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Thread: Float Tube Fishing for Lobster

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Long Beach, CA

    Default Float Tube Fishing for Lobster

    Here in California, we have a Spiny Lobster season that runs from 6:00 a.m. on the Saturday preceding the first Wednesday in October through the first Wednesday after the 15th of March. So basically all winter.

    I thought it would be a kick in the head to try lobster netting from my float tube, so I gave it a go.

    To take lobster, you need a fishing license and also a Lobster Report Card. There are a number of regulations regarding the minimum size for lobsters and how to measure them correctly, as well as how to fill out the report card (before you get back to the dock) and the proper marking of your gear with your Go-ID number, so you really must read and understand all the regulations for taking lobster before you head out. You can't just buy a net and go.

    Department of Fish and Wildlife - California Spiny Lobster

    The gear you will need is a hoop net, bait cage, floats, rope, and a light stick. I got everything I needed as a kit from Promar.

    There are lots of "how to" videos on YouTube about lobster netting that you can watch, so I will leave the basics for you to see on your own.

    The only thing I will add for tubers is that regardless of the weather, you should wear your waders AND rain jacket. You're going to get way more wet than regular fishing.

    Also, as you pull up rapidly on the rope to haul up the net, the rope drags water along with it and as you raise your hands above your head that water runs down your arms. I ended up getting pretty well soaked. Neoprene gloves worn over the sleeves of my rain jacket will stop that next time.

    So the obvious issue is where the heck do you put this giant hoop net on a tube? You don't - you get belly board to hold the net and tow it behind you. The board also gives you a place to put the net when you pull it up full of lobsters Smile

    Here's the setup I put together -

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    Added a 5gal bucket for my spiny catch and a safety light on a pole, and off I went!

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    Here's my little buddy, tagging along.

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    The waiting game...

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    I didn't catch any lobster, so there are no "success!" pictures, but I did find out that lobster netting from a float tube isn't really that much of a problem. It's more hassle than regular fishing for sure, but it's not difficult.

    Naturally, I was hoping to make a catch, but it's a learning curve and a totally new kind of "fishing" that has a lot of it's own tricks to learn.

    My biggest problem is that it's boring. It's bait and wait fishing. You can cast and retrieve while you let your net soak, but in the dark I couldn't see my line and it was more frustrating than fun. So sitting on the water by myself in the cold and the dark, reading the news on my cell phone isn't exactly my idea of fun.

    I stayed out three hours, but after four sets and retrieves with no cigar, I was pretty wet and tired so I called it a night and came home. I did learn a number of things, of course, and will make some adjustments for the next time.

    Shooting video at night was a total bust, but could have been better if I had remembered to put on my headlight more often. Another learning curve.

    I don't expect there are any guys out there crazy enough to come along, but having a partner or crew for next time would make it a lot more fun. If you're up for it, let me know!

    Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my "Float Tubing for Lobster" report.

    Happy fishing!

  2. #2


    Good report. Season seamed to slow down a lot
    With warm weather all last week. Pulled shorts, morey eels, and
    A few octopus at night. If anything SAFETY first. Boats come in full speed,
    Paddle boards with no lights etc. assume no one else gives a rats a@@.
    Even the sea dogs hv chased me all night at times. I use those led headlamps and super bright flashlight from costco, and let
    My presence be known...

    Like fishing move nets if no takers. 5 hoops per person allowed/max 10
    Per bOat regardless of how many aboard....

    I hv a group of mini boaters, yakers, and few divers
    All similar reports last month.... will set up something soon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Yo' couch!


    Damn...thatd better be the tastiest lobster ive ever tasted for that effort.

    Ive got a coupon for Red Lobster right up your alley.

  4. #4


    Why because he went out, had fun, and posted an actual fishing report....or because hes not sitting on his thumb, on his couch, commenting on everything else on this website besides fishing.

    Your a joke with too much sarcasm that no one appreciates....and don't fool yourself, Quagga you seem to be more of a Long John Silvers kind of girl

    Ornery Bob, way to get out there and make it happen. I commend your efforts and respect the fact that you had a question, and went looking for the answer. Good job buddy, and safe floating. One thing you can add to be more visible on the water is a string of ENO's LED Twlights that light up like xmas lights..small and compact and definitely more visible than just a small headlamp or glowstick, plus it would give you residual light that you could use to tie knots

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Long Beach, CA


    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Quagga View Post
    Damn...thatd better be the tastiest lobster ive ever tasted for that effort.

    Ive got a coupon for Red Lobster right up your alley.
    I'm afraid this is one of those deals where if you don't automatically understand, you never will. I'm a fisherman because I love fishing, not because I'm hungry. What you call "effort," I call "good times." I went out to learn first hand about a new kind of fishing and it was a complete success.

    I also saw the most amazing bio-luminescent plankton when I was out there in the dark. The little eddy currents coming off the end of my tube must have been concentrating surface plankton because when one would form, suddenly hundreds of tiny somethings would light up and come swimming in to feed. It was like a special effects show two feet away, but way more cool because it wasn't electronic. It was life.

    Send me a coupon for bait; I'd rather go fishing than to Red Lobster.

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