Fifth-Generation Maine Fisherman Says 100-Year-Old Lobster May Have Met His Ancestors

A fifth generation fisherman who caught a giant lobster in the Gulf of Maine on May 30, reckoned the crustacean was around 100 years old and could quite possibly have met the previous four generations of fishermen over the years.

“This is quite possibly the biggest lobster we’ve ever caught” Jacob Knowles said in the TikTok video that went viral.

Knowles is a fifth generation fisherman living in Maine, and said he believed his ancestors encountered the lobster before him.

“This lobster’s gotta be around 100 years old,” he said. “My father has very likely caught this lobster at one point in his life, so has my grandfather, and possibly my great-grandfather. If you want to get crazy, it’s possible that my great-great-grandfather caught that lobster when he was a baby.”

Knowles explained that lobsters “migrate through the same area year after year,” making such an encounter possible.

The centenarian was deemed healthy despite his old age. Knowles described “a little bit of shell disease starting” but said that the crustacean was “overall in good shape.”

At the end of the footage, Knowles can be heard adorably saying: “open your claws, you’re getting free food” as he stuck a fish in the lobster’s pincher. He then threw it back into the water with a simple instruction: “Go make some babies!” Credit: Jacob Knowles via Storyful

Video transcript

JACOB KNOWLES: So this is quite possibly the biggest lobster that we have ever caught. And the only reason we were able to catch it is because he has small claws. At some point in his life, he lost his claws. He grew back some new ones. So unfortunately, his claws don't match his body. But if you look at his body, it's very impressive. This lobster has got to be around 100 years old.

And I've said this on the page before. But it's pretty crazy to think about it. My father has very likely caught this lobster at one point in his life, so has my grandfather. And possibly my great grandfather has also caught it. You want to get crazy, possible that my great-great grandfather caught that lobster when it was a baby. They've all fished in the same area for years. These lobsters kind of migrate through the same areas year after year.

And a lot of people didn't really understand it when I mentioned it in the past. They say how could my great grandfather have caught it? They would have been legal size. But 90 years ago when he was young, this would have been undersized. This lobster would have been oversized around 50 years ago. It's pretty crazy to think about old lobster. And they're protected in Maine for breeding. I'm going to give him a snack if his claws still work.

The poor old bug is getting old. He's got no teeth on his claws. Other than that, he's pretty healthy, though. Usually when they're this old, they get pretty [INAUDIBLE] up. The shells start to be in hard shape. And you can see he's got a little bit of shell disease starting. But overall, he's in good shape. Look at the size of his tail. It's the size of both of my hands. All right. Open your claw, and you get free food for the road. There you go. Go make some babies.

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