It’s always a crapshoot when you try to pick a hot spot to catch bugs before the season closes. We all know they could be hiding almost anywhere, but here are my best guesses. Weather and swell permitting, I’d focus on my best shallow water sites. The end of lobster season often coincides with when these tasty crustaceans move into shallower water to molt. During this period it’s not unusual to take animals making new shell, or with soft bodies after just shedding. If this season follows that trend, then I’d try some of the following dive sites.
Both rock piles just outside the Marina Del Rey breakwater are worth a shot. If nothing is there, you’ll find out without burning too much air or wasting serious bottom time. Roland’s, another circular rock pile off the north end of the Santa Monica breakwater is also a good possibility. These sites have been posted on my previous blogs in case you haven’t already noted them in your own log books.
Sites not posted on the blog, but available through my published dive log, include Topanga Canyon outside bubbles and inside small holes as a general area, the sites north of long wharf, and especially the rock fingers and ledges off Will Rogers State Beach. I wouldn’t overlook Moonshadows reef either.
Both the Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica breakwaters are good night diving spots that should produce well if you like doing it in the dark.
If there’s a large swell, and visibility in shallow water sucks, then you’re pretty much on your own. My best guesses would include the outside bubble area at Topanga Canyon, Moonshadows reef, or the outside bubble hole.
The large rocky areas in 25 to 30 feet of water south of Sunset Blvd point or directly outside that point in 25 to 40 feet of water, are both good possibilities. I would also look in the shallow rocks in 15 to 30 feet of water south of the south end of Topanga canyon. These areas and maps are in my published dive log. Another good possibility that is not in my blog but easy to find is the beach access gate south of Moonshadows Restaurant, working to the north through the shallow rocks there. Outside of Santa Monica Bay try the blog listings for Malibu Road, or head south and dive along Palos Verdes Peninsula wherever you can find access. The Santa Monica breakwater is usually a good night dive, and it’s easily accessible from the beach.
If there’s a large swell and visibility is restricted in shallow water, beach diving pretty much sucks everywhere. Maybe it’s time to buy a ticket on a boat to the islands.
Here’s hoping lobster season was good for you this year, and that next season will be even better. We’ll continue the blog with featured diving sites elsewhere, and information on some cool fishing and diving vacations you might want to consider.