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UmiDiver
October 25th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Hi all

I am going to try my first lobster hunt in Nov. I had done lots of nite dives in warm water, but never in S. cali (I am new here:) )

Is there any expert with catching lobsters, here?? If you can share some technique, that would be great

Thanks :D

JustAddWater
October 25th, 2003, 11:31 AM
There is an expert technique for every lobster hunter that you ask, ranging from making friends with sea urchins to thinking like a lobster. My (not so expert technique) is to approach crevices by diving over a rock, then down to the crevice rather than approaching the crevice from a straight shot. Also, don't be afraid to stick your hands into a crevice, but check it out first with your dive light. Last year, on a night dive, I met Mr. Leopard Shark while attempting to grab a bug in a crevice. He just smiled, but the bug lived to be hunted another day. I've "seen" some success when divers work in pairs. It looks like a bug rodeo as the lobsters are coralled from one side of a crevice or small cave to another.
If all else fails, try Vons---or some non-striking grocery store.

Mo2vation
October 25th, 2003, 11:34 AM
JustAddWater once bubbled...
If all else fails, try Vons---or some non-striking grocery store.

nice.

K

CincyBengalsFan
October 25th, 2003, 11:42 AM
UmiDiver once bubbled...
Hi all

I am going to try my first lobster hunt in Nov. I had done lots of nite dives in warm water, but never in S. cali (I am new here:) )

Is there any expert with catching lobsters, here?? If you can share some technique, that would be great

Thanks :D

Tickle stick and a bag....Justaddwater is right. Don't be afraid to stick your hand in the crevice but check it out first. Small sharks, big eels and big crabs have been known to hang out in crevices too.

I loved the lobster rodeo comment..

You can also find all kinds of useful info. a www.spearboard.com

UmiDiver
October 25th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Hi all

Thanks for the tip. I guess first I will try Vons... (oops, they are on strike...)

So, all I need to do is stick my hands in the crevices... I hope I can spot at least 1 lobster during my 2 dives.
I also heard that it might be easier to find lobster taking a walk (?) on the bottom and catch it from above... Has anybody tried this method??

I wonder how many lobsters people catch per dive...

Thanks ;)

PhotoTJ
October 25th, 2003, 02:32 PM
...my buddy and I have had some success. I'll tell you how I do it, and you can adapt the techniques and configuration to your liking.

Equipment. Since I mostly night dive, I have a lot of lights. I use a C-8 for a primary, on a D ring mounted leash, an SL-4 for a backup, a MiniQ-40 on my mask strap for a head light, and a second MiniQ-40 for a backup backup.
I have my gage on a retractor on the lower right side of my BC, and a spring lock bag on my right hip. My buddy has his gage mounted on his light, this works really well for him, and I'm considering that configuration. We both wear kevlar gloves.

Now, I dive mostly in Malibu. Big Rock, the pier, Corral, County line. Finding the bugs come first. Water temp and habitat are the most important things. So, first find the habitat, then cover a lot of ground till you find a few bugs, in close proximity. Check the temp. This is where you'll most likely find lobsters in that area.

Start shallow. And I mean have your mask on, and be looking down, when you are still walking. I caught a 4 1/2 pounder in water I could stand in.

Capture. I keep my light in my right hand, and the headlight on, sweeping from side to side. When I spot a probable keeper, I turn off the primary, and position myself for a left handed grab. (I'm right handed, for some reason, the lefty grab works for me. It's why my gear is configured the way it is.) DON'T HESITATE!!! Grab fast and firm. OK, you've got him in the left hand. Drop your light, and grab your gage. Pin him to your leg, and measure. Remember, it's between the horns to the back of the carapice. If the back of your gage touches his tail, he's short, and on his way to freedom for another year. If the gage hits the carapice, his new name is lunch. Drop the gage, (it's on a retractor, remember?), and grab the squeeze lock with your right. Open, insert lunch, and let the bag close on your hand. Let go of the bug, and pull your hand out. Grab your primary, turn it back on, and look sharp, where there is one, there are usually more.

The head light is important, even when you're wrestling with the bug, you always have light where you need it. When bagging, this is invaluable.

Repeat six times.

When you're done with the dive, re-measure on the beach. Ere on the side of caution, always, I've heard it's a steep ticket. Remember, the limit is 7 per day.

No snares or tickle sticks in California, the only tool you can use is a pair of gloves.

This works for me, I've had lobster for dinner 4 times this year, given 10 to friends, as well as thrown a party serving 8.

I have caught 4 over 4 pounds, my buddy caught one 7+. (See SoCalAJ's post, 'Bug Caught off Malibu', this forum.)

Good Hunting, see you on the beach! :D

TJ

RichLockyer
October 25th, 2003, 04:47 PM
CincyBengalsFan once bubbled...
Tickle stick
Illegal in California.

RichLockyer
October 25th, 2003, 04:53 PM
UmiDiver once bubbled...
So, all I need to do is stick my hands in the crevices... I hope I can spot at least 1 lobster during my 2 dives.
I also heard that it might be easier to find lobster taking a walk (?) on the bottom and catch it from above... Has anybody tried this method??
That's not quite ALL you need to do :D

My buddy normally limits out in one dive ('bout 70-90 minutes). I WOULD limit, but can't seem to limit on legals :)
He's been doing it for 25 years too.

Going in from above/behind is our method... occasionally, we'll find them out cruising in the sand, but they're normally still in the rocks. Ya, it's a lot easier to sweep in from behind... aim for the BACK of the tail because it will most likely bolt (backwards).

CincyBengalsFan
October 25th, 2003, 05:26 PM
RichLockyer once bubbled...

Illegal in California.

NO SH**!

You know it used to be legal to shoot lobsters in Fla. I'm not for sure if that's still legal or not. I've never done it. But I have seen some Boat Capts. shoot lobsters that gratiously shared his catch with us.:D

DFC5343
October 25th, 2003, 05:33 PM
Just do it...

Robert Phillips
October 26th, 2003, 02:18 AM
The slow hand, does not the lobster grab!
Those little buggers move quick and you have to grab them almost before you can think about it.
If you see garibaldis, there are usually lobsters near. Look for the big orange fish.
A team is also a good way to get them. If the hole has a back door, you can chase them out one side while your buddy grabs. Take off a fin if you can without losing it, and chase 'em out.
Be carefull grabbing a lobster by the tail, you can get a major cut when they flap thier tails. Those spines are razor sharp. Good thick gloves are the way to go.


Here's a pic of some of the bugs we got on opening night.

UmiDiver
October 26th, 2003, 12:34 PM
Hi all

Thanks for all the tips and info, again!

TJ, thank you for sharing your technique here. I really appreciated that. I didn't even think about head lights. My buddy and I are completely new to this, and we are planning to go down there and see what happens. I guess that wouldn't have worked well..

So, I guess I'd better get really thick gloves. All I have right now is 5mm gloves here.... I will pratice catching tech with my cat from above before I go . (since he tends to move backwards when I want to catch him):D

Does everybody here wear dry suit or wet suit??? I am going on Nov 8th.. I hope it is not too cold with wet suit...

Thanks. :)

RichLockyer
October 26th, 2003, 02:28 PM
UmiDiver once bubbled...
Does everybody here wear dry suit or wet suit??? I am going on Nov 8th.. I hope it is not too cold with wet suit...
I dive dry, but that could be part of the reason I have trouble catching limits... trying to be careful and not damage the suit by getting it punctured by an urchin or torn on a rock.

I think the perfect bug suit in SoCal would be a 5mm hooded vest under a 5mm full suit with Deep Sea kevlar gloves... and don't worry about it if it starts to get thrashed.

Think of it as your "working under the car" suit.

Robert Phillips
October 26th, 2003, 05:54 PM
5mm gloves are plenty thick, but they should have some kind of coating, like kevlar on the palms and fingers. I have Akona 5mm kevlars and they work great.
The water has been really warm lately so a wetsuit is just fine for SO. Cal. in November.
Good luck

Jambi
October 27th, 2003, 01:39 AM
I was told by some one to use a red filter on my light because bugs cannot see it. Does this have any truth?

Jambi

SoCalAJ
October 27th, 2003, 05:30 AM
Tj and I are consitently pulling out bugs, exactly by the tactics tj just said, read what he wrote and follow it exactly and you will get bugs.
The key to bug hunting is to cover as much ground as possible and efficiently scan the area while you swim over it. Anybody can grab a bug, thats the easy part. Its all about getting the "eye" and knowing where to find them.

SoCal AJ

UmiDiver
October 27th, 2003, 10:09 AM
You guys are teasing me with all these pics of lobsters... yum yum
I hope I can get at least one... This will be my first try, so I'd be happy if I can get one...

I decided to go with my wet suit since i don't want to get a puncture on my new dry suit ;)

ChrisM
October 27th, 2003, 07:15 PM
TJ< very enjoyable read! Felt like I was right there with you :)

psst - there's a 6 pounder in about 15 feet right off of Leo. My buddy would have taken it if he didn't have last week's 8 pounder in the freezer already :D

DFC5343
October 27th, 2003, 07:29 PM
and the winner is?!

ifukuda
October 27th, 2003, 08:34 PM
Lobster catching tactics which have worked for me:

- I primarily dive for lobsters at night. That's when they come out of their dens to feed. It's much easier to grab a lobster out in the open than pulling one out from its den.

- I try to cover as much terrain as possible during the dive, rather than staying in 1 spot.

-When there is even 1 small bug, I carefully scan the area. Odds are, there are more.

- It's important to develop an eye so you can tell a legal sized lobster from apart from an undersized one. Don't waste your time (and air) chasing after undersized lobsters.

- Use a good light...I use a UK LC100. This way I'm able stay about 2m off the bottom and sweep a wide area with the light.

- I attach my light to the BC with a coiled lanyered.

- I put my guage on the light.

- When I spot a lobster, I 'm careful not to shine the light directly at the lobster and scare it away. I'll keep the lobster at the edge of the beam and decent over it. As I approach it, I hold the light away from my body (and the hand I'm going to grab the bug with), and begin to position my open hand above and behind the lobster. I'll hover about 2ft over the lobster and hold position (in a slightly head down position). At this point, the lobster is usually completely focused on the light (and oblivious to the 5'10" diver holding the light), and will slowly back away from the light. At this point it's pretty easy to manuever my open hand within striking range (9" ~ 12"). Then SLAM!

- Once I grab the lobster, I measure it (easy, if the guage is on the light), drop the light (not a problem if your light is attached to the BC), bag the lobster, pull up on the lanyared coil to recover light.

** Actually, catching a lobster is pretty easy. The hard part is finding legal sized ones. On opening night, I'd measured over 15 lobsters, and i was only able to bag 3.

PhotoTJ
November 4th, 2003, 11:43 PM
Oh, gee, look what's in my fridge!

Sandy Eggo Jake
November 20th, 2003, 11:48 PM
OK!!! All this talk of lobsters is killing me! I just drank some melted butter to sate my withdrawal!

My tale of woe is that my lobster buddy moved away a few months back, right before the season and everything! Grrr.

So I'm looking for new folks geared up and ready to go. Ideal candidates are those with ample night diving experience and are reasonably self reliant on the hunt. Shore dives, charter dive.... what ever... and if you have your own boat, pretty please!!

Pt Loma to Encinitas.

I'm a PADI DM/MD with valid fishing license and all the gear.

Interested? Give me a call. The sooner the better!

Jake
jschaible@ligand.com
(317) 679 4579 cell

tingkka
November 22nd, 2003, 11:54 PM
DFC5343 once bubbled...
Just do it...

ah~ all you oldies ruined it for us~~~ it was great when the floor was covered with lobsters....BIG lobsters...

:D

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