Listed below I have posted some pictures and tips. These tips are not a slam dunk, but they work for me, and its a work in progress. Each night I learn something new. Nothing is better than time on the water and dialing in your own skills and learning what works and what doesnt by actually doing it. Some people dont know where to start or just have not seen what the set up looks like, or what to use for bait, how the traps work, how to pull, or the basics. This is not an experts guide to catching lobster.
First, I set out all my traps and wind up the rope on the bouy and take out any tangles. I put the glow sticks in the plastic bottles, and get the traps ready before they even go in the boat.
Next I stuff the cages 100% full of bait. I use big sardines left over from halibut fishing. Pack that cage tight so the sea lions cant take out your bait. I thought of tack welding a few nails pointing up off the cage so the sea lion pokes its nose and leaves it alone. I will do this tomorrow.
After you pack all the bait cages, and wind your bouys, you stack them in your boat. Im going out on a limb wit this one, but if i was to do it again, I would only get flat traps. I get more lobsters, about 5 to 1, over the eclipse, and they just stack better, are easier to pull, cheaper, and more low profile and stealth. They also dont get clogged with kelp as much. Eclipse style work fine, I just prefer flat.
Finally, you drive in a straight line and deploy your traps like depth charges. Do it in line not for the lobsters, but for efficientcy and so you can better keep track of your string, and to get the timing down.
All my bouys are coated in reflective tape so when I shine the 2 million candle power light on the water, the bouys pop up like a radioactive orb on the surface. I can easily spot the bouys from over a mile away.
I like to drop the traps about 25 to 50 yards apart, sometimes up to 100 yards untill I find a good spot.
Lobsters can cruise around as fast as you can walk. When the tide is moving, they go a few miles per hour, like four or five miles per hour. Obviously they can squirt backward very fast, but they do not move about this way when looking for food.
Lobsters are usually like other fish in that they school up togather, and most times, they are in size classes. Many small ones togather, many big ones togather. At times I will get a huge on and a small one in the trap, but usually, they are with their own size.
Think of lobsters like ants in the grass. Most of the time you cant see them, but as soon and you put a popsicle down, they come out of nowhere and begin to all gobble up your bait. Then in time they form a line and army up and all walk the same way and organize themselves. Ive seen lobsters do this while diving. A few rouge bugs, near other bugs, then they want to go somewhere or eat something, and they all team up and organize and get in rank and file. This is usually when I get tons of lobsters. I think we got 31 the first outing, and they all came in bunches, so Im guessing that when Im landing over 20 a night, the army effect is occuring.
Here are two lobsters. One is a male. The male has smaller swimmerettes on the underside of the tail, and the female has larger ones. The swimmerettes on the females protect the eggs. I expect that in the next few outings, the females will have a white sperm package stuck to her undersides. It looks like a wad of gum. I chuck these back. I also chuck back the berried lobster. They are perfectly legal to keep, but I like to complete the circle of life and give some breeders back to the sea.
You can keep lobsters alive overnight in a cooler of saltwater. Then the wife and kids can see them alive. Then either eat them that night, or freeze them.
I will post the lobster roll. The finished product..
Right on paul, thats awesome and im guessing very helpful to alot of people...
Do you ever see anyone in yaks out there? I heard one of my friends talking about going out with 3 traps in a yak... I was kind alike... uh? out there, by yourself, in a yak, at night.. no thanks haha.
How good does it taste in comparison? Like fresh fish vs fish from the store?
There are as many kayakers out there as there are boaters. Ive seen kayakers out in the middle of the channel without lights. Complete friggen idiots. Especially since we know that the Coast Gaurd will run you over and kill you like they did to that 8 year old boy. Guys get drunk and drive fast at night, I cant imagine many things being more dangerous than kayaking without lights in the channel, but guys do it. Many kayakers are safe and stay near the moored boats and near the rock jetty boundaries. Kayaking at night is perfectly safe as long as you use common sense. Ive seen guys on longboards hoop netting. I guess if I swim at night in the ocean and try and pick up lobsters, its as risky as anything. Guys need to know their limitations. Personally, Im very comfortable in the ocean and in seas and surf. I am a waterman, well versed in many conditions. I am a certified swift water resque tecnician. I could surf at age 5, and I still surf at 36. There are things I would not feel good about doing and I would certainly caution others who are not experianced in the water to be safe and go with a buddy. Safety first when in the ocean at night. Expect self rescue just due to the fact that a brain only works for a few minutes without O2, and it takes a long time for the lifegaurds to get to you. Your on your own. Be wise.
Taste? Im not a pallet prissy. I get hungry, I eat. If beer is cold, I drink it.
My favorite foods in the whole wide world are sushi, pizza, and hamburgers. I could pretty much eat thses 3 meals every night and be happy.
A big fat lobster tail is good, but its a lot of meat and very rich. The other night we had the neighbors over and we all had rib eyes and lobster tails, and nobody said that the bay lobsters sucked or tasted any different than the Albersons brand Maine lobster.
I like to make Neptunes Salad with my lobster or Diablo and bisque. I described the Lobster roll months back. Thats my all time favorite way to do the lobster.
Tri color spiral pasta
Artichoke hearts (marinated)
Pepper jack cheese
Boil the pasta, rinse, put in the fridge. Drain all the canned ingredients, and the pepperoncinis and olives. Add to pasta. Cube the cheese. Thinly slice the red onion. Cook the lobster and cube it up. Add the shrimp and lobster and mix togather. Toss in the dressing.
The most incredible cold pasta salad ever. Lobster is good.
Good post with lots of information. Most of the hoop net tips I've gathered have been pretty straightforward as far as baiting and proper use of the nets. Other factors such as type of bait, time at night, best tides and surf conditions all seem to be opinionated and just personal preference-
My roommate and I go hooping by kayak, its the only way I've ever done it. We use a tandem Kobra Kayak and currently have 5 cone style nets. We've had some luck near the kelp beds off north county and have always felt safe out there at night. We use plenty of lights and always see other boats in the area doing the same thing. I find it peaceful out there at night. Its been a little slower lately and we're hoping the fishing picks up soon-
I have made many changes for the better in the last year. Seems so long ago. My set-up is similar but much improved. I run self-ballast high fliers and equallizing rope systems. I have also made better bait cages and have dialed in spots. I would guess that spots are the number one key ingredient to successful hoop netting.
If you have no spots of your own, drive out to the kelp and look where are the commercial traps are and start there. Those guys dont fish for fun.
Thus far, the lobster scale has tipped in my favor. One giant has already been landed, boiled, and rolled into a dynomite log with jalapeno, avocado, masago, and lava sauce. There are pictures on the main social network page from about a week ago.
I have back to back nights comming up starting tomorrow. Ive had a few people want to come out with me on sdfish, but nobody has yet to offer anything in trade. I have open seats for those willing to trade. No free loaders; dont ask if you dont have anything to give.
#1 Best Selling Author Catch Big Halibut by Paul Moritz