Sara Gray

This industrious young islander aspired to buy a fishing boat. He got his wish, in the fourth grade.

Nick Hadlock never depended on an allowance to get what hewanted. When he was only 7, he began cutting grass for neighbors onLittle Cranberry Island, Maine. He stockpiled money to make hisdream purchase: a fishing boat. Now 14, he's spent the last fouryears trapping lobster with the big guys.

First memories: "When I was really little, like 4, I'd hangout down at the harbor with all the fishermen and play with thebuoys and traps. I had the nickname Captain Coil, and I'd go sternwith my dad, who's a fisherman. I've been interested in it as longas I can remember."

Island life: "We don't have too many kids around here, soyou hang out a lot with the adults. I guess that's how I came intofishing. And I love it, just like I love living on the island. Idon't know if I could ever leave this place."

His haul: "I fish a lot in the summer, when the lobster comein to shed their claws. But most people catch them when they'reheading back out to cooler waters, in the fall. I'm in school then,so I can only go on Saturdays. Still, I can catch about 100 poundsin my little boat. The fishermen who have the big boats don't haveto worry about pulling up their traps by hand, like I do, so theycan get about 1,500 pounds in a day. I think I do OK with the boatI've got."

Looking ahead: "Whatever I get from selling my lobster tothe Islesford Co-op, well, I take that money and put it into myboat-the steering or controls or my motor-and I put the rest awayto save up for a new one, a 22-footer."

His destiny: "I remember going out with my dad, feeling athome on the boat and in the water. Most of the time I'm out therealone, fishing by myself. One day it hit me that this is what Ilike most. It's a part of me."

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