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Posted by Ed on October 03, 2002 at 14:48:12:

In Reply to: Where do you find the "hoops" posted by Kevin H2O on October 03, 2002 at 12:27:28:

However, let me tell you a little about them.....

They are pretty much used from either a pier or from a boat (pretty much useless from shore). In either case, the hoop is baited, then lowered to the bottom. Let sit for half hour or so, then pull on the rope FAST, straight up (whatever you caught will swim free if the net is not pulled straight up).
Then, you check/measure your catch (if any).

Now, I'll tell you this from experience.... I've used them from my boat, as well as on numerous piers.... The success for lobsters (at least in my case) is SUPER low. If you were not a SCUBA or free diver (most fisherman aren't), hoop nets would be your only legal means of catching them, so the choice is simple.....
However, since you are a SCUBA or free diver (I'm guessing...), your chances are highly increased by looking for them, and trying to catch them by hand.
I've been doing the hoop netting thing for 3 or 4 years now (I also use them to catch crabs and such), and have never caught a keeper lobster.

Last year, a week before lobster season was open, and while I was 'hoop netting' and fishing off of Ventura Pier, my wife caught (on hook and line!) a lobster measuring (if I recall correctly) 28 inches, head to tail. It was HUGE!.
And.... back it went....(out of season, and illegal method of take). That same day I caught nothing but some spider crabs in my net.

In short, if you are a fisherman, where you either go out on your boat, or go to a pier to kill some time and do some fishing, by all means, buy the hoop net(s) and give them a try. You never know what 'surprizes' it may hold... (spider crabs, leopard sharks, star fish, etc).
However, if you are a diver, and are looking to buy a hoop net for the sole purpose of catching a lobster... you will have much better luck diving for one.

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