GIANT LOBSTER ATTACKS!!

Went out again last night with Captain Dave Hansen and a couple of friends (Tim and Jeff).  Wanted to check a few new spots as well as fish mid-week.  Was a beautiful night that started out like a lot of them have in the last few weeks – a little slow.  I don’t know if the sea lions recognized the boat or what, but they were on our tail and all over the gear for the first set, but then they disappeared – kinda weird?? The first pull resulted in one short and one legal and a couple of very nice crabs.  Made another set, had a bite to eat, some great conversation with good company…..”let’s go pull some nets!!” On the eighth hoop, of the second pull, I could not believe my eyes; our friend Tim had just pulled a monster on board.  He said he thought that at first, the sea lions had the hoop (wrong!), but as the hoop got closer to the surface that maybe there was a good sized ray in the net (wrong!!).  The correct answer turned out to be Panulirus interruptus  a GIANT California Spiny Lobster, weighing in at 17.3 lbs.  I say again, SEVENTEEN POUNDS, FIVE OUNCES!! Now I am pretty new to this hooping thing, but I knew (even without all the saucer eyes, jaw dropping, hollering and screaming) that I was looking at something pretty special..  Sure would have been a good night to bring a camera! And you think that on a boat this size, I woulda had a scale?  Nope – I had neither. In a classic (and quite literal) David vs Goliath battle, Capt. Hansen and another man had to wrestle the monster out of the hoop.  I don’t mind telling you that this was pretty terrifying to watch.  That bug was none too happy about being out of the water and the guys did well to come away with all their fingers. The massive beast was eventually weighed on a fish market scale.  The photos you’ll see were taken on a variety of poor quality cell phone cameras, but there are some decent pics of the leviathan, in the driveway, with various objects to give you some idea of scale. The colossal crustacean had a carapace that was every bit as large as a NCAA football.  The tail (including fins) was well over a foot long.  The legs were over 1” in diameter.  This was a large male and its anyone’s guess at how old he was. Getting down to specifics (yeah right!), the dinosaur was caught at night and in the water.  I will tell you, however, that for his last meal the prisoner chose salmon scraps.  Seriously though, if you want to go out there, have a blast, and possibly have the opportunity to see a ‘Lobster of a Lifetime”, do yourself a favor and call Capt. Dave Hansen (949.374.0786). What was the fate of the Jurassic roach?  Well I won’t say for sure, but you need to imagine a very peaceful end; something on the order of a nice Jacuzzi (220 deg. F+), or perhaps a sauna, an herbal rubdown, a sumptuous butter bath, and finally – a dinner invitation. To all those that would have chosen a different fate for this animal, please feel free NOT to share your notions of conservation with me or the others who celebrate this Hall of Fame delicacy of the deep.  No lectures via post or PM, please.  To my way of thinking, this animal fulfilled his destiny and can be proud of his life’s work.  He avoided predators for decades on end, helping make millions of baby cucarachas del mar, and was ultimately (albeit somewhat reluctantly) taken by those law abiding sportsmen (conservationists, really), who finance the research, regulation and policing of the very fishery he kept so healthy. I want to thank the guys, Dave Hansen, Tim and Jeff for a great time and a night I will never forget.  Let’s do it again, real soon!! (what are you doing tomorrow?) Be Well. PL

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Captain Dave Hansen
949-374-0786
yoursaltwaterguide@yahoo.com
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