Fine Tuning Your Hoopnetting Skills

SKILL REQUIRED

I have spent a great deal of time learning everything I can about this sport. I read books, surf the internet, talk to everyone I can at the docks, and spend alot of time on the phone with other hoop netters. I am constantly trying to find a way to get a limit of lobster quicker and bigger than my last trip out. What I have learned helps, however I can not ignore the fact that I am regularly out-fished by someone with little or no experience hoop netting. The bottom line is, if you are in the right place at the right time, you will get them and get them quick even with “bottom of the line” gear.

TROPHY BUGS

Big Lobsters 5-10 pounds are caught by many hoop netters every season. The larger bugs tend to hold on to the net and/or bait and won’t let go, even when they have been boated. They are clumsy, heavier and slower than the smaller bugs. Once a large Lobster crawls into your net, there is a good chance you will land him. Sometimes the larger bugs will be partially hanging over the edge of the net when you get the net up. The best you can do to help land the big ones is to use the largest diameter, deepest net you can get your hands on. Some hoop netters claim your chances for catching a trophy Lobster are better very late in the evening and late in the season.

BYCATCH

This is what really makes hoop netting fun! The bait in your hoop net will attract almost anything that lives in the ocean. Some of the items you will catch in your hoops will amaze you. A partial list of what you may pull up includes Sea Lions, Round Sting Rays, Spider Crabs, Octopus, Sea cucumbers, Swell Sharks, Swimming Crabs, Snails, Horn Sharks, Rock Crabs, Bass, Rockfish, Sculpin, Bat Rays, Smooth Hound Sharks, Croaker, and Starfish. All of the different bycatch really keeps the pulling interesting. You never know what you are going to pull up. Last week, a friend got a big Bat ray in his net. The net was swimming around with the Bat ray completely inside of the net. While pulling the net, the Bat Ray actually took line from his gloved hands.

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