Captain Steve Holler and the November Gale
Captain Steve Holler grew up in Houghs Neck and as young child he’d often see the blue fish breaking in front of his house. He’d grab his rod and catch a few before he’d head to Great Hill Elementary School. As he got older, he hustled for tips at Harvey’s Wharf, first carrying gear for the fisherman then graduating to filleting flounders. Found hanging out at Finlay’s corner by his uncle Chuck Holler, a Houghs Neck lobsterman, who grabbed Steve by the shirt collar and instructed him to be at his boat at 5am the next morning because he wasn’t going to watch Steve waste his life on a street corner, he was taking him lobstering. That day, Steve “fell in love with it”. Steve said “I love the sun on the water, the independence and back then, the money was a lot better than now. I was living the life and felt it my destiny to continue this family tradition”.
After graduating, Steve worked on the business side of the industry doing everything from customer service to shipping and handling. He learned all aspects of the seafood industry working on the docks of Boston.
He eventually chose a new career and worked on a job for the Big Dig driving a dump truck and was away from the seafood industry for four years. One morning at 5am sitting in a dump truck on a mountain of dirt looking east, watching the sunrise over Boston Harbor and the lobster boats head out to sea, at this moment Steve knew he was destined to be a lobsterman.
Steve’s father, Fred Holler, took up lobstering as his retirement job, and they fished together for 16 years side by side. When Fred was ready to stay ashore, Steve took over the boat and continues today as owner/operator of the “November Gale”. (Steve’s boat name references the Gales of November that took down the “Mighty Fitz” Edmund Fitzgerald in the Great Lakes in 1975).
Recently Steve was named President of the Boston Harbor Lobsterman’s Association
The Boston Harbor Lobsterman’s Association is a group of 50+ independent lobsterman, mostly from the South Shore, but have members as far north as Billerica. As these lobsterman are all self-employed, the BHLA gives them an opportunity to meet monthly, discuss issues relative to their industry, including pricing issues, insurance, necessary gear, etc. While these lobsterman are in competition with each other on the market, they realize the importance of uniting as a group to have a stronger voice in the community. The President of the BHLA represents the group in speaking on conservation issues, construction projects in local waters and learns what other organizations are dealing with while expressing the concerns of the BHLA. Many members are also members of the Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association, of which Steve is a delegate and executive committee member.
Upon being elected President of the BHLA, Steve said “It’s quite an honor to be elected President of an organization representing people like Paul Urbanus, Ken Crispo and Skip Ryan,all Quincy lobsterman, who I’ve looked up to my entire life”. The BHLA is known for its community involvement. Its most popular event is “Vet’s Day”, where the lobsterman take Vet’s out for a day fishing. The BHLA lobsterman donate their boats and their time to give the Vet’s a day at sea. For some, it’s the only day they get out of the VA all year. Steve said “I’ve been participating in Vet’s Day for over 20 years and it’s the highlight of the year for the BHLA”. Another community outreach project undertaken by the BHLA is a boat ride given to the Sunrise House in Hull, a summer camp for inner city kids, and the BHLA volunteers there boats and their time to take the kids on a boat ride.
Steve celebrates the Christmas season each year, by adorning Boston Light with a nautical wreath he makes out of greens decorated with oars and buoys.
Steve has always been active in the education of the consumer and has taken the initiative to market his product directly to the public. Longing for his childhood days when fishing boats pulled in with their catch to the Houghs Neck piers, Steve docks his fishing vessel the November Gale at the Houghs Neck Maritime Center, 137 Bayview Ave, every Friday 3-6pm and Saturday 12-5pm through the months of June, July and August to provide you with the freshest and most inexpensive lobsters fresh off the boat from his pots to yours. For more information, visit online www.november-gale.com or call Captain Steve at 617-590-4579.