After fishing for more than 30 years, Jamie Osborne thought he had seen everything. That was until the day in late December when he hauled up what he was sure was the biggest joke of his fishing career.
"I took a look at what was in there and had to look twice. I thought someone had put a cooked lobster in there. My crew were shocked too."
Osborne had a bright, orange lobster in the trap. A live, pound and a half female.
An oddity, a freak of nature, said the Eastern Passage fisherman.
He has seen lobsters with cream coloured shells and blue ones.
"And I have caught ones with odd claws, like having two pinchers and two crushers instead of one each."
Osborne has his share of fishing stories, but he says catching this one at Portuguese Shoal now tops the list.
Lobsters are normally a mottled greenish brown. In recent years, there have been accounts of bright blue, orange, yellow, calico, white and even split lobsters, one colour on one side and another on the other.
John Tremblay, research scientist at Bedford Institute of Oceanography, says these odd coloured lobsters, called colour morphs, are uncommon.
"They are definitely not normal, but we do hear of them every year. There is a genetic difference in the proteins that give rise to the colour in the shell."
He says it is hard to put a number on how often colour morphs occur.
"It could be the odds of catching a blue lobster are 1 in 2 million, while orange comes in at 1 in 10 million. But these are just guesses."
Aside from their colour, the lobsters are apparently normal in all other ways.
Osborne didn't want his strange catch to end up in someone's pot, so he is giving the lucky lobster to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.
"She can swim around in the tank there and they can do some tests on her.
"It sure looked like she had been cooked. What a way to end 2012."