LA harbor lobster report

PENN

muletrain

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mark
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Quick trip last night to the typical spots that have produced well over the years. 3 sets with 10 nets and fresh salmon heads for bait. No lobsters. No crabs. Nothing.

Had fun and made it back safely

Next time hopefully can find one for dinner
 
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hbouldin1216

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I feel your pain. Went out Wednesday night and dropped 4 sets with 5 nets along the wall and 3 more around Chafee. Couple of crabs and a pretty big sculpin but that was it. Good warm weather and water was flat calm, and I share your attitude. Any time out in the boat is not a bad time.
 
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plj46

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Same here in San Diego.Spots that produced for years are now lame.
 
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Azarkon

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If I had to guess, either they moved out or poachers took them all. I see people along the rocks every night, and can only imagine many of them don't respect the laws, or else the shorts would still be around. Try places where most poachers can't reach, such as the islands.
 
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909MARIO

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They are deeper. 90+ feet. harbor is shallow. seems like the bugs have been deeper. I was pulling bugs in 80-110 last night
 
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sea4reel

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Thanks for the report. I had similar hooping Saturday. 1 set of 7 nets outside the harbor on a wreck in 77 to 80 feet for nada. Plus 6 sets of 7 nets down the middle section of the wall on the inside from 40 to 50 feet of water for 1 short, 3 small crabs, 1 nice sculpin, and a very small Leopard shark. Weather was great and the trip was fun but no real signs of bugs in the areas we fished. Bait used was fresh mackerel and sardine. Mack's were easily made out in front of the harbor. Probably going to try our luck at the island next time.
 
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HESBROS

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Interesting. I was out Saturday in LB and tried 3 different spots for a total of 7 legals, all shallow in about 35 Ft.
 
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plj46

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If I had to guess, either they moved out or poachers took them all. I see people along the rocks every night, and can only imagine many of them don't respect the laws, or else the shorts would still be around. Try places where most poachers can't reach, such as the islands.
If i had to guess i would say us hoopnetters got them legally.The pressure now has to be 10X what it was 10 years ago.
 
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Azarkon

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If i had to guess i would say us hoopnetters got them legally.The pressure now has to be 10X what it was 10 years ago.

Most lobsters in these high pressure regions are not legals. Last study from San Diego bay area, for example, indicated 85% of the population were shorts. Legal pressure cannot result in all the lobsters being gone. It should, instead, result in all the legal lobsters being gone, and people finding 99% shorts in their nets. That is, unless there was a change in the environment causing baby lobsters to no longer live in the harbor, or a poaching effort that directly affects the baby lobsters.

Lobster poaching is a huge problem in California. Every year there are dozens of arrests and who knows how many that get through. These guys are caught with dozens to hundreds of lobsters each time, and that's just what they take in a night. People who take lobsters legally can never come close to the damage poachers do and with respect to not seeing ANY lobsters in an area well known for poverty & crime, I'm going to say that's the result of poaching.
 
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Blackfish

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People who take lobsters legally can never come close to the damage poachers do and with respect to not seeing ANY lobsters in an area well known for poverty & crime, I'm going to say that's the result of poaching.

I won't disagree, there are poachers out there, and they suck...but I find this hard to believe.^

I also agree, LB/LA, the pressure has increased 10fold. I won't go as far as to say it's fished out, but I agree with pLj46, hoopers are the ones who are drilling the stock in LB/LA AND Catalina.

I think the stocks are good in So Cal, but there is no doubt, certain areas are seeing a hit due to more pressure. In Dana, with the MPA now in Laguna, the Dana area now get hammered by the commercial guys. Smaller area, same amount of traps....plus more rec guys getting into it. Dana Point...Land of the shorts.
 
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Azarkon

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The reason I say that is because the legal size limit for lobsters is designed to allow them to reproduce before you take them, while poachers stop that from happening = no more lobsters. With legal fishing, you should eventually have too many shorts that it's no longer worth the effort, but the lobster population will survive. Poachers can wipe them all out.

If legal take is doing too much damage to the population fish and game will shut it down. But they can't shut down the illegal take, and that is what might eventually end up closing the book on our lobster fishing.
 
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skiddd25

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Quick trip last night to the typical spots that have produced well over the years. 3 sets with 10 nets and fresh salmon heads for bait. No lobsters. No crabs. Nothing.


Had fun and made it back safely

Next time hopefully can find one for dinner
I have hooped the harbor a few times this season, and haven't set the world on fire, but always manage to get a few.
Biggest problem is the seals
I believe there is still plenty of BUGGS in there- might get better as the season progresses.
Still a good time just getting out on the water!!!
 
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plj46

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Most lobsters in these high pressure regions are not legals. Last study from San Diego bay area, for example, indicated 85% of the population were shorts. Legal pressure cannot result in all the lobsters being gone. It should, instead, result in all the legal lobsters being gone, and people finding 99% shorts in their nets. That is, unless there was a change in the environment causing baby lobsters to no longer live in the harbor, or a poaching effort that directly affects the baby lobsters.

Lobster poaching is a huge problem in California. Every year there are dozens of arrests and who knows how many that get through. These guys are caught with dozens to hundreds of lobsters each time, and that's just what they take in a night. People who take lobsters legally can never come close to the damage poachers do and with respect to not seeing ANY lobsters in an area well known for poverty & crime, I'm going to say that's the result of poaching.
As a former commercial lobster fisherman and a hoopnetter for 25 years i gotta say you dont have a clue about this lobster fishery.Is there poaching ? yes of course there is.Do poachers take more than hoopnetters ? no way they can.I just cant buy that argument.I have my lobster cards from the beginning of them being required,also catch data on old calenders that ive kept over the years.I did very well until about 2011-2012 when my take diminished drastically.Now i fished the same areas,same type of tides and havent changed any techniques.The one big difference ive noticed was the steady increase in boats fishing lobster.The other trend has been (for me) not getting ANY limits towards the end of the season.I usually could get limits until the season was done.Im glad i got in on the success while it lasted but ive lost the desire to put in so much effort for a couple of keepers.I also feel somewhat responsible for what has happened.Ive been culling the largest ones out and keeping the smallest of the legals for years now hoping to help.The lobster in my avatar took a boat ride to an area nobody fishes and was released.
 
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FloMar

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As a former commercial lobster fisherman and a hoopnetter for 25 years i gotta say you dont have a clue about this lobster fishery.Is there poaching ? yes of course there is.Do poachers take more than hoopnetters ? no way they can.I just cant buy that argument.I have my lobster cards from the beginning of them being required,also catch data on old calenders that ive kept over the years.I did very well until about 2011-2012 when my take diminished drastically.Now i fished the same areas,same type of tides and havent changed any techniques.The one big difference ive noticed was the steady increase in boats fishing lobster.The other trend has been (for me) not getting ANY limits towards the end of the season.I usually could get limits until the season was done.Im glad i got in on the success while it lasted but ive lost the desire to put in so much effort for a couple of keepers.I also feel somewhat responsible for what has happened.Ive been culling the largest ones out and keeping the smallest of the legals for years now hoping to help.The lobster in my avatar took a boat ride to an area nobody fishes and was released.

I too lacked a desire to fish for a number of years, for a number of reasons, man your candor is A+.

I LOVE IT when people call a spade a spade!
 
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Azarkon

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As a former commercial lobster fisherman and a hoopnetter for 25 years i gotta say you dont have a clue about this lobster fishery.Is there poaching ? yes of course there is.Do poachers take more than hoopnetters ? no way they can.I just cant buy that argument.I have my lobster cards from the beginning of them being required,also catch data on old calenders that ive kept over the years.I did very well until about 2011-2012 when my take diminished drastically.Now i fished the same areas,same type of tides and havent changed any techniques.The one big difference ive noticed was the steady increase in boats fishing lobster.The other trend has been (for me) not getting ANY limits towards the end of the season.I usually could get limits until the season was done.Im glad i got in on the success while it lasted but ive lost the desire to put in so much effort for a couple of keepers.I also feel somewhat responsible for what has happened.Ive been culling the largest ones out and keeping the smallest of the legals for years now hoping to help.The lobster in my avatar took a boat ride to an area nobody fishes and was released.

Having seen the same shit happen to my local lobster & crab areas, I can say that I do, in fact, have a clue about this. Ten years ago I could get limits on opening night from the dock, much less a boat. This year's opening night I couldn't get one legal unless I was all the way at Catalina. So I know very well the decreasing catch of near shore lobsters.

But more pressure should not result in the sudden disappearance of lobsters in an area, both legal and illegal. More pressure should result in less legals, not empty waters. Empty waters screams migration or poaching. I'd like to believe it is migration but I've seen too many cases of poaching to not consider it a possibility.

If you're seeing less legals and more shorts over time, that's normal, that's the result of increasing pressure and more people taking lobsters legally. But if you're seeing an area completely or almost empty of lobster, that's not normal, and can't just be because of legal take. If legal take had that effect on the population, fish and game would have closed it by now.
 
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Azarkon

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That said, I think the environment argument also has some logic going for it.

Forget lobsters for a moment, and think about crabs. A couple of years ago, rock crabs were every where. There were so many, you could see miles of them crawl in the shallow water at night. It was so easy you could get them off of Newport shore on sand bottom.

But that's changed. I go to the same areas I used to go to, and rock crabs are either completely gone, or there's just a few of them. You can't tell me this is because of fishing pressure, because very few boats target rock crabs, and with the commercial guys selling them for $2 a pound, there's no value to it. So where did they go?

Answer that, and you might also find an answer to the lobster disappearance.

Even with obvious over fishing, the disappearance of a population usually has multiple causes.
 
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C-4 Fishing

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I think Azkaron makes a pretty damn good point. I could care less about the crab as far as taking them home but really haven't had to worry about them the past few years.
There has been a huge drop in crab by catch in my hoops and areas that had previously been high yield areas.
 
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WaterDawg

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On the final night of last season we had 13 for two guys in LB Harbor. I doubt that between April and October the entire population of the harbor got poached. But in one attempt this season at the same spots it was almost lifeless. My guess is it's just like other fishing. Some years we get yellowtail all winter at the 150, and some years none. Some years it's Dorado city 5 miles off DP, other years none. We've all fished a reef and hammered bass only to come back the next week and it's like a desert. I sure hope local lobstering isn't over. When else am I going to smoke cigars?
 
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Dave Hansen

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Guys watch what you say people really read this.The lobsters are fine we are in a new cycle.This one will last a few more years .Lobsters will still be caught please don't help them close any more of the fisheries.I have only been in this fishing thing for fourty two years.I have seen it really good and really bad. RIGHT NOW IT'S REALLY GOOD BETTER THEN I HAVE EVER SEEN IT.
 
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