What Commercial Lobster Fishing is Like in California

commercial-lobster-fishing-ca

Curious what it’s like to commercially lobster fish in California? Me too.

So much so, I braved 20-knot winds and confused seas to go out with my love, Chris Dabney, and professional photographer friend Bri Dwyer to see what it’s all about.

(Bri and I only got a little seasick on the way out to the islands. It was brief but brutal and we didn’t puke, thank God!)

Next week, I’ll share Bri’s images which are 1000 times better than mine because she’s an insane photographer for Duluth Trading Co., XtraTuf, and Grundens to name a few.

For now, here’s what it looks like from the lens of my iPhone:

Lobster-fishing-boat
Meet F/V Joseph Warren (F/V means “fishing vessel”). Chris bought this baby last fall in Cape Cod and had it trucked to California. We traveled to Boston and her surrounding areas to look at several boats before he settled on this one. The name has an interesting story, too: Joseph Warren was an American physician and important leader during the Revolution who died on the front lines during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Since he was so important to the cause, his peers advised against him going to battle. But Joseph Warren decided to fight alongside his men and went out like martyr. God Bless America. The former owner of the boat was also a history teacher who wanted to honor a man who many may not have heard of or might easily forget.
lobster-boat
Here’s a break down of a lobster boat brought to you possibly by Joe’s Crab Shack according to a random search that led to a Pinterest post that led to a page to nowhere. Chris’s boat isn’t exactly like this, but it gives you a good idea of what he’s working with.
California-lobster-fisherman
At the Channel Islands, off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura, Chris uses a hook to catch the buoy line while easing the throttle to steady the boat.
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Running the buoy line through the block or “pot hauler.”
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Attaching the buoy line to the second part of the hauler. The hauler is a device that pulls the heavy lobster traps from the seafloor to the boat deck.
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Running the hauler and watching the pot rise from the bottom. Notice the line coiling to the left of his feet.
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Guiding the pot and checking the lobsters or “bugs” as fishermen call them.
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Steadying the pot on the rail (or side of the boat).
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Chris surveying a four-pound female lobster. Notice the West Coast spiny lobsters do not have claws!
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Chris preparing to toss the pot back by freeing the lines from the hauler.
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After removing the legal-sized lobsters to sell, placing the smaller ones back into the ocean, and filling a new bait container with cut mackerel, Chris locks the pot and tosses it back to the sea.
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What a happy commercial fisherman looks like heading back to port.

Are you a partner of a commercial fisherman? If so, where and what does your sweetheart fish? Please share in the comments below!

PARTNERS-COMMERCIAL-FISHERMEN

JOIN THE PRIVATE GROUP, PARTNERS OF COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN HERE!

In Case You Missed It:

DATING A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN: Q&A W/ PHOTOGRAPHER BRI DWYER

Part 2: WORRIES WHEN DATING A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN

PART 1: WORRIES WHEN DATING A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN

HOW-TO LONG-DISTANCE DATE A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN

GIFTS FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN

2 thoughts on “What Commercial Lobster Fishing is Like in California

  1. My husband fishes out of Point Judith, RI. He mainly fishes for loligo squid. But he also fishes for fluke, scup, and skate, etc.

    1. Hi April! So nice to meet you! So interesting, these are new fisheries for me that I hadn’t thought of before. I was talking to a friend the other day, wondering how many fisheries there might be in the world and the list seemed endless. How long does your husband go out at a time? (Side note: If you are interested, would love for you to join our private FB group called Partners of Commercial Fishermen if you haven’t already. We have a wonderful growing group of like-minded women who understand the same joys and challenges of this unique lifestyle.) Take care and thanks so much for your comment! It means so much to hear from you <3

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