Lobster Diving: A "Tail" for the Breakfast Table

Los Angeles, CA – October 17, 2013 – It's almost dark; only a quarter moon will light the sky tonight. Excited divers dot the beaches along the southern coast of California. As the sun sets, the divers make last minute preparations to enter the water in Malibu, California. Adrenalin is pumping -- you know your dive buddy is with you, but you are alone with the thoughts in your head. You wonder what creatures you will discover in the darkness. You force yourself to slow your breathing and focus. You enter the water. The hunt is on; spiny lobster season is in full swing from Saturday, September 28, 2013 through Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

This is your first attempt at lobster diving and you aren't quite sure what to expect, but you've done your homework. Like any hunter, you've studied your prey. You have learned that the California spiny lobster is plentiful off the southern coast of California. You know it is a nocturnal creature, hence the night dive. By day, your prey finds shelter in caves, under rock ledges, in reefs or in shipwrecks or other debris; so you know the places you should stalk to find him. He comes out only at night to feed, but he is shy and elusive. You will have to be stealthy and quick or he will retreat into a sheltered spot out of reach. 

No special tools are permitted when hunting this lobster. It is a very primal thing. Armed with only a game bag and gloved hands, you will hunt. You have also learned that this species has two large antennae but no claws. You know to be cautious sticking your hand into a blind spot to grab one, as sea urchins and moray eels often share the same spaces. You are hoping for that 'big one*'; the one that will give you bragging rights, as you have studied and know that the California spiny lobster can grow up to 3 feet long and can weigh as much as 26 pounds. You imagine the photos and play with the words in your mind that you will use to tell the story, . . . . 

The night dive is even more exciting than you imagined. You've seen a few lobsters, but haven't been quick enough to catch one. Just about to give up for the night, you spot one more. He is just out of reach. You slowly maneuver into position and swoop, pin it to the ground and scoop it into your game bag! You will be the one with the tales and "tails" to tell around the breakfast table this morning! 

Interested yet? Before you head out, make sure you understand the rules and regulations. You need a California fishing license, lobster calipers and a lobster report card. There is a limit of seven lobsters per day and there is also a size limit. The basic list of the Department of Fish & Game regulations for the 2013 season can be found here

Just a reminder: we are a full service dive shop. Need lessons, equipment, dive trip assistance or help interpreting lobster diving rules and regulations? contact us

* We advocate not taking big “bull” lobsters which are large (over 5 lbs), mature breeders that help to reproduce future generations. They can be photographed and released.


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