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I understand that Lobster Season officially opens on September 30, 2006, at 12:01am.

My question is this: Does that mean that you may not possess a lobster before this date and time... or does that mean you are not permitted to deploy your hoop nets before this date and time.

Thank you for your "educated" response.
 

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My educated reponse is you can not have a lobster in possesion until that date and time. You can hoopnet for crabs all year long, you just have to release the lobsters. So i do not see any problem with putting out your hoops a few hours befor the opener.
 

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I am in Northern California and "we" go through this every year with our dungeness crab season. Official word from the Game Warden is, one can not set gear until the start of the season. But, rock crabs are open, so many anglers set their gear and claim they are after rock crabs.

To me, this is poaching. If the intent is to take, in our case, dungeness crabs, and one puts out their gear early, they are poaching.

I believe this practice is one reason why the F&G code is so detailed. Why enforcement doesn't consider the sprit of the law.
 

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Well, we have a "yes you can drop nets before the open" and a "no you can't drop nets before the open". Does anyone have reference to a printed DFG regulation to settle the issue?
 

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Go to page-38, 29.80 (b).
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/oceanfish2006.pdf
You can hoop for Crab all year long!
Look for the Crab REGS . .
35 per day daily bag limit for Crabs. :eek:
You just don't want to put your hoopnets down too early on the opener.
It's just not worth the hassle.
You want to hoop Crabs during the NON Lobster season . .
Don't even bring a bug on the boat, short or legal.
You want to snap a picture in the net fine.
I wouldn't get caught even holding one in the off-season unless it was coming out of my steamer.

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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I have been approched by the DFG a few times on opening night. According to the DFG officer(s)I have spoken with on opening night about setting my nets before midnight they basically say "It's up to the discretion of the individual officer if you are breaking the law or not."
None would say its ok to set nets before midnight and I am sure they say that only because they cannot prove you are fishing for lobsters or crab? that is if they dont board your boat and search it of course.
These officers are not stupid. They know we are fishing lobster.
I set my nets well before midnight but I do not pull them till that magic hour and have never been ticketed.
I also think that being respectfull and polite to the officer and that he is doing his job has alot to do with the outcome if you are approched before midnight or any time for that fact.
Good luck.


Take pictures, leave wakes
 

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Larry,

I am only referring to SoCal and specifically the southern part of SoCal where there isn't a large population of crabs.

I don't think any warden going to believe you are fishing for crabs or fish if you drop your lobster hoopnets 30 minutes early on opening night. I don't think a warden would believe you are fishing for crab or fish if you dropped them out of season either.

It's not worth being caught either. I've seen plenty of guys get in early on scuba. That's illegal as well. Be legal is the best advice I can give.

Bill
 

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Two openers ago we ASSUMED the same thing. We dropped our hoops at about 11:15 and durring the baiting and dropping of out 3rd hoop we were approched by the DFG.

We were nice, cooperative and said we were not going to pull ANY of the nets until after midnight. I kiddingly said something to the effect of "if I said we were going for crabs, would that help" He just looked at us and said he knew why we were out there and that he was sure that would be a lie.

NO GO GUYS!!! They informed us of the definition of "TAKE" Baiting a hook or a hoopnet is take. We were sighted/ticketed for taking lobster out of season. The officers said we could argue with the Judge but to them we were poaching.

We were able to keep our hoops (9) and continued to fish/hoop for lobsters that night for a total of 5 bugs. Larry, who owned the boat was going to fight it in court, but we have never heard from him again. Even after multiple attemts to contact him, he just dissapeared. So, I have no idea of the outcome of his court date.

The DFG made it perfectly clear to us that you can't drop your nets until 12:00 AM. You guys can do what you want but I'm waiting till 12:00

ERIK
 

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With my input and Eriks,I would almost say that it is up to the "descretion of each officer". He was sighted and i was lectured. Who knows?
on a side note i just picked up my new cntr console 19ft mako today in Vegas at bass pro shops and they hooked me up with a great deal. if your looking for a new boat like a mako, nitro or kenner (all made by kenner i might add) they are blowing out all of their 2006 models. i got out the door with a 19ft cntr console roll top, 115 hp merc 4 stk, trailer, vhf radio etc... fully loaded for a little over 15K. awesome deal.
im ready to load up on some tasty treats from the sea.

Take pictures, Leave wakes
 

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The correct answer is no. As you have seen from the previous poster the DFG leaves their sense of humor at the dock on opening day. Even if you don't get cited at the time they may well remember your boat and you'll get the third degree every time they see you.
 
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