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5387 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  rchipbrown
Since NJ has a regulation for lobster (carapace length 3-3/8" - 5-1/4") I'm assuming they can actually be caught somewhere. I read that the NJ record is a nearly 12lb lobster caught by a guy diving on the San Jose Wreck. Is scuba diving the only way to catch them or can you drop a trap somewhere and have a chance at getting some?
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I am not sure what the recreational trapping regs are. I looked into it years ago, but didnt get too far. If its allowed, I think you would piss off some commercial guys in the meantime. Diving for them is your best bet. I got certified, but havent gotten to dive for them yet!
Good question, can't wait to hear from somone who has done this.
Rec divers can take up to 6 at the proper length, they cannot hold eggs or have teh V notch in their tail. You cannot snare or trap them either, you must only use your hand to grab them.

Many of the wrecks in NJ have them, it becomes an art to know how to find them then have the ball:eek: to stick your hand in there and grab them. The older ones are slower. You can use a tickle stick to coax them out of their hole but that does not always work, they have other places to go sometimes inside there.

My largest was 6lbs, I have seen 12lbrs caught many times out there, nighttime is the best time to dive for them.

The are mostly found on broken up wrecks and you can spot their liars if you look closely for their whips sticking out or shells thrown out, usually mussells.
I don't know much about it, but I do know there is a recreational lobster pot permit that's around $130 per year if I remember correctly that lets you put out a max of 10 pots within the 3 mile line. I'm not 100% sure on the 10 pots, but I believe that's what I had read. We might try this year. From what I understand you have to stay away from commercial gear and anywhere there might be a lot of curious fisherman if you want to keep your own gear/lobsters. Some people say the loss of gear makes it not worth the money or effort. It seems to run about $100 per pot set up which could get $$$ quickly if you start losing gear.

I found this:

"There is no longer a lobster pot permit Type D, which had been required for recreational fishing. There is still the allowance for the recreational harvesting of lobsters. To participate in this recreational fishery, however, a fisherman must possess a valid New Jersey lobster and fish pot license that will specify that the fisherman holds that license for recreational purposes only, is allowed an allocation of 10 pots to be fished in State waters only, and the licensee is limited to six lobsters per day that may not be sold."

But I can't find anything online about how you get the "New Jersey lobster and fish pot license."​

That's the commercial version. Looking for the recreational one, unless things have changed since last year.
It does look like they pulled the forms off the website. Maybe they won't be needed this year...
On the "Application for Commercial Marine Licenses for New Jersey Residents" (on pdf on fish and game site) there is a chart in the form that lists various licenses covered by the application, one of which is "Recreational Lobster Pot License." So it seems that the recreational lobster pot license application is burried in a commercial license application form. Also, the form only applies to NJ residents. Plus the license is expensive. It appears to be $102 PER LOBSTER POT.
Plus the license is expensive. It appears to be $102 PER LOBSTER POT.
Make friends with a diver...Good thread.

I heard other divers build their own lairs for the bugs and set it off near the wreck but not in plain sight and the bugs will seek it out and call it home, come back and pull them out. Usually made from PVC like 4" or 6" tubes.
Plus the license is expensive. It appears to be $102 PER LOBSTER POT.
That is changed from last year then too. The license covered up to 10 pots from what I understood.
Pots within 3 miles of the coast aren't going to catch many lobsters.
Pots within 3 miles of the coast aren't going to catch many lobsters. can pull keeper bugs off the jetties of the inlets during the cooler water BL N jetty....

There can be bugs on all wrecks depending on the water temps. They tend to move less in deeper water.
This is the link for the NJ State Record Lobster:

KWest and I finished fishing one day last year and we stopped next door to chat with the neighbor and his friend. After chatting for a while the friend talks about this huge lobster he caught off the jersey shore at a wreck while diving. Turns out this was the NJ State Record, and he pulled out a photo out of his wallet showing him holding this huge bug in front of him. He said the claws were like 5 lbs each, and it was very tasty! :thumbsup:
When I was going to school at FIT in Jensen Beach Fl in the early 70's we when to a junk yard and bought 6-8 old car hoods. Some were already bent, other we bent..

Dropped them in 20-30ft of water. Let them sit for 3-4 weeks.
when we dove on them again we took cast nets. Lay the cast net over the car hood then lift and shake it.. 20-30 Lobsters would fly out from under each one into the cast net.. I alwayed want to let the little ones go, but most times everything was kept because they were so tangled in the castnet. Trust me after 6-8 car hood were hit we had 100's of lobsters for the fest.. Some of those guys did that week after week..

Of course they are not the same CRAWFISH we have up here.

Then ask me about raping Stone Crab's in the Keys??

You guys are kidding youself buying NJ lobster licenece's to use in NJ waters.. That means 3miles... Trust me it's waste of time..

You need to talk to the seabass pot guys...
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I emailed NJ Fish and Wildlife to get clarification on this and here is the explanation I got:

"New Jersey has a recreational lobster license. It allows the individual to have 10 traps with a limit of 6 lobster per day (within the legal size limits); the individual is not allowed to sell them. The Bureau of Marine Fisheries supplies tags for the lobster pots when the license purchase is completed. Federal regulations require ALL lobster pots to be tagged, serious fines are issued if this is not followed. For a NJ resident, the license fee is $102.00. For non-residents, the license is 10 times that, or $1002.00. For the resident license our regulations require that a person be a legal resident - having a second home in New Jersey does not meet that requirement. Proof of residence, ideally a copy of a NJ driver's license, is required when purchasing your license.The license is only valid in State waters, which is from the shore to three miles out. You can scuba dive for lobster and this does not require a license or proof of residency. BUT, you have to catch the lobster by hand, no spearing allowed. Again, you must stay within the size and quota limits for recreational lobstering."

Obviously, if you do not have a NJ drivers license, paying $1002 for the license isn't realistic.
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