Lobster fishing is one of the most controlled and patrolled species here in California. You must dot ALL your i's and cross ALL your t's when fishing for lobster or I can guarantee you will get a very expensive ticket, or have your gear impounded, or have your boat impounded, or go to jail, or any or all of the above. Always check here
before going fishing for Lobster. Below is the current regs. for gear restrictions. They might change at any time!
(b) Hoop nets may be used to take spiny lobsters and all species of crabs. Between Point
Arguello, Santa Barbara County, and the United States-Mexico border, not more than five hoop
nets, as defined in (b)(1)(A) or (b)(1)(B), shall be possessed by a person when taking spiny lobster
or crab, not to exceed a total of 10 hoop nets possessed when taking spiny lobster or crab, per
vessel. The owner of the hoop net or person who placed the hoop net into the water shall raise
the hoop net to the surface and inspect the contents of the hoop net at intervals not to exceed 2
(1) Hoop Net Defined: There are two types of hoop nets allowed for use. They
shall be defined as:
(A) Type A: Fishing gear that is comprised of one to three rigid ring(s), with each ring
measuring no greater than 36 inches in inside diameter nor less than 10 inches in inside diameter,
which is/are connected to soft mesh thereby forming a circular-shaped net with an enclosed
bottom. Lift lines shall be attached only to the top ring. A second and third rigid ring(s) may be
connected by soft mesh to the top ring; however, each ring must be equal in size to or smaller
than the ring above it. When the net is being raised the top ring shall be above and parallel to
all other rings, with the enclosed bottom portion of the soft mesh even with or hanging below all
other rings. All parts of the hoop net shall collapse and lie flat when resting on the ocean floor in
such a manner that the gear does not entrap or restrict the free movement of crustaceans until
lifted. When suspended from lift lines, the entire hoop net shall measure no taller than 36 inches.
The ring material shall not be thicker than one inch in any dimension.
(B) Type B: Fishing gear that is comprised of two to three rigid rings (not including the
bait ring), with each ring measuring no greater than 36 inches in inside diameter and the top ring
measuring no less than 15 inches in inside diameter. The upper ring or rings shall be connected to
the bottom ring and supported by no more than four rigid support arms, and the assembled frame
shall measure no more than 10 inches tall. The rings and support material shall not be thicker
than one inch in any dimension. All rings shall be connected by soft mesh, thereby forming a net
with an enclosed bottom, and lift lines shall be attached only to the top ring. When suspended
from lift lines the enclosed bottom portion of the net shall be even with or hanging below all other
rings, and the entire net shall measure no taller than 30 inches. A bait ring may be attached to
the net as long as the ring is not part of the rigid frame.
(2) Any hoop net abandoned or left unchecked for more then 2 hours may be considered
abandoned and may be seized by any person authorized to enforce these regulations.
Besides these regulations, you will need a California Sport Fishing License; a California Lobster report card properly filled out; an accurate measuring device; etc. The State of California is financially stressed and they will write a ticket for anything to produce more revenue. If you are not absolutely sure that a lobster you have caught is legal size, throw it back. The DFG will
write a ticket if their measuring device fits over the Lobster, even if the Lobster won't fall off the gauge while held up by it! Be very careful, Big Brother is definately watching!!!