By: Parimal M. Rohit
With lobster season upon us, you are literally and figuratively gearing up to take the seas in order to make your big catch. Here are some tools you will need for your lobster catch. (NOTE: the following list applies to divers, not commercial lobster fishers.)
California is home to spiny lobster, which is different from the big red bottom feeders found in Maine. In the Atlantic Northeast, lobsters have large claws. The California coast is home to lobster without claws but instead a spiny body. If you are a diver, you are only allowed to take or carry a lobster with your bare or gloved hands.
Heavy Duty Gloves
Of course, if you are a diver, be sure to wear heavy duty – and water friendly – gloves, such as OceanQuest diving gloves, to protect your hands from the lobster’s spiny exterior. The super-stretch titanium diving gloves can snuggly fit onto any adult-sized hand and do not require zippers or Velcro to stay on tightly. The palm of the glove is a “durable grip,” according to scuba.com. OceanQuest’s gloves provide proper warmth for your hands while also providing enough flexibility to make pick up something – like lobster – while underwater, very easy.
OceanQuest diving gloves are priced at $26.95. Visit scuba.com.
If you intend to dive for lobster after sunset, you would need a dive light to help navigate the waters and spot lobster. Lobsters are nocturnal, so night fishing could result in a more successful catch. The Big Blue CF-250 L.E.D. light (AAA lithium batteries extra) is a dive light brand that comes with an adjustable light beam angle (range of 6 to 31 degrees). Its light output is 250 lumens and comes in an aluminum casing material alloy. The dive light can operate at a maximum depth of 100 meters, has a burn time of four hours at full lumen output, and has a handheld grip.
The Big Blue CF-250 L.E.D. light is prices at $98.99. Visit scuba.com.
Under California law, the size of a caught lobster must be 3.25 inches in length. All divers searching for lobster must have with them a fixed measuring gauge to help determine the size of the catch is legal. To measure a caught lobster, use the gauge to create a straight line from the eye socket’s rear edge to the rear edge of the body shell (known as a carapace). The straight line measurement should be made along the carapace’s midline. Divers are allowed to bring the lobster to the surface of the water to make the measurement. If the lobster is undersized, you must release it back into the water. Measuring gauges are easy to find online. The Trident Spiny Lobster Gauge features an aluminum-designed fixed measuring gauges that exactly measures 3.25 inches. There is a hole at one end of the gauge allowing it to be attached with ease to your gear.
The Trident Spiny Lobster Gauge is priced at $2.95. Visit houseofscuba.com.
Those hunting for lobster via kayak or pier will need a hoop net to catch a spiny bug. Hoop nets generally have 32-inch or 36-inch diameters and come with about 100 feet of line, bait pouch, and float. The Promar Ambush Lobster and Crab Hoop Net is designed by lobster fishermen for lobster fisherman. The Promar Ambush Hoop Net is described as “incredibly efficient at catching … lobsters.”
The Promar Ambush Lobster and Crab Hoop Net is priced at $36.99. Visit sportschalet.com.
Once a legal catch is made, you will need a mesh bag to store your lobster. The Trident Mesh Game Bag 20 x 32 and comes with a wire-locking handle and a D-ring allowing for easy opening and closing. Described as compact and light weight, the Trident Mesh Game Bag has a quick locking clasp and wire handle.
The Trident Mesh Game Bag is priced at $14.95. Visit houseofscuba.com.