Lobster hooping is fishing for lobster with just that -- a hoop. Many states allow lobster fishing for part of the year with certain restrictions. In general, the lobster has to be a certain size and gender to be legal. It's a good idea to check with your locality to be sure of the regulations before you start. Bait is key to lobster hooping. The wrong bait in a lobster hoop has as much chance of catching a lobster as a skunk-scented cologne would have of catching a mate. Keep in mind that lobsters are carnivores, sometimes even cannibals, so the best bait is fish.
Mackerel is a popular choice for lobster bait because it tends to be easy to catch if you want to fish for your bait and cheap buy if you don't. Let it sit a day or two, put a couple slices in it and stick it in your hoop. The smell attracts lobsters, crabs and all sorts of other sea life forms.
Herring is another popular choice for bait but is overused. Cut it before putting it in the hoop for the best results. The bait won't stick around as long but it will attract more lobster.
Asian carp is an invasive fish that is clogging rivers and lakes, and you can use it as bait to help hold off the invasion. Using this fish as bait can help solve a problem while offering lobster a meal that they can't resist.
There are plenty of other bait options, such as fish heads, which can sometimes be a cheap, even free source of bait. Tuna, crab, mussels, salmon and clams are also food that a lobster will eat in the wild, but most of these are so expensive to buy or fish for that it isn't very cost effective to use them as bait. Lobster bait is a main component of a lobster's diet, so it's good to know that if you aren't catching them, at least you are feeding them.
- ESPN.com Outdoors; Hooping for Lobsters; Bill Becher; October 2004
- Get Bent Sportfishing; The Thrill of Hooping for Lobster; Frank Neilsen
- Gulf of Maine Research Institute: Lobster Research
- Grist; Asian Carp: Battle or Bait?; Erik Hoffner; February 2010
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northeast Fisheries Science Center: NEFSC Fish FAQ
- PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images