s south shore, you can easily spend a day or more in this historic coastal village.