Random Jottings

Zen and the art of lobstering - part 2

So having detailed a few do’s and don’ts I thought that this article would go over a few common misconceptions and what bits and pieces I always carry….

So firstly the major misconception, for large lobbies you need deep(ish) water, this is simply not true!

If you would like to see three of the largest lobster that you are likely to cast your eyes on then have a shore dive on the North side of Beadnell Point. Here, in less than 5m of water at the base of the reef live some monstrous lobbies and they have the perfect environment to live and grow!. Oh and at the South Side of the Point lives a lobster equally as big in a hole, which is in less than 2m of water!

So, what do lobbies need to get big? Well obviously a plentiful supply of food and a then safe hidey-hole that is secure and ‘deep’ enough for them to effectively hibernate in and not be affected by winter storms. On the food side, I have only ever seen lobsters eating crabs and small fish and there are more of these in shallow water than the deeps, so food is easy. It’s the hidey-holes that are most sort after and the biggies at Beadnell point inhabit fissures that go back into the reef for 3m plus, so an ideal place to live all year round!

The second major misconception is that Lobsters will ‘fight’ if you put two in a bag, not true!

Lobsters are quite simple creatures and if the hairs which act as sensors on their claws indicate that something is in them, then the claws are closed with enough force to crush any part of another lobster in the same bag. The easy answer is don’t put two lobsters in a single bag, unless you have specially modified bags…..

Ok so what bits and pieces? Well obviously you need a bag to put any lobster that you happen to catch into and I would suggest using the large mesh, drawstring laundry type bags which are marketed as ‘kit bags’. They are easy to open and move about and the large mesh means they don’t act as such a drag in the water. The modification that I would suggest is to secure on the top of the bag (I use cable ties) a climbing karabiner so that you can snap the bag onto a D ring. Now a bonus of using a karabiner is that you can effectively partition your single bag into two sections that’s if you are lucky or good enough to bag two lobsters….how I hear you ask?!

Well, the first lobster is at the bottom of the bag and you twist the bag closed at the mid-point, put in the second lobster and close the drawstring. You then place the karabiner so that the twist is within the karabiner and snap it onto a D ring. In this way the two halves are separate and there is no way that contact can be made through the karabiner, ingenious!!!

The only other things that you need are a low power torch and a hook. I recommend a low powered torch as if its bright the lobster will spook to the back of his hole and make extraction hard.

Lastly a hook of some description, now since you will not be ‘hooking’ out lobsters the shape is not important, I have used straight sticks in the past and not felt at any disadvantage. Personally I use a shop bought hook that is the traditional half round design, why, because I can use it to pull myself along and not have to fin against surge…I always was an idle bugger!

The next article will detail a little of the how it all comes together, so keep your eyes open!

Dive safe

RichW

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