The Big Shuck


Aw Shucks!

On Sunday, June 29, 2025 at 12 noon join us at the L.L.Bean Discovery Park Stage to watch the pros throw down in their own shucking contest. They will each be given two dozen oysters and this time it’s not just the fastest time that counts. For the pros, it’s also about the quality of their shucks. A judge will inspect their finished product and add time on for any penalties according to the chart below.

PENALTIES. Judges will add seconds to shucking time accordingly:
(1) An oyster not completely severed from shell ……….………….add 3 seconds
(2) An oyster presented on a broken shell……………….…………….add 1 second
(3) An oyster presented with grit or other foreign substance……….add 3 seconds
(4) A cut oyster………………………………………………………..….add 3 seconds
(5) An oyster not placed properly in the shell………………………add 2 seconds
(6) A missing oyster……………………………………………………..add 20 seconds
BONUS. Judges may (optionally) award a bonus reduction of ten (10) seconds as an
award for a tray whose presentation is deemed outstanding.

2024 Results: 

Winner – Andy Rogers, Jolie Rogers Raw Bar 1:56.78
First Runner Up – Chad Michael Egeland, Scales 2:20.58
Second Runner Up – Ben Wolven, Oyster Wulff (Denver, CO) 2:21.91
Libby Davis, Lady Shuckers 2:37.76
John Herrigel, Maine Oyster Company 2.55.26
Kate Tracy, Freeport Oyster Bar 3.23.77 (Judge’s Pick for Overall Best Looking Shucks!)
Kelly Punch, Mere Point Oyster Company 3:28.53


Gaby Zlotkowski, Islesboro Oyster

Gaby, a Maine native, is a high school junior on Islesboro. Having come from many generations of fishermen, she’s literally grown up working on the water. At 8 years old Gaby got her student lobstering license, at 13 years old she started working in the oyster industry when her mother started Islesboro Oyster Co. Then, at 15, Gaby started her own kelp business with her own LPAs.

Gaby shucks professionally for events, is a volunteer for Islesboro’s Shellfish Committee the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, and is in the process of expanding her aquaculture business by diversifying species. She loves working on the water and being a part of Maine’s aquaculture community.

John Herrigel

Founder and owner of Maine Oyster Company.

Founder and host of OysterFest at Harvest on the Harbor.

Coined the phrase, “BOOM SHUCK A LUCKA!.”

Ben Wolven aka Oyster Wulff

Raised by the tides of midcoast Maine to the Mountains of Colorado, Ben grew up shucking oysters on the Damariscotta watershed with his grandfather. Since then, he has earned numerous oyster-opening titles in both Maine and Colorado. Ben has competed alongside the best in the world, traveling as far as the Great Wall of China to participate in the Taylor Shellfish World Cup of Oyster Opening. Currently, he resides in Colorado, where he operates his catering business while championing Maine oysters for their unbeatable brine and complexity. You can follow his journey on social media via @oysterwulff

Kate Tracy
A 2022 graduate of Freeport High School and a pro-shucker at Freeport Oyster Bar!


Libby Davis, Owner/Operator, Lady Shuckers LLC
Libby is a Maine native with a background in Biology and International Development and has worked in the aquaculture industry for the last 4 years. She got her start working as the restaurant manager at Maine Oyster Company in 2018 and gained extensive experience in raw-bar operations management, oyster farming, shellfish shipping and distribution, as well as marketing and event coordinating. She has been professionally shucking oysters for the last 4 years and began Lady Shuckers mobile raw-bar and event company last year with the mission to support and source products exclusively from women-owned sea farms and increase visibility for underrepresented groups on the working waterfront.

Chad Michael Egeland

“I’m the raw bar sous chef at Scales restaurant in Portland, Maine. I’m a member of the Oyster Master Guild and I started shucking oysters in 2016 and have competed since 2016. I’ve traveled to compete in Nationals every year since 2019(barring the years during covid), competed for 3 years at the Pemaquid Oyster Festival and won this past year, placed second before covid hit, placed third at the Wellfleet festival this past year and most recently I’ve placed third in the Philadelphia shuck fest event.”

Kelly Punch,Marketing & Events Director, Mere Point Oyster Farm 

Kelly has a long history in the hospitality industry and the competitive shucking scene. She has done a little bit of everything! From shucking oysters, to helping the farm crew on the water, to managing successful restaurants and catering teams. As the Marketing and Events Director for Mere Point Oyster Company (one of the largest farms in Maine), she has contributed immensely to growing a renowned Maine brand. Her focus has lead to new business opportunities like engaging oyster farm tours, reliable full-service catering, unique raw bar experiences, and educational shucking lessons. Whether you are looking to have some fun on the water or learn how to shuck, Kelly will take care of you!

Andy Rogers

The two-time The Big Shuck champ is back to keep his crown. Okay, it’s not a crown but the award is a lovely engraved cutting board! He’s not only our current champion, but he’s a nationally ranked shucker. Co-owner of Scully Sea Products in Edgecomb and the Jolie Rogers Raw Bar in Wiscasset. 

“I discovered a passion for oysters while studying Hospitality Management and Ecogastronomy at the University of New Hampshire. After my freshman year, I joined the opening team of an oyster bar in Portsmouth NH, and immediately asked for an oyster reading list. Working long days shucking oysters and discussing them with guests, I fell in love with the craft. When I find the groove, opening oysters is a meditative process, and competitions are exhilarating. After working in several other kitchens and living in Europe, I could not escape my love for all things New England and oysters. New England is my home, and oysters are the flavor of my home.”