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Scotland Spearfishing 2012

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Hi grant
Some information i found online
Scientific name: Homarus gammarus
Common names: Clawed lobster, European lobster


The earliest records of lobster fishing in Scotland date back to the 12th century when lobster was caught by hand using 'crooks' and hoop nets. With the introduction of baited traps (creels), exploitation on a more commercial basis developed, and today there are important creel fisheries for the European lobster in many areas around the Scottish coast. Landings by Scottish vessels have increased substantially in recent years, from 290 tonnes in 2001 to about 940 tonnes with a value of over £11.4 million in 2009. In recent years, the majority of lobster landings have come from the East Coast, South East, Hebrides, Orkney and South Minch assessment units.

Biology and lifecycle

The European lobster is found all around the coast of Scotland, typically on hard ground in relatively shallow waters and on the fringes of kelp beds. The diet of the adults consists mainly of benthic invertebrates such as crabs, molluscs, sea urchins, polychaete worms and starfish, but may also include fish and plants. The majority of lobsters are caught in waters shallower than 30 m but they may be found as deep as 150 m. Substrate and suitable shelter are thought to affect the size and population density, with larger lobsters being found on more exposed grounds. Lobsters do not undertake extensive migrations and will only move a few miles along the shore. Despite this, a recent study on the genetic variation of lobsters reported very low levels of genetic variation amongst lobster populations in Europe.

The growth rate of lobster is highly variable. Individuals recruiting into the fishery at the minimum landing size of 87 mm carapace length (CL) can be anywhere between 4 and 12 years old. In common with other crustaceans, lobster shed their shell (moult) in order to grow. The main moulting period is in June-July. Juveniles moult more frequently and grow faster than older animals. Mating occurs just after moulting while the female's shell is still soft. Size at maturity in females varies across Scotland; females mature at smaller sizes in the South East than in the Hebrides.

Female lobsters produce between 10 and 15 thousand eggs. Once fertilised the eggs develop internally for up to a year after which they are carried under the 'tail' for 9 to 11 months until they hatch. 'Berried' female lobsters have much reduced feeding and growth rates and low catchability during the egg bearing phase.

Lobsters can grow very old and the potential reproductive life span of a female lobster is in excess of 40 years. Amongst the largest reported lobsters in the UK are a female of 157 mm CL, thought to be about 72 years old, and an 11 lb (5 kg) lobster from the Hebrides estimated 190 mm CL.
Cheers Dave, I'll check that out later. Weather is starting to look more promising with a reducing swell and the wind forecast to swing E then S. hopefully it's going to settle a bit :)
hi guys im from dumfries, this is my first year at it. cant wait. where abouts on the west coast is good to dive? cheers

Welcome Harris. You're lucky to have some very nice areas not too far away from you. Have a look at any of the coastline from Stranraer S. to The Mull - there's some nice rocky coastline and good Pollock areas all down the coast.
Be aware that there can be some nippy currents there, particularly where you might expect good Pollock.
Might be easier said than done but try not to dive alone - I have quite a few trips planned down that way during the summer - pm me if you'd like to join us.


Has anyone speared around Mull? I think I might have to go up there later in the Summer for a wedding. Be rude not to bring the spearing gear!
I've never made it to Mull but anyone I know that's been there raves about how clear the water is. A friend of mine that Scuba dived there said he found it very difficult to judge depth when looking down and it was so crystal clear that it really gave him the impression of floating in air!
It's prob not like that all the time but it's certainly somewhere I'd be keen to go spearing - looking forward to hearing what you find :)
Hi All, I'm heading up to Arisaig, Skye and the outer hebrides until the end of May. Does anyone have any experience of spearfishing in these waters? I'm usually the complete opposite end of the country in South Devon and Cornwall so any pointers would be very welcome. Thanks!
Been out at arisaig and really have only ever seen tiddlers, it is though so clear that this alone probably makes up for it, also I didn't really explore much just enjoyed the sun streaming through the sea and being able to see for ever. Also been up on Harris down near the sacrista beach end though rodel looked interesting but never went in here. At the beach end though you could see the fish swimming through the surf so it was literally a 10 foot paddle, water shelved off and they were just sitting in a shoal a few feet down. Again the water clarity has to be seen, found it surprisingly cold though even though it was summer. David
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I have had a similar experience as David at Arisaig - stunningly clear water and very very cold. I also didnt see too much in the way of fish but I'm sure there will be some decent pollock etc around.

Skye I do know a bit better and you have plenty of opportunities for some very wild and unique diving with towering cliffs and good fish/shellfish stocks.
For a very interesting dive have a look at Neist point but beware there are severe currents off the pint itself but there is a sheltered bay with good access inside the point. It's a walk in down a cliff- bit of a mission tbh. but the fishing and site is spectacular.
There is a small colony of particularly large and curious seals there as well.
Choose your dive time carefully and do plenty research if you're going in there.

Less exposed diving can be had in Loch Dunvegan and there's some good rocky areas and cliffs which are easily accessible from the road.

Hope you get some decent weather - its been pretty crap up here all year for diving :-(

I have kayaked around Portree and Staffin Bay and the water was very clear and cold ,and it was thick and I mean THICK with jellyfish !
Looks like I'm going to be up in Elgin for a week or so working, what's it like up that way on the north coast Lossymouth way anyone up that way?Take it the sea is cool!but vis good?
I used to be a local up that way, but never spearfished. I left about 27 years ago & now live in Dorset, however I have been scouting some areas via the internet on some possible places.

Have a look at Portsoy or Findochty area as I have heard people mention it on a website, i cannot remember which one(20miles east of Elgin). It looks nice & rugged with lots of rocky outcrops. Lossiemouth looks ok as well & a few reefy shore dives. Maybe Hopeman which is about 8miles NW of Elgin as well.

I wish I could give you more info, but I can't. If you can report on what you have found up that way it would be great as I am looking to go back up that way at the start of July for a wedding(Forres), although I am not sure if I will get out at all. I will be staying in Findhorn which is sandy & has a bay, although I am not sure of what it will produce, maybe some flatties as I remember when I was a kid that was what used to be line fished. Maybe someone else may pipe in with some info.

Anyway good luck & keep me posted

hi guys,
il be up in durness on the west coast for a week from the 9th june, if anyones keen to meet for a dive pm me.
Thanks Scot will have to wait till I get home to look them spots up on google can't seam to get a high definition pic of that area on my I pad will let you all know how I get on when I get up there will do some int net searches this eve.Thanks
Highlander looks like I'm coming up on Monday for 10 days work.Hope to get in, in the eves at the spots you suggested will look around and see when I'm up. Any more help from anyone would be most welcome .Will try to report back if can get intnet .
Looks like I'm staying in Auldearn miles west of Elgin and possible fishy spots tho will try Hopeman first well Cummingstown just of seaview road have to see how big the cliffes are and water movement any tips any one please?
How did you get on Scott(highlander )at the wedding did you get a chance to get out?.any spots to confess lets see what this crazy weather has in for me ?
How did you get on Scott(highlander )at the wedding did you get a chance to get out?.any spots to confess lets see what this crazy weather has in for me ?

Haven't been up yet. I travel about the 4th of July & return about the 9th.
just got back from spearing right up in the north highlands... iv been in oz spearing, and new zealand, and the spearing up there was as good as anywhere!! i loved it, lobbies, crabs, big bass, pollack, big flounder, crystal clear waters, not that much colder than down here in the south, kelp forests, rocky ledges, the lot!!
some of it was quite a swim to get to, but well worth it. il be planning my next trip up asap!!
went and had a look at Nairn harbour and beech tide was out and on shore wind v flat sandy area then poped over to Findhorn bay beauitiful area sunsetting but again v sandy white fine sand but not really fishy material i was looking for .going to move east along the coast to find some rocks n coves tonight weather permittingvis look good hope wind calms down or goes off shore
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