California Underwater Game Hunting
on the Great Escape Live Aboard Dive Boat
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Game Hunting Tips
Southern California is known for some great underwater hunting opportunities, if you are so inclined. The crew of the Great Escape is more than happy to help you fully enjoy your trip by offering advice on how to be a successful hunter. All we ask is that you comply with all California sport fishing regulations, and take only what you intend to consume.
California law requires each diver intending to hunt for game to obtain a California sport fishing license (Ocean Enhancement Stamp required, plus Spiny Lobster Report Card required for lobster). Resident and non-resident licenses plus copies of the sport fishing regulations can be obtained at the landing store.
Each diver is responsible for knowing the local regulations and abiding by them. The Great Escape crew frowns on law-breakers and poachers. Occasionally, our friendly and courteous local California Department of Fish and Game representative will board our vessel to inspect your catch. We welcome their visits!
When taking several of the local marine species (such as clams and lobster), regulations require the diver to have in their possession a specific type of measuring device capable of accurately measuring the particular game. It is your responsibility to have all required measuring devices. Check with a local dive shop to obtain these items, if you intend on taking game, prior to your departure. These items are not sold on the boat (at this time).
October is the unofficial holiday season for So Cal divers. This is when lobster season begins. More local divers call in sick to work this month than any other time of the year. We make a large number of night dives during lobster season (October through March). Generally, your odds are greatly increased if you night dive for the wiley critters. Plan on bringing a dive light, chemical light stick or personal identification light if you will be making night dives.
The "bugs" usually hide in holes during the day but may come out at night to forage for food or to socialize. Given this behavior, night dives are generally the most productive. The exception is San Nicholas Island. San Nick is a great lobster spot either day or night, mainly because the bottom consists of shallow ledges and crevices with few deep holes. There are no places for the bugs to hide! At San Nick, divers can be successful during daylight yours. You just corner them, grab them, and stuff them into your goody bag.
Also, when you visit the boat, ask Captain Tim about his top secret "lobster call", or about our even more superior top secret opening night "lobster attracting ritual." You'll be amazed.