What bug can cost five hundred dollars? There are a bunch of them cruising along, especially near reefs and jetties. The hefty price tag is the fine for illegal take or possession of the California spiny lobster from March until the Saturday before the first Wednesday in October.
- Saturday, September 30, 2017, 6 a.m.
During season, bait and a hoop nets can be employed to catch them from boat, pier, kayak.
The best locations are near kelp forests, rip rap embankments or reefs. The Mission Bay channel produces bugs during season. Party boats are usually under $50 per person and they usually have a few hoop nets to rent. Just about every landing, tackle shop, and local Walmart have hoop nets available, and the required gauge, report card, and enhancement stamp. Divers may take lobster, but only by gloved hand; no other tools of collection can be employed.
The California spiny lobster, like all spiny lobster sub-species around the world, has no claws like the Maine lobster. Their meat, primarily in the tail, is often said sweeter and more tender than the Maine lobster. The average California spiny lobster is about 12 to 14 inches long. Males grow larger than females and can weigh up to sixteen pounds. The record is 16.1 pounds, caught off Catalina Island in 1968.