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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:16 pm | Fair 49º


Captain’s Log: Bugs and Bad Weather on the Big Lobster Opening Weekend

Have you looked at those incredibly expensive lobsters in the live tank at the fish market and thought about going after some yourself? It is a good plan, and a very popular one.

We all know how tasty the big ocean bugs are, but I assure you that when you catch them yourself they taste way better, and that’s great incentive to go bug hunting. Not only that, but sitting at the table eating lobster and telling the stories of the hunt brings back instinctive gratification from earlier days of our ancestors sitting around village campfires and re-enacting tales of hunts.

Lobster season opened Saturday. If you can remember back to last weekend, you’ll recall that the days and nights featured howling winds and tall seas, especially Friday night and Saturday. To put things in perspective, the season began precisely one second after midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning. Most safe and sane folks stay ashore during such weather and sea conditions, except of course when they occur on the opener of lobster season.

There is a commonly held belief that surgy water gets lobster to moving and makes them easier to find. So, hard-core lobster hunters get happy during lobster season whenever the water gets rough and towering swells come into shore. So it was this weekend, when people took to the water to catch lobster underwater — by hand (the only way allowed for divers).

There were more people entering the water from the surf than there were from boats, even factoring in the crowds on the big open-party dive boats (Peace, Truth, Conception, out of Sea Landing in Santa Barbara). That’s because many boaters looked at the marine forecasts and weather buoy observations and were wise enough to leave their small craft on trailers or in their slips. It certainly was no water to have a kayak out on.

So lobster hooping was not nearly as boisterous as opening weekends usually are. There will be plenty of time for lobster hooping in the weeks and months ahead.

Many folks did go in the water from shore, and from the reports I got, there were some scrumptious lobster dinners enjoyed on Saturday evening, replete with tales of daring do and battles with sea monsters (well, some of those dinners had alcohol involved!). When the hoopsters get out in force and divers have more time to get underwater, there will be plenty of bugs to go around.

Maybe you really can go get your own, instead of staring at those critters in the live tank. In the long run, you may not spend any less, but you’ll have some great stories to tell around the dinner table or campfire.

— 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. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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