Lobster...u tell me..

PENN

downtime

I Should Upgrade My Account
Sep 12, 2006
1,258
1,095
San Diego
Name
Ronson
Boat
26 Skipjack "Reel Hard"
Went hooping last night. Caught the bug pictured. Would you keep it or toss it back? It stuck in between the gauge so tight you could...see picture.
D1F81ABF-F495-40D3-8408-0884AB287A3E.jpeg

We tossed him back!
 
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makairaa

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
May 1, 2005
4,580
4,251
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
If it "sticks" its what wardens call a clicker and they will ticket you. If the gauge goes over the carapace in any way including with some force watch out. Your call on keeping and seeing what a warden says.
 
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plj46

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 7, 2008
8,584
11,281
Socal
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john
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24 ft grady white
Good call on letting it go.It's just not worth the risk.With that said it's legal if the gauge sticks,the problem is if you measure it enough times that soft spot between the eyes will wear out and make it not legal.A Warden could soften it up for you and write a ticket.
 
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makairaa

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
May 1, 2005
4,580
4,251
Tustin CA
Name
Philip Hunkins
Boat
17 starcraft
Good call on letting it go.It's just not worth the risk.With that said it's legal if the gauge sticks,the problem is if you measure it enough times that soft spot between the eyes will wear out and make it not legal.A Warden could soften it up for you and write a ticket.
For it to "stick" the gauge must go past the end of the carapace which would make it illegal. Agree sometimes the wardens push a little hard and force it over the body.
 
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Rabid Fish

Member
Jun 27, 2004
745
572
33
Southern California
Name
Alex
Boat
26'
I know people who have gotten a ticket for it.
That does happen and it's 100% wrong. The gauge measures 3.25 inches. That is the minimum carapace length for a lobster to be legal. So a gauge will fit over the carapace of a bug at the minimum length.

The rule is if the gauge fits but has no "play", meaning you can't wiggle the gauge back and forth, the bug is LEGAL.


I agree to throw it back because it's not worth the hassle, but I also lament that some idiot warden who is unable or unwilling to do his job enforcing the rules cites people for perfectly legal bugs, and often RELEASES the bug preserving nothing but his report saying it was short... the only thing getting shorted is the lawful fisherman. It's disgusting.
 
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talltale

Member
Feb 20, 2008
739
151
yucaipa
Name
chris
Boat
23.5 trophy "Tonetta T"
Wardens will always measure with their certified gauge. If its close, you're rollin the dice brutha.
 
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J Woodman

I know nothing
Dec 8, 2006
1,012
558
Ventura
Name
Jeff
Boat
15' Gregor "Silver Bullet", Parker 2310 "Deep Color"
In my opinion, even if you can pick up the lobster by the gauge only it just isn't worth dealing with the DFW back at the dock. It is at their discretion to either let you go, cite you for an infraction, or cite you for a misdemeanor. In most cases I have seen they will write the misdemeanor ticket in the hopes that you will plead guilty or plea bargain down to an infraction. Either way they still get a legitimate ticket and you get screwed by the system. I throw anything back where I can slip the gauge over the carapace.
 
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peterc

Meg
Jun 14, 2006
232
122
43
capo beach
Name
peter
Boat
Grady 263 Chase
I asked that exact question to a warden. He said that if there is no play, it is legal. That said, I would throw it back. Not worth the possibility of being hassled.
 
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dktool

2459 Trophy Offshore
Aug 11, 2010
421
799
Covina, Ca.
Name
Dean
Boat
1989 Bayliner 2459 Trophy Off Shore
I always threw back any that the gauge went over, it had to be visually a no-fit for me to feel confident that if I was checked by a "having a bad day warden" I could just say nothing to see here.
 
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Lundalakan

Member
Sep 29, 2016
371
377
63
Socal, Poway
Name
Lou
Boat
Lund alaskan
If it "sticks" its what wardens call a clicker and they will ticket you. If the gauge goes over the carapace in any way including with some force watch out. Your call on keeping and seeing what a warden says.
I had one warden tell me the give you to the hairs on the back of the carapace. I’m not testing that out though. When in doubt, throw it back
 
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DOGHOUSE26

I Should Upgrade My Account
Feb 22, 2004
2,329
1,969
63
Escondido, CA
Name
jeff meeker
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26 Blackman Billfisher
the problem is he has to spend his time and go to court. while the warden and judge will get paid to be there
If that what it takes, so be it. The sooner these rogue wardens get their butt reamed by a judge the sooner it will stop. A measurement is a measurement and if it touches with no play then its legal.
 
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Stray Kats

Light winds, tight lines
Aug 18, 2015
9
8
Morro Bay
Name
Steve
Boat
Grady White Gulfstream
That lobster will most likely get you a ticket as I will share my experience. Last year at Catalina I hooped up a similar size and I measured with the same device the wardens use. My measurement was clearly legal, better than your picture but close. Device was clearly on top of carapaceand no space or wiggle room. I threw it in my live well, dropped anchor later and fished the next morning on the backside Cat where I was boarded by the man checking fish. He pulls this critter out of my live well and jams his device hard in between the eyes and I mean he really jammed it in and then says, “see there’s a little play here, I’m going to have to write you a ticket. Then throws the live bug into the water.
I have a lot of respect for these guys, but this warden was looking to write a ticket and could have easily cut me some slack with the measurement or that the bug was in good shape to go back into the water. Just not worth the hassle, time and money. Make sure it is very legal.
 
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