My family and I have made the pilgrimage to the Florida Keys twice. I am a little surprised how much I love the area because I am not a big fan of crowds or kitsch and the Keys have an excess of both. That being said, I get way into the kitsch, I love all of the seafood, the views are beautiful, and the fishing is super fun. Last time we were there we went out on the B n’ M, one of the boats associated with the famous and wonderful Bud n’ Mary’s establishment. While we were out fishing the captain and I chatted about commercial fishing and recreational fishing and how we each thought the other’s region had it better. I asked whether the number of recreational boats and charter boats helped people connect better with the ocean and fish, and therefore, tended to buy and eat more seafood in the area. There has to be something to that, right? I mean, cold-water fish from the North Atlantic is way better than warm-water fish from the South so it can’t be about taste. (IMHO)
As Maine becomes more popular thanks to mentions in Bon Appetit and hashtags on social media (and other stuff, too), I’ve seen a few new charter boat companies pop up here and there and I’m thrilled about it: 1.) It’s a great way for fishing families to diversify their businesses and income streams; 2.) It’s a great way for visitors and consumers to connect with fishermen and learn about the area; 3.) It’s a wonderful way for people to become more engaged in fishing, the Gulf of Maine, and all the amazing seafood from the area.
One such business that is new to Harpswell is Cribstone Guide and Charter. Even just a quick glance at their site and you can tell this is a family operation that wants to ensure you have a great time, learn a lot, and embark on a trip that’s just right for you. They have kids’ trip, family trips, and personalized trips. The business is owned and operated by Emily and Josh Morse, a local fishing family with a long family history of fishing. From their website: Josh and I have two great kids Henry (4) and Hailey (1) who are our world. We love to take them on the water so they can experience what we love so much. We also have three dogs that enjoy the boat as well. Josh and I have both grown up in Harpswell and were on the water before we could walk. We can’t wait to share the area and show you why we love it so much!
When I had lunch with Josh and Emily a couple of months ago (Yes, I’m wicked late getting this post done. Summer is so damn busy.), we talked about being a fishing family, being on the water, living in Harpswell, the future of fishing, etc. I asked Josh and Emily what some of the things they like most about their new business are and Josh said, “I learn something new every time I go out. You can never have everything figured out.” They also said they enjoy meeting new people, checking out the islands, and the kids that join on trips.
Commercial fishing is extremely important to Maine’s coastal communities and carries a big place in the hearts of most coastal residents. It’s easier, whether you are a fishing family or not, to love the ocean and fishing in a coastal community because you can see and experience it firsthand. So, if you come to Maine don’t just sit on the beach or on the shore, call a charter boat and get out on the water.
You can fish for stripers, mackerel, bluefish, menhaden, and harbor pollock on 4- or 8-hour trips. Please visit cribstoneguideandcharter.com to learn more!