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 softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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