Lobster season 2019 opens Saturday
The long-awaited lobster season 2019 for California spiny lobster opens at 6 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 and continues through March 18, 2020. That is great news for lobster divers and hoop netters.
Last year’s lobster season was very successful with plenty of lobster harvested in coastal waters of California. Lobster enthusiasts are hoping that the lobster season 2019 will also bring a plentiful harvest.
Lobster divers and netters need a valid fishing license with an ocean enhancement stamp as well as a lobster report card to engage in recreational lobster fishing of any kind south of Point Arguello. Hoop netters who fish from public piers and youngsters under 16 do not need a license. They only must have a lobster report card in their possession.
Legal lobsters measure a minimum of 3 ¼ inches in length. It is measured in a straight line on the lobster’s midline on the back from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell. Legal lobsters typically weigh about one pound. The daily bag and possession limit is seven lobsters.
Skin and scuba divers can only use their hands and are prohibited from using fish spears or poles to assist in lobster fishing. The number of hoop nets is limited to five per person (two when fishing from a pier). Only ten hoop nets may be possessed on boats regardless of the number of lobster fishers.
Fishermen must record any lobster caught during the lobster season 2019 immediately in the lobster report card before moving or changing location. The use of aromatic bait can greatly enhance your chances of netting or grabbing a lobster.
Lobster divers know that the crustaceans are great swimmers and have a hair-trigger temperament when they sense danger. Grabbing a lobster by its legs or antennae will most often result in the body part to break off and the lobster getting away. Pinning it to the ground by its body is a safer way of apprehending lobster.
I strongly suggest that you consult all pertinent rules and regulations for the lobster season 2019, have a map showing the Marine Protected Areas and a printout of all pertinent lobster fishing regulations.
Since lobster fishing is enormously popular with divers and fishermen, CDFW game wardens are traditionally out in force during the lobster season. You have a very good chance of getting boarded or otherwise checked out for compliance with lobster fishing-related laws.
The pertinent information is on Marine Protected Area maps for the California coastline. This prevents you from unknowingly fishing in prohibited water. All spiny lobster regulations for 2019 – 2020 are found in the 2019-2020 Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet on the CDFW website Look here for lobster fishing FAQ and other biological information specific to California’s spiny lobster.