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Old 09-16-2020, 03:24 PM   #1
TCS
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Letís talk hooping

Iím going to pick up some hoop nets and give it a try. Iím thinking Iíll get promar ambush hoops. Iím interested in learning from your experience. Iíd prefer to eat bugs from the ocean, although I can see how hooping in a bay would be easier.

Your thoughts on:
Gear?
Ocean vs bay?
Depth in early season?
Optimal time?
Tides?
Any other tips?

If you have some gear to sell Iím interested.

Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
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depends what you are riding

if you have a PA I would get the promar 36" xls because they weigh 14 lbs each. This will greatly reduce your nets swimming off when a dog grabs your bait tube. He will drag them off to deeper water and they will be gone in a blink of an eye. On the other hand, if you are on a narrow kayak choose the smaller version or lighter setups. 32 "/ 5 lb or 36"/ 6 lb. Grab the promar pvc bait tubes if budget permits. the metal bait cages are worthless if dogs are around. Tons of guys will jump in and give advice. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:06 AM   #3
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Promar conical or nothing.
There are a couple of cool bait cage hacks.
Build a hoop net rack for traps so they stack and stow securely. Though most guys in PAs have lots of room.
A light, waders to stay warm, gloves, beanie, a rod to catch bait in between pulls, an extra beer or two to shar with a nice kayaker/boater hooping near you. Snacks. Lobster gauge, your harvest report card and pen.

Go when you can go. I like 25 ft of water and rough dark conditions solo. So I've started at sunset, after 9 pm, before sunrise at 4 am etc. Turns out lobsters aren't that smart.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:02 AM   #4
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Be sure to have you lobster card filled with all the information (less number of catch) before dropping the net.

To add to other recommendations:

A headlamp with spare is an important gear.
The gauge with leash to be worn around the neck.
I do not recommend the heavy nets. Special lead weights can be added later if need be.
Ahi chemical light to be set in the float.
The fishing license number marked on the float. License and lobster card in a safe waterproof case.
No beer if you are prone to frequent urination like me.
Gloves, bait cutting knife.
Bonito or mackerel for bait.
Bait tubes tied to net with clips. Saves on zip-ties.

Lobsters hide during daylight hours. The sunset is their breakfast. They crawl less as time goes by. There are always exceptions.

Tide not important if not at the pier. IMHO

Location....sandy area close to rocky area. Early in season shallow, later deep.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:12 AM   #5
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All good info. Thanks
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:15 AM   #6
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I went the first time last year with a friend, his experience made for a successful night. I got the rudder tangled with the pull rope and he got me free. Also showed me the proper way to handle the lobster without getting hurt, who knew they could bite you? Also the best way to free stingrays with came up with almost every pull. Get the bugs out and leave the ray in the trap, it will swim free once back in the water and you wont get stung freeing it. I bought the older model Promar with the arms that pull free so it lays flat when not in use. Got a good deal from a guy who bought them then started diving for bugs instead of netting. I had a lot of fun but recommend you go out with someone the first time to shorten the learning curve.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:12 AM   #7
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The various nets have each pros and cons.
Old style flat net ---Pro [cheaper than others/can be used to land fish from a pier/easier to transport due to flatness/light weight]

Con [ok for crabs, not so good for catching lobsters/must be pulled fast the first 5 feet to insure the lobster stays in the net/should use a special bait cage to keep the bait in the center of the net/usually the rope that come with it is too small in diameter]

Folding conical nets called Eclipse -----Pro [folds flat for transportation/as conical net, it is great for catching lobsters/bait cage can be clipped to stay in the center of the net/needs to be set properly before use]

Con [more expensive than the flat net, but it is worth it/no need to pull it fast/may requires purchase of bridle/not useful for pulling fish up on a pier]

Ambush net (has welded support) ----Pro [same as Eclipse/no need to pull fast]
Con [although it may cost more than Eclipse and definitely more than flat net, again, it is worth it/it does not require setup/more space required for transport]

Lastly a pointer about the Eclipse nets ----In opposition to the Ahi companyís recommendation, do not attach the bridle clips to the upper ring. Always to the lower ring. If there is a lot weight in the net (fish, kelp, lobsters) the supporting rods could come off the net.

Lastly ----To empty the net from undesirables, simply turn it over!!
If there is kelp in the net, do not put your hand in the net looking for lobsters. Eels, scorpion fish could be hiding in the kelp. Use a gaff to stir the kelp to see if there is anything there. If not just turn the net over.
Lobster will be relaxed on top of your flat (gloved) palm. Easier to gauge than putting on a hard surface.
I have never been bitten by one.

Last edited by Mahigeer; 09-17-2020 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:44 AM   #8
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I haven't been bitten either but my friend showed me how strong their mouth is if you get your finger in there.

I have the eclipse, I will attach the harness to the lower hoop, I can see how lifting it from the upper hoop you pull the bars loose, something I was worried about so thanks for pointing that out. Do the cords with the hooks on the bars hook to the top hoop or the small center hoop to keep it centered?
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:52 PM   #9
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Hoopiní

This book could help answer a few if not all your questions...and itís got some interesting lobster trivia and some good recipes too...
I hear the guy has caught a few Bugs and Crabs too...!
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saba Slayer View Post
This book could help answer a few if not all your questions...and itís got some interesting lobster trivia and some good recipes too...
I hear the guy has caught a few Bugs and Crabs too...!
Jim, I took your seminar at Bass Pro a few years ago. Lots of good information and it still took me a couple of years to get to it. Luckily I made a friend that goes a lot and tagged along with him. I don't know where my book is, not unusual, once i read something it goes into the library never to be seen again. Until I'm looking for another book then I find the one I'm not looking for. Anyway, on the eclipse, the cords with the hooks, where do I hook them? I hooked them to the small center ring but I'm not sure that is right.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:58 PM   #11
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Eclipse

Harry...
Hopefully itís clips...but if itís ďhooksĒ...connect them evenly spaced on the large bottom ring..
TJones...you can make a net heavier but you canít make it lighter...those Heavy Ambush nets are great if youíre in a private boat and hoopin in 150í but for Zuniga and the shallow areas...the lighter Ambush nets work great unless the current is ripping...then Iíll add Hoopnet Heavies or zip tie some thick chain to the bottom hoop...
Hashim my friend...those flat nets have their place and time where they can shine...donít discount them because they require a little technique...
When the bugs are really on the crawl in shallow water the ďflatĒ nets are easier faster and lighter to pull...

The Sierra lobsters are pre-smoked this year...this is from Gull lake this morning...
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I haven't been bitten either but my friend showed me how strong their mouth is if you get your finger in there.

I have the eclipse, I will attach the harness to the lower hoop, I can see how lifting it from the upper hoop you pull the bars loose, something I was worried about so thanks for pointing that out. Do the cords with the hooks on the bars hook to the top hoop or the small center hoop to keep it centered?
They hook to the top after going around the bottom ring when new; but the cords stretch when get old. I started using zip-ties to attach the legs via a small hole to the bottom ring. It takes longer, but it is the best way to keep the net together.
In the conical nets the center hole is always in the center of the net. However, in the flat nets, it is possible for the center ring to sit next to the edge of the big ring. Thus, it is a good idea to use a special bait cage to insure the cage it is always in the center. Of the big ring.
The book is a necessary addition to any lobster hunter. My comparison of various nets is just that, comparison. Each have a function.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:48 PM   #13
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They hook to the top after going around the bottom ring when new; but the cords stretch when get old. I started using zip-ties to attach the legs via a small hole to the bottom ring. It takes longer, but it is the best way to keep the net together.
In the conical nets the center hole is always in the center of the net. However, in the flat nets, it is possible for the center ring to sit next to the edge of the big ring. Thus, it is a good idea to use a special bait cage to insure the cage it is always in the center. Of the big ring.
The book is a necessary addition to any lobster hunter. My comparison of various nets is just that, comparison. Each have a function.
they are hooks, I thought they might go to the top ring to keep the legs on tight but they are stretched.I have a couple of weeks to get things figured out. My kayak is an old town predator so plenty of room behind the seat to stack traps. I will probably leave them set up until the end of the season so I guess the zip ties will be a good idea.Thank you.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:01 PM   #14
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Zip ties

Use zip ties and cut the bungees and hooks off and you’ll be much happier...those hooks often get snagged on the other stacked nets...drill holes near the end of the legs if they don’t already have them...the eclipse is a 36” net...we designed the 32” Ambush nets for the small boat or kayak and it’s a vastly improved version of the conical net.
I’d get rid of those clunky Eclipse if you decide to stick with the sport...
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:58 PM   #15
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Use zip ties and cut the bungees and hooks off and youíll be much happier...those hooks often get snagged on the other stacked nets...drill holes near the end of the legs if they donít already have them...the eclipse is a 36Ē net...we designed the 32Ē Ambush nets for the small boat or kayak and itís a vastly improved version of the conical net.
Iíd get rid of those clunky Eclipse if you decide to stick with the sport...
the hooks do get snagged on everything, they might be a good idea when the hoops are new but now they are a pain in the tail. Right now I have to stick with the eclipse, the worst thing about being retired is no matter how many hours you work there is no overtime pay. At least for this season unless things really get bad they will work. I'll probably start replacing them a couple at a time as I need to.
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Old Yesterday, 08:58 AM   #16
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I liked the ease of transport of Eclipse nets to Catalina Mole. I even cut two in half and used electrical connectors
with set screw to re-assemble them once on the island.

Now I use Ambush ones. The lighter version.

In the picture you can see the homemade bait tube from PVC drain pipe and caps.
By using the Promar clips, the use of zip-ties is eliminated.

OhhhÖÖ. good old days.



Note the clips of the bridle are attached to the bottom ring. A thicker rope is easier on the hands too.
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Old Yesterday, 10:50 PM   #17
socal.beach.bum
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Never had a chance to go out myself in all my years kayaking but hoping to change that this year.

What size floats do you generally use for your ambush nets? I got a few of the smaller 32Ē so was wondering if the 11Ē red and whites were sufficient? Also is 100í of line overkill?
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