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REEF1

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I just finished up my NAUI open water certification last fall with Gene and have my first ocean dive scheduled for May 28th on the Almirante. Can anyone tell my what my chances are of harvesting lobster. In the shipwreck description page, it indicates that there are many hiding spaces for lobster on the wreck.  What is the best way to grab a hold of a lobster. I would image the lobsters back into holes with claws facing outward.  I'm sure getting bit is a common occurance.     

IHateJimmyBuffett

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Reply with quote  #2 
HOW TO CATCH A LOBSTER.... by Mike Allen

While there are MANY, MANY methods used, the following steps have proven somewhat effective for the author in the past

Step 1: Find the bugger.
           You are correct, Mr. Reef, in describing the "typical" lobster stance in his hole. The claws are usually pointing toward the hole's opening and ready to defend against any neoprene-mitted intruder.  Sometimes you will find him close to the opening, other times further back depending on the depth of the hole and his mood.  A good lobster hole is ANY part of the wreck where he feels comfortable.  I generally like to look along the wreck perimeter near the sand as they will dig out sand in the hole to make it deeper and the telltale "disturbed sand pile" is usually a good indication SOMETHING is in there.  Even if you don't see a pile, look in there anyway because the pile isn't always there. 
             As you peruse the various holes, try not to shine your light into any one hole for an extended period of time looking because if there IS a bug in there, the light will make him a little nervous and getting a good shot will be difficult.  In fact, if you do spot a potential lair, turn your light off and try swimming over top of it and look for a pair of exploring antennae sticking out or claws at the edge. Only if nothing is seen sticking out, should you flash your light deeper to look.  The less light the better.

Step 2: Poke and hope
           If a monster is found, DO NOT SIT THERE WITH THE LIGHT ON HIM WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD REACH IN OR NOT! This will only allow him to get away!  The best way to get him is to reach fast and deep into the hole and "hope" to grab a part that doesn't pinch!  The quicker and deeper you grab, the better.  Should you grab on to a claw, you should let go and quickly try for the carapace because the little ones will drop the claw without hesitation and the larger ones....well, they hurt more! 

Step 3: Check for size and eggs
           First thing to do once the bugger is pulled out of the hole is to check for eggs and size.
           The lobster with eggs is illegal to keep.  It's not difficult to spot one as she appears to have a giant brown raspberry stuck to her swimmerettes under the tail.  If you see the "brown raspberry", let her go gently back into her hole and move on.  
           If there are no raspberries, you should get a lobster gauge and check for size limitations both for shorts and apparently now, uhhh....bigs?  Yes, there are now unfortunately limitations on both sides of the scale.

Step 4: Bag 'em!
           If you haven't already done so, get a bug-bag from the shop.  I find the UK bags to be the best.  If you get a monster without a bag, look for me and I will be MORE than happy to carry him around for you on the bottom for the nominal fee of one lobster tail! (payable at the dock)...

Step 5: Eat 'em!
           No explanation needed here......

I hope this helps and like I said, techniques vary but this has worked for me for the past 20 years and hopefully it will continue to work for me this Summer and beyond....

Best of luck,

Mike     



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Michael Allen
REEF1

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Reply with quote  #3 
Mike,

Thank you so much for your excellent response. I'm counting the days until I can go try your techniques.

                                 -Hugh
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