Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 8:04 am | Overcast 65º


Captain’s Log: Lobster Fishing Goes Against the Elements

For the best results, head out during the dark, cold hours of night

Targeting lobsters may put you in harm’s way, will pit you against the elements and, for some inexplicable reason, it is all definitely part of the allure.

To start with, the best lobstering is done during the dark, cold hours of night because that is when lobsters tend to move, when they move at all.

Forecasting their movements is difficult at best, but there are a few things we know. One is that they like to move in the dark, and that is probably because they feel safer. Another is that a low-pressure system puts them in the mood to get out of their hidy spots and move about.

So utilizing that knowledge, the best time to go lobstering is at night during a storm. Sound inviting? Well, that depends on how much you want a caught-it-yourself lobster dinner or breakfast. Many folks at this point are going to say, “I’d rather go to a restaurant for my lobster dinner.” OK, that’s fair and honest. But there are hardy, intrepid souls among us (I confess to such tendencies myself) who just gotta go get their own pesky lobsters.

Hoop netting lobster from boats has gained immensely in popularity during the past 10 years and can be quite productive. Buy your hoop nets at Hook, Line & Sinker on Calle Real between Upper State Street and Highway 154. Buy or catch mackerel or other bait, tie it up in your hoop nets and head offshore at night.

If you know some wreck sites, your chances are great. Otherwise, drop the hoops next to kelp or rocks. Pull the hoops every couple of hours and move the empty ones to another spot. You will be cold, and you will probably get wet. Oh, and you’ll have a blast.

For those scuba divers among us, this is a great reason to get underwater. Safety is a real issue since you’ll be working at night and in close proximity to structure where things can happen. Wise divers work in pairs or groups then later celebrate together with the freshest lobster dinner or breakfast possible.

There is a story I want to share. One time we had a tethered underwater camera with a monitor screen aboard my charter boat, WaveWalker. We lowered the camera to the seafloor right next to a sunken boat I know of, while we watched the monitor closely. The camera landed and with the wreck in clear view.

Not three seconds later, a big lobster dashed out from under the wreck, savagely beat up the camera and darted back under the wreck. Aboard the boat and watching the monitor, we were all startled and then sat in stunned silence until someone finally spoke up and said, “I feel so abused!”

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >