Chad Mahoney and his trusty 46-foot lobster boat, “First Light,” are featured in a television commercial that his friends are starting to notice, much to their surprise.
“I didn’t widely share that I was going to be in a commercial,” Mahoney told The Hull Times. “As soon as people saw it, I started getting text messages and phone calls saying, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV!’”
It all started after Boston-area marketing guru Joe Berkeley’s photos of Mahoney’s lobster boat captured the attention of an advertising team working on a commercial for Rinvoq, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
“Joe is always down at the docks taking photos of sunrises, sunsets, lobstermen, and other fishermen, and through his network, the photos of my boat came up,” he said of Berkeley, who also lives in Hull. “I was asked if I was interested in ‘First Light’ being used in a commercial, and I said, ‘Why not?,’ never realizing that I would appear in it as well. I thought it would just be the boat, not me!”
His sternman, Sean Londergan, also appears in the commercial.
“We were dressed in oilskin outfits to keep us dry, boots, and shirts without any logos,” Mahoney said.
The filming took place in Rockport over a period of two days at the famous Motif Number 1 – a famous replica of a former fishing shack – and along the beach, using a drone, once Mahoney had sailed “First Light” to that scenic location.
While he found being in a commercial an interesting experience, this is his first, and probably last, one.
“No one is knocking on my door to do another one, but it was a fun thing to do,” he quipped. “It was interesting to see how the industry works, and I’m glad I had the experience.”
Mahoney, a lifelong Hull resident and Hull High graduate, has been interested in lobstering since he first started fishing with his father, Peter Mahoney, when he was five or six years old.
While he tried other work, lobstering is what Mahoney always came back to, carrying on the family tradition.
“I really enjoy being on the water,” he explained.
That said, lobstering has its challenges, including storms up the coast and engine breakdowns and other needed repairs.
Normally, lobster season runs from April to the end of December, but in recent years, it has been cut short with the implementation of restrictions that place limits on the kind of fishing that can occur in Massachusetts and federal waters. The purpose is to augment protections for right whales due to acute entanglement risk and subsequent serious injury and mortality to this endangered species.
While these restrictions are understandable, they apply until May, which cuts into the usual lobstering season – the profits and the ability to find help for the shortened season, according to Mahoney.
Still, the past few years of lobstering have been good, and he is hoping for another successful season in 2022.
“Every year is different and unpredictable,” he said.
While Mahoney enjoys eating lobster from time to time, most of his catch is reserved for his customers.
“I don’t want to cut into the profits!” he joked.
Mahoney finds the experience of being a lobsterman in his hometown to be a positive one.
“It’s a tight-knit fishing community, and we all get along well. It’s good to see the industry surviving in a small area like this,” he said.
One of the things Mahoney likes most about lobstering is the independence: “I like being my own boss.”
In his spare time, especially during the winter, it’s more of the same – performing maintenance and upkeep on “First Light” and his traps in order to be ready for the next season – but Mahoney wouldn’t have it any other way.