California's coastal waters are home to a multitude of invertebrates (species lacking a bony skeleton). The California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) takes a particularly special place within this group as a highly sought-after target of both California's recreational and commercial fisheries.

Recreational lobster season opens at 6:00 a.m. on the Saturday preceding the first Wednesday in October and closes at 12:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday (night) after the 15th of March. **The season no longer starts at midnight for safety reasons** For current regulations, please visit the Current California Ocean Recreational Fishing Regulations for Point Conception to the U.S. - Mexico Border

  • Recreational Bag Limit: Seven lobsters per person.
  • Minimum Legal Size Limit: Three and one-fourth inches, measured in a straight line on the midline of the back from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell (3 ¼ inch carapace). Please see lobster brochure on the right for diagram on How To measure your lobster.
  • Permit Requirements: CDFW Spiny Lobster Report Card and California recreational fishing license at CDFW Online License Sales and Service.
  • Skin and SCUBA Diver Gear Requirements: All skin and SCUBA divers must only use their hands.
  • Pier Fishing Gear Requirements: You may use up to two 2 hoop nets while fishing from public pier.
  • Vessel Fishing Gear Requirements: You may possess up to 5 hoop nets while fishing from a vessel, but the total number of hoop nets from a vessel cannot exceed 10, even if there are more than 2 people on the boat
  • Fishing Locations: See the CDFW Ocean Sport Fishing Interactive Web Map.
Recreational Lobster Fishing Information