Brian Skillings of Casco, stern man aboard the Billy and Andy, loads bait while tied up on Union Wharf before taking off for a day of lobster fishing with captain Billy Coppersmith of Windham (not pictured) Wednesday morning.  Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Sternman Brian Skillings of Casco loads bait while the Billy and Andy is tied up on Union Wharf before taking off for a day of lobster fishing Wednesday. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

When it comes to catching “one in several million” lobsters, Bill Coppersmith’s score is 2.

While fishing in deep-water canyons in the Gulf of Maine with his sternman Brian Skillings on Wednesday, Coppersmith caught a rare bright orange lobster. He named the colorful lobster “Captain Eli” after his 4-year-old grandson.

Robert Bayer, executive director of The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, says it’s difficult to arrive at an exact number on the odds of an orange lobster.

Bill Coppersmith of Windham holds a normal looking lobster next to a bright orange lobster that he caught while fishing in deepwater canyons in the Gulf of Maine with his steersman Brian Skillings.  Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Bill Coppersmith of Windham holds a normal looking lobster next to a bright orange lobster that he caught while fishing in deepwater canyons in the Gulf of Maine with his steersman Brian Skillings.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

“What the real numbers are, it’s a guess,” he said. “It’s one in several million, there’s no doubt about that.”

This is the second time Coppersmith, who is from Windham, has brought up a rare lobster from the depths. In 1997, he snagged a rare white, or albino, lobster.

In this November 12, 1997 file photo William Coppersmith holds a white lobster he caught in Casco Bay. Jack Milton/Staff Photographer

William Coppersmith holds a white lobster he caught in Casco Bay in November 1997. Jack Milton/Staff Photographer

“Captain Eli” will be kept at the Fisherman’s Catch in Raymond, run by Coppersmith’s son Billy Jr., for about a month before the lobsterman returns to deep water and releases it back into the ocean.

 

 


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