Random Jottings

Zen and the art of lobstering - part 4

Oh well this is the final part of the series, writing it has been fun but some of the areas have been hard to explain, I must try and link video clips, if a picture is worth a thousand words then what about a movie? Anyway I hope to touch on a few odd-balls here, read on if you are interested……

Another point that I forgot to touch on was hidey-holes and the lobbies ‘des-res’. The larger or more aggressive lobbie will get the ‘better’ hidey-hole and will not leave, hence the big uns at Beadnell Point, so if you spot a lobbie one dive then chances are he will be there next dive. Also bear in mind that if you extract a big lobbie on one dive then the next day another large lobbie will probably be in residence.

Next night dives, if you are doing a night dive then you will see any amount of lobbies in the open foraging so its easy to get one as all of the extraction techniques discussed are out of the window!

So firstly the easy one, you extract the lobbie a la part 3 and then he turns round to see what was behind him, spooks and whoosh he is off! Okay, remember lobbies are not fish and it takes a large amount of effort for them to ‘swim’ so he won’t be far away, say 5m max, so go the direction that he went and you should find him. When you find him he will tend to be flared up, trying to look big and relatively easy to pick up, you will be able to manoeuvre him gently with your hook to affect a good pick up. If he takes off again, don’t worry he can travel nowhere near as far on subsequent ‘swims’.

Next, he bolts out of his hidey-hole straight into you! For a start don’t panic, he is not attacking you, rather he is in flight mode, so look see where he is and pick him up. The critical thing here is don’t panic, okay? DON’T PANIC!

Right a dual outlet hidey-hole scenario, this is the one situation where you can use your hook to ‘bully’ the lobbie, so position yourself so that you can see into the hole and start forcing the lobbie backwards, gently making contact but avoiding him grabbing the hook. Once he knows that he has an escape route so will slowly back towards his exit, now with your hook ‘rattling’ about in the hidey-hole raise yourself so you can see the exit, the lobbie will come out backwards and ‘flared-up’. Keep rattling so that he is out, or is out with the exception of his claws, then s-l-o-w-l-y reach over and pick him up, he will be pretty pi$$ed so will kick in your hand, remember that you can’t be nipped and he will stop after two or three jolts, but please keep a firm hold and if he slips don’t hold on by the claws, he will shed them and you will have done what I have preached about and dismembered the lobster, not good! If he slips he will not find his hole so just follow and pick up when possible.

Another good one is if you have spotted a lobbie in a tight, blind hole that you cannot get out using a hook then this is sneaky, effective and sneaky!!! You will need to kit up with a squeezy bottle, say a washing up liquid container, do your dive get to the hole and then position yourself clear of the entrance and with as much force as possible squirt water down the hole……the lobbie thinks that something is behind him and will tend to come out with great haste, hence stay clear, then follow and pick up. This is a dirty trick but highly effective!

So there you have it the art of “lobster whispering”, the only way to get better is to practice so please try….I have not mentioned other techniques such as antennae tickling, this works on crayfish but not lobsters, or at least I am not willing to find out with two bloody great claws there!

Crabs, well crabs are robust and tough and there is no need to be overly subtle, use the hook and hawk them out, also you can bag as many crabs as the bag will hold with no chance of them damaging each other. My word of warning with crabs would be to take care adding a second to a bag, there was a diver lost a finger a couple of years ago on the Farnes….not nice!

Dive safe


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