Gone Outdoors

How to Catch Lobsters in Hawaii

by Dan Dechenaux

Every year, the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands attract lobster hunters from all over the world. The two main species of lobster are the endemic spiny lobster and the slipper lobster. Two less common species are the ridgeback slipper lobster and the Chinese slipper lobster. In 1977, commercial trapping of lobster began at the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This section of islands contains numerous banks, reefs and inlets. These islands are a valuable resource, as they average 600 metric tons of lobster a year. This makes Hawaii one of the world's favorite lobster hunting destinations.

Prepare yourself for the dive. Make certain all your gear is in proper working condition. Service your equipment every year in advance, before lobster season. Make sure your lobster game bag has no netting on top, as this produces problems with catching larger lobster. The best lobster bags take one hand to operate, which aids in preventing the lobsters from escaping. Attend a refresher course to fine-tune your diving skills. Lobster hunting is a nighttime activity. Practice your diving skills in the daytime, before you dive into the dark waters at night.

Locate a diving spot in the daytime. Become familiar with the surroundings under the water. Be aware of the entry and exit points. This saves you time, and aids in the safety of your evening dive. Look for reef formations that may contain lobsters at night. This reduces the time you spend perusing them. Be environmentally conscious when pursuing the lobster. The female is the larger of the species, and more plentiful than the male lobster. When deciding whether to keep your catch, remember the female's eggs keep the population productive. Without lobsters, there is no lobster season.

Hunt lobsters in the correct places. They often hide in rocky areas and kelp. You will also find lobsters in break-walls and jetties. Move quickly, as you need to see the lobster to catch it. Stay at least 2 feet from the ocean floor. Investigate the area thoroughly. If you swim excessively close to the ocean's floor, lobsters will hide beneath undergrowth. Larger lobsters escape quickly when invaded by light. Your goal is to spot them before they spot you. Lobsters move in a backward motion. If you try to pursue the creature from the front, it swims off. Face the lobster's tail when attempting capture, as this causes it to swim toward you. Do not wait too long to grab your prey. Move fast toward the lobster. Restrain it with your hands between the head and tail. Push it to the ground to complete the catch.

About the Author

Dan Dechenaux has written since 2009. Specializing in health and sports topics, he contributes articles to The Sports Ad-Visor. Dechenaux received a Master of Arts in communication arts from the University of Notre Dame.