How to Hoop Net for California Spiny Lobster

Lobsters are fun and adventurous species to catch. Learning how to hoop net for spiny lobsters is like a breath of fresh air in your fishing experience. They are harder to catch, but netting a spiny lobster will definitely give you a relieving feeling when lobster fishing. 

The ocean is home to many lobster carapace species. Lobsters spread out in thousands in different waters in different parts of the world. Hoop netting for lobsters is a popular activity in Southern California (SoCal). But such activity requires a sport fishing license from Fish and Wildlife. 

Lobstering Gear

In catching lobster, you will need to add a few things to your gear essentials before hopping on your boat and heading out into the ocean. Fishing for lobsters, you will need a bait cage or a holed PVC pipe to secure your bait, a hoop net, and a fishing license.

In catching a California spiny lobster, you can’t use a spear, tickle stick, snare, or short hooked pole. Under California law, lobster fishermen may only take spiny lobsters by hand or by hoop net. Other fishing devices are considered illegal in taking or assisting in taking lobsters.

Lobster Baits

The diversity of baits when hoop net fishing for a lobster through a boat or kayak ensures you more catch. Lobster baits vary, but lobster fishermen can use salmon heads, sardines, anchovy, and squid. Cutting up fish scraps and stuffing them in a secure bait holder is the most prevalent bait to hoop net for lobsters.

How to Catch Spiny Lobster from a Boat

Hoop netting lobsters can be tricky. Learning the right tricks can get you many during the lobster season. Before heading out in the ocean to fish for lobsters, researching the right spots where to hoop net adds to your chances of getting more carapaces. 

  1. You want to prepare your bait by cutting different fish in half. Stuff the diverse bait choices in a holed PVC pipe or plastic bait holders to secure them.
  2. Then, put the bait holder in the hoop net and take the whole line out. Unplug the line after you throw the net in a spot where you think lobsters are. 
  3. You can be in charge of the line, and your fishing buddy can get the net. You can do the same thing in different lobster spots.
  4. Wait for approximately 45 minutes before pulling the line from the water. Make sure to be steady in drawing the line to avoid the lobster from bouncing out of the net.
hoop netting for spiny lobsters
Sportfishing for California spiny lobster is a fun activity. Source: DjDanny2

Recommended Hoop Nets

Promar Ambush XL (shallow)

The Promar Ambush XL is best suited for fishing in shallow areas. This hoop net has a stealthy dark blue vinyl-coated steel frame to blend in the water. It has a patented weighted bait ring and bait pouch.

The net can be used to catch both lobster and crab species. The product design enhances the season experience for crustacean enthusiasts.

It has an excellent material quality that makes it lightweight and easy to throw. You can make a flatter bait cage to reduce the chances of bigger lobsters and crabs getting on top and escaping. 

Promar Ambush Heavy (deep)

Whenever fishing for lobsters in the deeper California waters, Promar Ambush Heavy is the hoop net of choice. Promar manufacture innovative and quality-rooted products for an enhanced ocean experience. 

California Regulations

Recreational hoop netting for spiny lobster in Southern California can be enjoyable.  California Wildlife set the recreational possession limit to seven lobsters per person, as commercial fishing of this species is prohibited.

The minimum legal size carapace limit is three and one-fourth inches. The lobster is measured in a straight line on the midline of its back from the eye socket’s rear edge to the body shell’s rear edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to fish for lobster?

Lobsters are nocturnal species. Fishing during nighttime proves to be beneficial as lobsters are active at night and in hiding during the day.
With the right mix of salmon heads, squid, and other fish, fishing for lobsters at the right location and at the right time will give you the best sportfishing experience.

Insider Advice

When fishing with your friends, bring anything required to keep your trip enjoyable. You need to get a lobster report card and a valid sport fishing license for anyone 16 years old or older.

An ocean enhancement stamp is also required to fish for lobsters in any California location. It is also essential for divers and hoop netters to research their local lobster fishing location regulations.

Again, if you incidentally capture a lobster on a hook and line while fishing, return it to the water immediately. Lobsters can only be fished through hoop nets or by hand.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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Articles » Saltwater Fishing » How to Hoop Net for California Spiny Lobster