For those of you that do not know, our coast here in California is absolutely filled with sea life ranging anywhere from massive whales to microscopic plankton. Another one of my favorite pass times to do here is lobster fishing. Commercial fisherman mostly use a large quantity of lobster traps set up in a general area, being re-baited and checked every few days. For someone like myself with no boat or traps, I have to suit up from head to toe in neoprene, and swim out in the ocean during the middle of the night, and literally grab them with my hands. There is no spearing or netting allowed with these animals so you can see where the difficulty factor comes into play. Another way of lobster fishing is what we call hooping. We use a big round baited circular hoop attached to a buoy, and drop it on the sea floor and let them sit or "soak" anywhere form 15 to 30 minutes and then pull them up fast and steady (so nothing in the hoop, swims out). The first few hours were very productive but with most being shorts. As time went on, many more of the larger bugs came out to feast. The nickname for lobsters is a "bug" or"bugs". Referring to the insect like look they have with large tentacles from the head.
We start at around 6 pm and didnt end till 130 am. We even made an intermission trip to the store to buy more bait. Paddling, checking, sitting, paddling, casting, paddling, sitting, is a lot of what goes on while you let the hoops soak. I had my light spinning rod in my van and decided to take it out with me on the kayak. I set up a carolina rig with some squid on a lightweight trout set up with 10lb test. I casted, drifted, cranked, casted, drifted, etc, etc. It was pitch black with really not that much light other than the glowing of the moon. (*dunk,dunk, duh, duh duh duh dunk dunk....) my rod started going nuts. zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooommmmmmmmm ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz..................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... My drag was being pulled and pulled and pulled. I had a something. Something massive, attached to the end of this line and I felt like I was going to get spooled. I start paddling and tightening down on the drag to try and slow this fish down.... Multiple attempts to get it to the kayak..... Im trying to gain line and we see the shark surface to only dart out again to a near by commercial lobster trap, wraps itself around the trap, and *BINK*.... the line snapped about a foot from my swivel. SHIT!!! is all I could say. I was bummed to have lost it, but so stoked at the same time. What a rush. I hear Bobby and Adam in the distance hooting and hollering pulling up more legals. I gathered my things to go check out all this commotion.
How to Hoop a Bug