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Lobster hunting..

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
Ok, here is a question,

How do you find the lobsters, say if you find a place where you think they might be. I mean is there some type of places one should especially go for, what time of day, anything to do with high tide?

and an other question, my brother Tuomo found one, but couldnt take hold of the antenna sticking out from the hole this lobster was hiding in.. should one try to grab hold quickly or easy does-it style? and can you manage lobster with one hand or do you need two?


safe diving to you all

PS. off to Corwall tomorrow for some bass hunting... hopefully post pictures some day soon...
Hi Pekka
I used to use a piece of wire coat hanger straightened out but with a hook in the end, then when I found one in a hole I used to put the hook carefully in the hole without touching the lobster then tickle it from behind, they will then come out so you can get hold of it with your free hand. Low tide is best (because its not so deep ;) ) anytime of day will do but early morning or late evening are the best times.
I still get the odd lobster but I dont go looking for them anymore, just if I see one I can get at I will grab hold of it, I prefer crab to be honest :D
Ahh Pekka - you read my mind !

I was out yesterday looking for lobbos - was about to post your question...

I see alot of spider crabs, no shanker (brown crabs) and so far no lobsters - but there are alot in pots, so maybe that is the best place to look.

(I mean in the area of the pots - not in the pots ! Although....)

What habitat do they like, kelp and sand or rock and seaweed ? etc

Good luck - we will be on the same quest this week.

They live in small caves/holes in the rocks, thats where you'll find them during the day, usually their holes are at the bottom of steep rocks next to flat bottoms where there is some cover for them. Bottoms with sea lettuce are a good bet, but they are at any depth your likely to be freediving, I reckon 5 - 10 metres at low water is a good bet for biggish ones. Have a look for lobster pot bouys; those fishermen know where they are, just dont go too near the pots as there has been some animosity between divers and fishermen because of theft from the pots.
Are there still Abalone in Guernsey? Last time I was there (1976) I saw a couple. Just curious :)
Hi Pekka

I would guess that conditions for Lobster hunting is similar wherever you go, so here are a few things which I have learnt during the hunting season down here.
Firstly, listen for the 'crackle' on the reef. A lot of people believe that that is made by Lobsters and small crustaceuns, and certainly for me the loudest volume has generally been close to where I have found most Lobster. ( Sounds kinda like a fire crackling underwater.) You will eventually learn with experience where a good area is when you see it, you develop almost a '6th sense' about the lobster-area's.

Once you see them, if it's just antenna sticking out, best not grab for them, although I have on occasions SLOWLY moved my hand up and gently taking the end of both antenna, and pulled softly which allows the lobster to move out enough to grab at the carapis.

I find the best approach is to SLOWLY move your hand into position, ( within a foot), then strike fast and cleanly for the carapis, once you get it, hold hard. You need to be aggressive once you commit, otherwise he will slip out. If going into a cave, also strike fast, hard and push into the cave and grab, any small hesitation and he will be gone.

Last thing, if you are hunting shallow, add more weight. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to slowly get your hand in position for a strike, the lobster is nervous, your breath is going...and your ass is insisting on floating back to the surface ! :head

Good luck !!

Alison - yes, but they are called "ormer" here and they can only be collected without any diving gear (ie with wellies and a long arm on a low tide).
There are only 2 or 3 ormering tides per year at all other times it is illegal to gather them - and the tides are in January / February normally ! Very very very hardcore hobby...

Jeff - I hear those crackles - thought they were from wrasse chewing up shells and so on - might try to pinpoint them.

(Sorry Pekka for hijacking your post :) I'll send you a lobbo when I get one :) ...maybe)

In the med, there is a large amount of crackling, and I a have concluded it is the sea urchins as there are thousands of them! You can here it at night through the hull of a yacht.

I also thought it was the wrasse crunching shells over here in the UK, but this is just an assumption of course.
Originally posted by Alison
Are there still Abalone in Guernsey? Last time I was there (1976) I saw a couple.

Can anyone dive for Abs in England? Or do you need a license like here in Oz?

1976... 2 years before I was born....:D
Originally posted by Shadowkiller
Can anyone dive for Abs in England? Or do you need a license like here in Oz?

1976... 2 years before I was born....:D

Well aparently you can only gather them at low tide and by walking for them, I really dont know about a licence sorry :( Although I did prise one off the rock with my knife so I could try one as I'd heard so much about them; I didnt know I wasnt allowed! OOOOEEER! :naughty

Born in 1978! I was 18! Thats the year I started working, as a police woman can you believe! I HATED that job, now its no wonder I only lasted 18 months rofl
Hi every one. Down here in the persian gulf we get some BIG spiny lobstersm, not too sure about grabbing them with your bare hands ... 2 reasons,

1- far too strong and covered with spines
2- its too dangerouse, we have lots of sea urchins (the ones with 25cm spines) and Huge morray eels .. you really dont wana go sticking your arm in the rocks trying to grab them lobsters

I stopped hunting lobsters a while back, preffer freediving and hunting large sellective fish nowadays ....

in the past i would use a small gun, underpowered and actually shoot them between the whiskers .... i know it sounds crule but that was the only way :head
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Thanks guys!
Allison, thank you for your advice I might take some coatanger stuff wtih just in case.. and as we are talking about these things that dont swim, is it legal to gather scallops at any time.. my girlfriend likes them and I am planning on getting some for her next time.. Have seen many of them whilst diving..

I had my whole family over here and we did some diving, Tuomo met a seal while diving and I shot one bass..other than that the diving was quite uneventful..

portinfer, dont worry about taking over my post.. I have very little time to write stuff now.. I concentrate on diving as in UK it is now or never!

I'll be going to look for some lobsters soon..

safe diving to you all!

NP :)
Yes as far as I know, Scallops are free picking at any time, I love the things :) Yummy!
These are Aussie Painted Lobster. The one in the centre went 3kg. The other 5 in the coral cave were left unmolested...:)


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What the rest of the world call a lobster, here in the Uk are called cray's. Our Lobster is a ferocious thing, Its claws can crush the hands of a diver who is daft enough to stick his digits within reach of them. The claws grow larger to the Lobster proportianally as it ages, so an old fish can have an amazing set of nippers; I once caught a 6Kg specimen, its claws were the size of an average lobster. It was as chewy as squid to eat though, better off on the sea bed :)
Edible crabs (the UK type) also have some risk with catching them, apart from its claws that can hurt you, its self defence mechanism is when in its hole, is to push its back against the roof of its hole; it is remarkable how much pressure is involved here, if your hand was above it and trapped, it would remain that way unless you could get at your knife and remove its legs. Ive not actually seen that but I knew someone it had happened to, aparently it took the best part of 5 mins to get his hand out and that was with help and with scuba, the crab of an average size, nothing special.
The UK Cray, although has no menacing claws also has a danger associated with it, its tail armour has little interlocking knives, so if you grab the thing by its tail is going to do some damage to your fingers (is this common with many types of lobster or cray as we call them?) I did hear stories of fishermen loosing fingers to them, not sure if this is true but its believable having seen them :(
That not to say that shellfish hunting in the UK is in anyway a life threatening experience ;) or for that matter any more risky than any other part of the world, Ive seen HUUUUGE Morays living in holes in only 1 1/2 metres of water in Qatar really wouldnt want to stick my hand in they're homes :waterwork
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While i have not had much success with finding these things my first one is an example of what not to do.

I was looking for these things in the reefs behind the back line and couldnt see any. eventually i got down very low on the sand next to a pile of reef and saw some feelers sticking out of the rocks. I went for it like an adder being frustrated by then and got him by the feelers and whipped him out ... but a quick inspection of my grabber revealed only two short feelers.

I went up for air.

Determined to get the guy as he was the only one i had seen i descended again and again eventually breaking off bits of reef around his small hole to widen it so that could get at least two gloved fingers in :)

After some 10 minutes of this i got him out. He had by this time no feelers, no legs, indeed no external appendages to speak of and his middle was a bit pulpy.

I triumphantly stuck him in my netting bag which dangled from my belt and began surfacing. i glanced down on the way up as i usually do just to verify that jaws was not following me up, just in time to see a small torpedo like streamlined pink thing gliding down to the bottom. He had somehow gotten through the ( smallish ) holes of my net.

He must have been a 'Houdini' of the sea as im sure he wasn't that small ?

Moral of the story begins with not grabbing them by the feelers unless you get good bit of head too and the hole is big enough to get your fingers in ;)

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Originally posted by Skindiver
Moral of the story begins with not grabbing them by the feelers unless you get good bit of head too and the hole is big enough to get your fingers in : )

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wow! you imbecil! you probably broke off in 10 minutes what probably took over 20 years to grow...why didn you just stick in a few kilos of dynamite since you were at it!! :rcard
hope you feel really proud about what you did you *%^$#
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Considering your spelling, I must assume that English is not your first language and as such am willing to accept that you are not equipped with the ability to read behind the lines and see the funny side of my story as intended, embellished as it is with some artistic description and allusion to an unrelated activity.
As such im willing to realise that you may be disenchanted with my story and over zealously champion the "cause", even if just to get a few 'community' pats on the back.

In any event all fiction aside, my story started with ' what not to do' and was made clear that it was my first experience at catching these things. ( 25 years ago at that.)

More than this, my message is intentionally filled with advice on how not to try catch undersized bugs or bugs in tight locations which would force you to catch them in such a way that you harm them in the process or the environment, and this message presented in such a comical story that will not cause offence by seeming to lecture or be insulting or beat the conservation point.

What i'm not willing to accept is you calling me names regardless of how you feel or interpreted my story.

So I suggest you:

1) Get English lessons if you want to effectively communicate in English, especially in an internet forum where the written word is so much more difficult to interpret than the spoken word and

2) Grow up. You are not impressing anyone.

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