Lobster Diving 101 – What you need before you hit the water

Lobster Diving 101 Series Intro

With Spiny Lobster season right around the corner in So Cal I have put together a quick series aimed at spearos looking at their first season. In this installment we will go over the basic equipment you will need. This post assumes you are already spearfishing and have all the standard freediving gear and techniques. Alright, let’s get on with it…




Listen to “Bug Diving Tips for Beginners” on The Spear Podcast!

First and foremost respect the laws and be informed about the Fish and Game regulations where you intend to hunt lobsters. I dive in Southern California and follow the regulations of the California Department of Fish and Game. If you already have a fishing license to spearfish, you still need to get a Lobster Card from DFG before taking any lobsters. Get more info at the CA Department of Fish and Game website.

Lobster Gauge

Measure twice, don’t get a ticket. A lobster gauge is used to measure the carapace of the lobster to make sure it is big enough to take. I carry many of these since DFG requires that you dive with one and have one when you present your catch. I keep one in my Jeep, one in my lobster bag, and I have another mounted to my main light.


See the lobster. Prime time for grabbing Spiny Lobsters is at night. A nice underwater torch with a handle will serve you well. I use the Underwater Kinetics C4 eLED Diving Lights. As mentioned above I use a lobster gauge mounted to the front of my main light. I can grab a lobster with my right hand then measure it with the light mounted gauge in my left hand. Sometime I’ll just hold the gauge close to a bug to measure it before I try to grab it.

Another must have is a backup light. Be prepared because your main light will eventually breaks, get lost or run out of batteries. For safety sake don’t continue to hunt on your backup. Use your backup light to get back to shore.

Lastly on lights, get some glow sticks to attach to your snorkel or back of your mask so you are still somewhat visible to boats and your dive buddy.

Lobster Bag

Put the lobster in the bag. After you see a lobster, grab it, and measure it, you can put it in your bag. I use a Trident One Handed Opening Lobster Bag that clamps shut after I put a bug in it. It’s going to feel cumbersome at first but like diving at night, you will get used to it. I like to attach my bag to my weight belt on a clip I can disconnect in case it gets stuck on something.

Next installment of Lobster Diving 101

Lobster Diving 101 – How To Find Spiny Lobsters : Now that you have your gear and licensing in order learn where to find Spiny Lobsters…



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