While there is a lot of discussion as to what bait works best to attract lobsters, we’ve found that an oily type fish such as skipjack, bonito, salmon heads, sardines, anchovies and mackerel, typically work best. Mackerel being probably the most commonly used lobster bait in Southern California, perhaps due to its availability and affordability. Other non-fish items preferred by anglers include canned cat food or chicken parts such as necks and backs also work.
Bait Bags, Cages and Cylinders
All Promar Hoop Nets feature a patented Double-Layered Bait Pouch proven to catch more crabs and lobsters; however, depending on the conditions, you’ll find that adding bait cages and bait cylinders to your hoop nets may increase your odds for success. Regardless of what you choose to bait your hoop nets, bait bags, cages and cylinders may be used to hold your bait in place and protect it from being taken as a free meal. Seal are known to tear into hoop nets and crush wire bait cages.
Bait bags are more common for crabbing with crab pots and traps in Northern California. Promar offers two types of bait bags which add an extra layer of protection for you bait. The PVC Mesh Bait Bag (AC-345) lays flat inside pots, traps, and hoop nets. It comes rigged with rubber band and wire clamp closures. The other option is the Heavy-Duty Nylon Bait Bag which is popular with commercial anglers.
Our Promar vinyl covered Wire Bait Cage (AC-300) holds bait for pots, traps, and hoop nets. The bait door comes reinforced with rubber bands and wire clamps and is the most common option for lobster hoop nets. The AC-300 is 6” long by 6” wide and 3” high. A smaller and larger option is available in the AC-300S and AC-300L models. Bait cages are useful even if your hoop nets have a built-in bait pocket. Although these bait cages deter big spider crabs and most sea lions from stealing your bait, the more aggressive sea lions will find a way to smash the cage open.
Promar’s solution for pesky seals is the Seal Proof Bait Cylinder (AC-300SP) made of rigid PVC tubing. The Seal Proof Bait Cylinder comes rigged with stainless steel cables and clips which help you secure it to hoop net rings and traps. Small holes in the tubing allow crabs and lobster to munch on your bait without swimming away with it. Baiting these bait cylinders is very easy with a removable cap and quick release clips. When sea lions are a lesser nuisance, the Wire Bait Cylinders work well too. The difference from the PVC cylinder is the wire mesh which holds your bait in place while allowing enough chum and scent to be carried by the current; hopefully attracting more tasty critters. The wire cylinders is available in two sizes, a 6” model (AC-366) and the 9” model (AC-369). Both the Seal Proof and Wire Cylinders are easy to flush and clean.
Promar offers other accessories to help you secure your bait and use with bait cages and bait cylinders. Bait Cage Snaps (AC-350) are an excellent way to snap your bait container to your trap or hoop net. Additionally, Bait Suspenders (AC-300X) provide a very effective way to center the bait container directly in the bull’s eye of the hoop net. The suspenders are a great solution when strong currents or winds shift bait containers off center. When this happens, lobsters and crabs are able to enjoy their meal without entering the middle of the net where they can be captured.
We hope this information about baits and bait containers will help you be more successful when using your traps and hoop nets. Always be prepared, especially when going out at night, and remember that safety always comes first.
See you in the water.