Spiny Lobster Season begins September 29th at Midnight! Ocean Enterprises will teach you How to Catch a Lobster so you can get some for yourself!
Get ready for the 2012 Lobster Season with Ocean Enterprises! This is Lobster Mania month for us because Lobster Season begins September 29th at Midnight and we will be having a Lobster Diving Contest, a How to Catch Lobsters Seminar, and more! Click this link to learn more and sign up! Festivities begin on Friday, September 28th and will be going on through Sunday September 30th! Click Here for pictures from last year’s contest! Open Water level divers can hunt for lobsters, but we recommend Advanced certification if you are diving at night, and we will also have Underwater Hunter and Night Diver Courses offered this month to get you ready to catch those yummy bugs! Visit our website regularly at www.oceanenterprises.com and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OceanEnterprises for updates and information! You can also visit our Online Scuba Store or come in to Ocean Enterprises to purchase the gear you will need to go out and catch those lobsters including lobster gauges, lobster bags, lights, etc! Also be sure to bring in your regulator to us for service now, so that we can get it serviced and back to you before the big rush at the end of the month!
Tips on catching our local Spiny Lobsters!
The California spiny lobster is a species of lobster found in the eastern Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, California to the Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico. Among the more than 40 species of spiny lobsters known worldwide, the California spiny lobster is one of the largest. Males can reach three feet long and weigh up to 26 pounds. Unlike the East Coast lobsters, the California spiny lobster lacks large front claws.
- Any person who is 16 years of age or older must possess his or her own fishing license when taking any fish, shell fish, reptile, or amphibian in California. Licenses can be conveniently purchased across the street from Ocean Enterprises at Sports Authority.
- It is required for all individuals (even those under 16) taking spiny lobster to possess and fill out a Spiny Lobster Report Card.
- Skin and scuba divers may only use bare (or gloved) hands to take lobster.
- No fish spears, short hooked poles, or similar appliances may be used to remove lobsters from crevices and caves. Baited hoop nets may also be used to take lobster.
- All lobster must be measured in the water and released unharmed if under sized.
- Each harvester must have a gauge made for measuring lobster while harvesting in the water.
- All recreationally harvested lobster must remain in whole condition while at sea.
- It is an offense to spear California Spiny Lobster.
- The recreational fishery for lobster runs from early October through mid-March, same as the commercial season. The closed season protects eggcarrying females and molting lobsters.
- Legal size lobster must measure 3.25 inches in length, and are measured in a straight line on the mid-line of the carapace (or body shell) from the rear edge of the the eye socket to the rear edge of the carapace.
- All divers must have with them a fixed measure gauge while in the water.
- It is illegal for recreational fishers to sell their catch.
- Spiny lobster traps can only be used by the holder of a commercial license. Sport harvesters may also use up to five hoop nets to take lobster (no more than 10 per vessel regardless of number of people aboard). Hoop nets are defined in the Department of Fish and Game’s regulations.
- A bag limit of 7 Spiny lobster per person per day (regardless of how taken).
- A snare is not a permitted device.
- Persons diving from a boat or shore may have their license on the boat or within 500 yards from shore, respectively. The law now provides for a minimum $250 fine for fishing without a license.
Catching Spiny Lobster
Spiny lobsters can be found near the shoreline or out in deeper water, you can use snorkel or scuba gear to find them. The Spiny Lobster can be caught with simple equipment found at almost any tackle store along the coast. Basic equipment includes:
- Divers may take lobsters by hand only
- A mesh bag to keep the lobster in once they have been caught,
- Gloves to protect your hands from the spines of the lobster,
- A measuring gauge to make sure the lobster is large enough to keep.
- A Dive Light if diving at night
Where to Catch Spiny Lobster
California spiny lobster season runs from the Saturday preceding the first Wednesday in October, to the first Wednesday after the 15th of March. Adult spiny lobsters make their homes in crevices and caverns of reefs, sponge flats, old barrels, and almost any structure where something could hide. Lobsters stay in their dens during daylight hours to avoid predators, and come out a couple of hours after dark to look for food. If you are hunting during the day, they’ll be hiding in these places, so look around. You usually won’t be able to see the whole lobster, but will usually see a pair of antennae poking out. Most likely, if you spot one pair on antennae, you’ll see more! Because lobsters are more active at night, it is often recommended to dive for lobsters at night, for which you will need to have an Advanced level certification and a dive light.