January 21, 2015

Diving for California Spiny Lobster around San Diego

In California, during winter months, it is legal to dive down into the Pacific Ocean and harvest a few California spiny lobsters. The Department of Fish and wildlife lobster harvest rules are stringent: you need to grab them with your hands and you need to size them out under water, but the payoff is huge. It's nice to end your night with a few of these crustaceans. Each one of these tails makes for a full meal.

how to catch a lobster in san diego
I recently snagged these legal sized California spiny lobsters near Mission Bay
My friend and I prefer free diving at night, as the lobsters wander farther out into the open at night. They leave their rocky crevices and seek out food. This makes it easier to swoop down and grab them with your hands. We work the rock wall along the Mission Bay jetty. This is a legal area to dive for lobster.

lobsters are just under the surface of the water along the jetty wall
These spots are common knowledge, so I am not giving away any secrets here. Another spot to explore is the kelp beds along Point Loma, You can either snorkel along the coast or get your dive gear out. If you're willing to go the extra mile with scuba tanks, you can get down 30-50 feet and find some good sized 'bugs' tucked along rock ledges near the floor of the kelp beds.

Diving for lobster around San Diego

a quick surf before dropping down into the Point Loma kelp beds

Dave got these on a night dive near the OB jetty wall
Then of course, the best part of the lobster experience is eating the tails. We cook them up in my boat right after coming to the surface. I boil the tails, toast the bread and melt the butter. Sometimes, I will cook up some angel hair pasta as well. But, fresh lobster tail and a glass of wine is really all you need.

Cooking California Spiny Lobster

a quick meal coming together: lobster, toast and butter


Captain Curran said...

sorry friend,
i wouldn't be much of a lobster diver if i gave away any more details on spots -
its already getting a little thin on legals...
good luck - they're out there!

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