First of all are we thinking “Bugs, Lobsters?” Many will say YES!!
heading for the pot!
Without a second thought, gear is always ready right? It’s the timing of the moment that comes around at precisely 12:01AM Saturday Morning after working all day Friday a piece of gear breaks or doesn’t work.
Personal gear planning takes on now a different nature of what’s at stake, cost of lobster license, and the chance to get an opening night bug. Roarrrrrrrrr!
Extra Rope if the trail uses one. If you show up and it is gone, problem solved.
Chem Sticks are most valuable for marking the trail you intend to find your way back. Everything looks the same without them.
Princeton Tec Rays
Lights: These days are pretty nice but still can fail,
bring 3 lights to the site, carry 2 with you,
bring an extra set of batteries for each,
if bringing the “right” light, bring an extra bulb.
Light lanyard: Select carefully and double secure with marking line.
Gauges: Individual or mounted, have a spare.
Game Bags and Gloves: Bring 2 and a plastic tote or ice chest with frozen waterless devices to not drown your bugs from fresh water. Throw in some kelp to keep moist or a sea watered burlap bag rag.
Extra everything if you have it. I’ve seen tank straps break, if you have an extra bcd bring it, or at least a whole working tank strap. At the least bring a ratcheting type strap tie-down to do a speedy repair.
Have extra fins, and quality straps tied or taped to prevent snags in the dwindling heated kelp. Have them pre-adjusted, preferrable loose, for fast on, fast off.
Try not to bring too many dangling items, you’re not going to the moon. Pocket them.
Pre-wet tank strap so tank doesn’t become loose while diving.
Safety gear, sausages, whistles…your choice. It is highly recommended.
Buddy Checks may be the last you see your buddy, if your planning involves no surfacing upon separation.
“HAVE LICENSE ALREADY FILLED OUT CORRECTLY, CARRY WITH YOU THE REQUIRED MEASURING DEVICE NOT BENT.” And Fill it out upon exiting. Some Wardens understand it differently as 1 site, can get 3 dives and still not complete until time to move, others say fill it out after every dive, even at the same spot. The cards are 8 dollars for mucho numbers of lobster.
“LIMIT IS 7″
(we seen last year a guy who came up with 13 or 18 bugs in a sack, to measure on the shore. the more than helpful game wardens of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, were viewing him from the top of the trail with infra-red binoculars…They ran down the trail to assist the man. I think they gave him an award of some kind…) A rule of thumb is to grind an additional 1/16 or 1/8 inch off of your measuring device if you are the type to take just legal size too. Some only take obviously over legal. If your gauge goes over the first rib, even if it looks like it’s touching, they can argue the mathematical formula that is used, and you can try to point out it’s touching…could cost you a trip to the local court-house at least 2 times before they throw it out as suspending it, or fine you, and take your bug. Either way it’s a good way to deflate the night’s excitement. They have the pad of awards to give out that’ll cost more than $40.00 a pound of a restaurant prepared bug, plus they get the bug!!
Most importantly do not take females holding her eggs, taking one plastered is also one to consider because you’ll aways get the power of the ocean to pay you back when you pay her. She’ll make it right. If you find a huge huge bull, the tails are extremely small in comparison to the heavy and healthy bug, I hear they don’t taste as good, that has never been confirmed. The changing world of divers now takes pictures of such and lets them go to live and repopulate. Lobster Mobster is an annual registration at Dive N Surf worth every bit of consideration to be a part of. They’ll give you an awesome shirt, feed you, fill tanks free, they record your size and where it was taken for scientific purposes. The biggest wins big prize. Which may influence your decision to take/leave large bulls. If you don’t have an 8 to 12 pound bug, 7s are not going to win, is a guess. If you can bring it in cooled agitated salt water, to weigh it, and return it to the ocean, that’s your call. If you feel very soft bugs they’ve just molted and are vulnerable to predators other than us. Injuring them could mean they die. Also if you maul one trying to take it out of a hole and it’s too small, breaking feelers and legs will put it at risk when molting as its energy is focused on the repair.
All Suited up and ready to Get Your Ass Into The Water!!
PRIORITY NUMBER 1: Your Life, bring it back, by no careless behavior, no drinking, no drugs, and being careful to evaluate conditions, on the trail as well as getting into and out of rocky surf, be calm and always think of prevention and action, if you slip on the trail or in the surf, where do you need to land and how and why? Without line, be very balanced but if you fall, fall into the trail with tooth and nail, hold on. Recommending 2 or 3 trips for heavy things, on wet trails. If in surf you fall, fall broadly flat and resist instincts to place hands in holes that could break bones, step in pockets besides slippery rocks, not on the rocks, especially in Low Tide . We’ve seen people lay down in 2-3 ft of water and swim belly out and back. If in Large Boulders entry..2 feet breakers with long periods are approaching higher risk to hazardous conditions. Expect Low Tide. Moon is setting around 8:30PM going to be dark . “IF SOLO DIVING, NO GOING UNDER HUGE ROCKS AND UNDERMINING THEM, NO BCD REMOVALS TO REACH THOSE OUT OF REACH BUGS!!”
Tearing apart the reef to get bugs is also to many divers not cool. When you see the chance to get a limit by such techniques, don’t. Remember who you’re in, she’ll gladly repay you, by you respecting her. She’s the Ocean.
Trails some of us are going on will get quite slippery, from dripping divers, the smallest fall can get you a helicopter ride out, hopefully while alive. Sheer rock verticals from 50ft tall decreasing down to 1 ft line only a few inches away from the very narrow trail. Any rain within 3 days before the September 27th 2014, find another dive site. The clay will absorb maximum moisture density and not look it. Then add just drops from just you, and you’re on (your butt) slick as ice footing. Like penetration dives without training, just do not try it.
Remember it’s just opening night, and it’s still open the next night too! Lobsters move, the come and go. One night they can be everywhere, next night gone, or the opposite.
Be quiet in the neighborhood, no slamming doors and keep it down. See you there!!
Serving Suggestions for Breakfast may include the typical legal size tail with shell on, microwaved for 1.5 mins on each side in 1/2 inch of water in plastic bowl. Fry a couple of eggs, some salsa, butter dripping down yours and your friends chin always is a hearth stop starting event any morning will welcome!!