We have arrived at that time of year again for the annual migration of lobster lovers to invade the Keys in search of the Florida Spiny Lobster. A scouting trip a few weeks ago revealed the majority of holes are jam packed with lobster and we should see a really strong start to the lobster season. Whether you have already booked a trip with me or are interested in catching lobster on your own, there is no guarantee in success , but there are many things that can stack the odds in your favor or help you along in your quest. Here are a few tips I use to prepare my customers for their day on the water.
If you are not comfortable, you are not in the game. Holding your breath and diving under water for a period of time is the most unnatural thing you can do! Essentially, it is controlled suicide. This alone is enough to eliminate many of the potential lobster seekers out there. At the same time, this is within reach of most of the healthy people interested in this activity. I can teach most people that are interested and have the desire. Desire always beats fear, but if fear consumes you…well, you are just beating yourself. You do not have to have experience. You do have to be comfortable in the water.
Assume your gear does not work! When did you buy your snorkel gear? Why, how and where did you buy it? Did you make sure everything fit you or did you buy it online or as a set? My customers experience equipment failure on 100% of my trips. Not my equipment…yours. Common reasons: It is brand new, never used. It was never fitted or worn. It has been sitting for a while and the equipment degraded. Think about your equipment. If you spend all of this time and money getting to the choice spot in the middle of the ocean, what are you going to do when your mask leaks, your snorkel is a straw and your fins fall off your feet?! Proper preparation is the key to success in anything you do in life. There is no dive shop on the water. Test all of your equipment before your trip. Jump in a hotel pool for 15 minutes and get familiar with your gear. Find out now what works, what doesn’t and what issues need to be addressed. If I didn’t see catastrophic equipment failure on ALL of my trips, I wouldn’t waste my time writing this.
What did you do to prepare for your trip? As a charter guide, I have years of experience in all facets of playing in the ocean. The reason you hire me is because I know my trade inside and out. I didn’t learn it overnight. As a newcomer to lobster diving, where do I start my educational process with you? It is common for people to show up and expect lobster to practically jump in the boat. Reality is, lobster diving is 70% work and 30% fun when conditions are good! All of my trips are earned experiences. What I am saying is I am not in the water with you to narrate each step to complete your catch. I do have a highly effective system to give you a strong foundation to succeed. Your part is to do a little homework! YouTube is a massive wealth of information. Certainly, I do not expect you to know A-Z what it looks like or how it works if you are from Michigan and have never done this before. I promise you that if you spend 1 hour on YouTube watching “How to catch spiny lobster” videos, you will shave an hour off of your learning curve. Click the link to see one of my many videos from my charters.
Lobstering is a TEAM activity. Not everybody can do exactly what it takes to complete each step to catch a lobster. On my trips we become a lobster SWAT team. Most often, excitement replaces common sense and the strongest members of my teams burn themselves out in less than 30 minutes. I have a layered system to investigate the hundred spots I have. Once we have located a concentration of lobster I have a system to involve everybody in the team to play the role that they are most suited for. Get on board with my program and good things follow. The sport of lobster diving is overwhelming to many people. My job is to quickly assess the skills in your team and organize your talents and efforts into producing a rewarding experience. This is a labor intensive activity that can be adjusted for your goals for the trip. It is challenging and for the beginner it is not easy. It is an experience that you earn. I take this extra step in description not to scare away potential customers, but to remind everybody that this is hunting a wild animal that lives on the bottom of the ocean. I am often witness to a modern mentality that if it is paid for instant success or gratification is to follow. The ocean only deals in reality. It is a wild place full of wild creatures, none of which care about your feelings or issues. Dive down to meet a new challenge and be rewarded with a tasty treat that you earned. After the meal is done, you will come to find the experience and the memories made are far greater than what you had on your dinner plate. The adventure is what it is all about. Above all…….please be SAFE out there. Every year there is a medical issue or an incident that results is somebody being involved in a fatal accident. Don’t put your life in danger for a lobster. If you’re that desperate for a lobster, come wax my boat and I’ll give you a few!!!
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