Over the years I’ve seen some interesting equipment used for hunting and collecting seafood and so I thought I would share what has become essential items for me and why they work.
First up before you take anything know the rules and check the MPI site for size limits bag limits and know what species and gender if applicable you are looking at taking before you land yourself in trouble. A measurer with the fixed species sizes marked clearly on it and preferable attached to the catch bag or your BCD.
Download the MPI fishing APP so you always have the information at hand
So second on the list is a pair of decent Kevlar gloves. They need to be durable and prevent cuts and scrapes while handling your business. I prefer not to get too thick gloves so I still have durability so I got myself a pair of Bare 3mm Kevlar gloves.
Thicker gloves will offer more protection against the crushing force of the bigger crays and will keep your hands toasty but will hinder your dexterity if you need to untangle yourself or get access to a pocket with a zip.
You need something to put your catch in. You could take an onion sack on a rope. Just think of all the fun to be had catching the same cray over and over again because the bag doesn’t keep it in. The 2 catch bags I see around most are the spring open catch bags and the Pozi catch bags with the zip on the side. They each have their own advantages. I like the spring open bags for a few reasons; It has a solid metal frame which the handle operates as a lever to open the bag simply by squeezing it, The bags are brightly coloured and easily seen if you drop it, It will hold well over what you are allowed to take in a day and so carrying a bigger bag is an unnecessary hindrance. The handle also doubles as an attachment point for a few things like; a dsmb, compass, torch.
Cray Snare or Hook. Both of these if used correctly will allow you to be a little more selective with what you take and are essential if you have T-Rex arms like me. Over 75% of the crays I get have been with the noose or snare. They do however get annoying when moving through thick kelp and so have one person holding the noose and the other carries the bag.
No matter the time of day a torch is essential. You don’t need a 40000 lumen replica of the sun but you do need something that is going to allow you to peer into those deep dark crevices. Or if you are like me something that will manage a comfortable Night dive without feeling like you are trying to find your way with a birthday candle. On the torch topic read the damn instructions, practice adjusting it on land and turning it on and off on land before your night dive and ensure it has been completely charged. Light failure from flooding on a night dive can be fun for some and disastrous for others so take a backup if you’re night diving.
Torch Range (Click here)
Now boat traffic is a big issue for us so take a flag and stay close to it. If you can’t then that’s where the DSMB comes into play. Attached DSMB to bag, bag to line, send to surface. Wind line in to ascend slowly and hold safety stop. DSMB is visible on surface so boats know to steer clear or to pick you up if your boatman is nice enough to put his beer down for a second. Otherwise stay safe out there and happy hunting.
Written by: Thomas Marsters
PADI Master Instructor