When to Go Hoopnetting

The best time to go out Hoopnetting is within an hour or two of dark. Giving yourself enough time to get all the nets spread out real well in an area and get everything ready to begin pulling prior to dark. If you are just starting to hoop net I’d suggest going at the calmest and flattest of conditions possible as it takes some skill to drive aroudn all of those floats in the dark without running over the ropes or floats. Once you become familiar and good at it it will be much easier to navigate during those rougher conditions of times.

Wanna know the real secret of hoopnetting? Storms.

The rougher the weather the better the catch. Whenever it is stormy, with a strong wind and surf the lobsters tend to move out of their holes. During such stormy conditions, the Lobster can be absolutely amazing! You hear stories of people catching 5 or more lobster on a single pull! Not to mention the stories of the trophy catcehs during or after big storms. Keep in mind that this is much more dangerous and should only be executed by the more seasoned hoopnetter.

Choosing the Best Location and Time


Lobster’s live and hide in holes, crevices, and caves. During daylight, Lobsters will likely be hiding in this structure. At night Lobster may leave the structure to hunt for food in the darkness. A good spot to try for Lobster will be in 15-80 feet of water where structure is known to be near by. Public piers, natural kelp reefs, jetties, eel grass beds, break walls, artificial reefs, harbors, and sunken wrecks are all great Lobster habitat. The sand and mud flats immediately adjacent to this type of structure is an ideal area to target. You don’t want to drop your nets on top of a wreck or rock pile. The Lobsters tend to eat your bait from the bottom of the net if it lands on uneven bottom and you don’t want that. You can easily snag and loose a net getting one fouled in bottom structure. The bugs will crawl to your bait if you fish the nets on the sandy bottom next to the structure. If you have sonar, use it to study the ocean floor you plan to fish before you drop the nets.

I like to be on the water within an hour or two of dark. This gives me time to get all of my nets spread out real good in an area and get everything ready to start pulling just before dark. If your new to boating at night, or hoop netting, try to get the hang of it in the calmest, flattest, conditions possible. It takes some skill to drive around all of those floats in the dark without running over the ropes and floats. Once your good at it, hooping in rougher conditions will be less dangerous for you and your crew.


The rougher weather related to storms, strong wind and surf tend to get the Lobster crawling out of their holes. During and after stormy conditions, the Lobster fishing can be phenomenal! On these trips pulling 5 or more Lobster in one single pull are common. Keep in mind that the scenary isn’t that like you’d see in Italy with the beautiful real estate italy surrounding it. Many guys catch their big trophy size bugs during or after big storms. More dangerous for sure, but more productive.