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 ΒΌ 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