Hunting and Gathering

Lobster Scouting Report: West Palos Verdes

Gaining much of my diving experience as a young man around the west side of Palos Verdes (PV), I never seemed to lack lobster in my freezer during the fall and winter. Along this stretch of coast, sheer cliffs with sections over 100 feet high plunge to the waters below. Rocky reefs and thick kelp extend offshore. There are pinnacles, wrecks, coves and surgy shallows. This is prime lobster hunting territory. Those that dive here rarely go away empty handed. So how does western PV […]

Basic Speargun Customizing

As you get better in your spearfishing techniques, or you want to stalk more advance quarry, you will find that your basic speargun may not suit your needs. Or by making minor alterations to your gun you will broaden the spectrum in the ways in can be used, but in terms of hunting situations and conditions and in the type and size of fish pursued. You are building a bag of tricks to handle a broader and broader variety of situations — it is a […]

Diver’s Guide to Abalone Biology – With Hints for Better Hunting

Each April abalone season reopens and divers flock to the sea to satisfy their craving for this tasty treat. Abalones are complex creatures, and this complexity has spawned a set of complex regulations. What follows is a short description of abalone biology with emphasis on what divers need to know to better understand their quarry, be better hunters, and to better understand the rules they must follow. Abalones are mollusks—non-segmented invertebrates with a mantle, gills, a rasping tongue, and a muscular foot. Abalones are further […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Catching Abalone

Each April divers come down to the sea in rubber suits in search of one of California’s most tasty treats. The red abalone is the world’s largest abalone and this mollusk thrives in Northern California. In the south, a combination of factors have reduced the abalone population to levels that are not sustainable; however, Northern California is another matter and healthy stocks remain. North of the Golden Gate, abalone are so plentiful that experienced free divers who can work the bottom at 30 feet will […]

Lobster Diving 101

Pacific spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) is the finest dinning experience a seafood lover can have. And venturing forth into the underwater realm to hand-catch your own lobster dinner can be one of the most fun experiences a diving enthusiast can have. It’s time to gear up lobster lovers! Lobster season is upon us. While diving for lobster is relatively simple, it does take some knowledge for success. First and foremost, be aware of the California Fish and Game regulations so as to not run afoul […]

The North Coast’s 3 Best Abalone Sites for Beginners

Northern California divers anticipate the opening of abalone season much like children anticipate Santa. And, for good reason, since this tasty mollusk can only be caught by sport divers in California. Each year the hunt is joined by new divers, and the question is always the same, “Where should we go?” So what makes a good beginner ab spot? Certainly, the abs must not be too deep—20 feet max. The adventure must not involve long swims, long hikes, steep cliffs or repelling gear, and no […]

Lobster Fever: A Cautionary Tale

It’s 3 a.m. in mid-September 197xx and I’m roaring down the 405 Freeway with a crazy person driving. All the windows are down and the 70 mph wind is shrieking through the 10-year old Ford. Suddenly the maniac lifts both hands from the wheel and yells, “Let it go!” The thought strikes me: I’m in trouble… Snugging my seatbelt another notch tighter, I reach under my thigh where a stack of five of the driver’s wrinkled $10 bills are wedged. Per instructions, I pull one […]

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