Lobster diving sites are located along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, from Maine to Florida and Alaska to Southern California. Lobsters prefer a craggy environment where they can find shelter, such as a reef or a shipwreck. Lobster diving sites can be as far as 80 miles offshore. Local fishing authorities will have specific information about local lobster diving sites.
Wearing the proper diving equipment is crucial for your safety while diving for lobster. Proper equipment includes oxygen tanks, a scuba mask, a wetsuit, flippers and heavy gloves. Gloves made from extra protective material, such as Kevlar, is best for lobster diving due to the risks posed by lobster claws and urchin spikes.
To catch a lobster, you'll need to bring the proper lures and traps. Catching bags are used by lobster divers to secure lobsters. Lobster divers swat the lobster to stun it, and then place it quickly into a catching bag. Tickle sticks are used to provoke lobsters into coming out from their hiding places. You may also decide to use a net to capture lobster.
Lobsters are most active during the dark, nighttime hours. During this time, they forage for food and can be found in the open, away from shelter. There may be less visibility at night, but lobsters are greatly exposed. You can still use an underwater light when night diving for lobster. Use a light with a small area of illumination so that you don't alert nearby lobsters to your presence.
As with any diving excursion, lobster diving should only be undertaken during good, clear weather. Choppy water caused by high winds or storms poses a serious safety risk to your boat and the crew. Contact local fishing authorities for weather reports, and make sure that the weather remains clear for the entirety of your dive. Plan to leave your site if the weather becomes severe.
Follow proper safety procedures for the entire duration of your lobster diving excursion. Federally mandated regulations include marking your diving site with a dive flag and a warning light. Divers should always hunt for lobster in pairs. If any divers begin to exhibit signs of hypothermia, exhaustion, or other health problems, they should return to their boat immediately.
Lobster diving should only occur during lobster season. Lobster seasons are enforced by state fishing and game authorities. Different species of lobster may have different seasons within a given geographical area. Contact your state's fishing authorities and ask about open season dates for lobster.