Shore fishing/lobstering on STX?
Good day everyone! My wife is considering taking a 3 month travel nurse stint next January. I love to fish - but I've only ever fished in freshwater. I would like any helpful tips or ideas that would help me figure out how I'm going to fish while we're there. I've read up on all the "rules and regulations" - so I think I'm good there. I have questions such as:
Is shore fishing really feasible? If so, what should I expect to catch?
Should I bring my own tackle? If not, is tackle affordable there?
Can I really swim out and pick up lobsters and conch?
Should I purchase my own snorkel gear now?
Any info would be greatly appreciated!
I know nothing about fishing other than I do know that there are seasons on conch & you better not be caught going after them if it's not the right time.
I understand the seasons, limits, and rules. I want to know if you can just swim out and grab them?
Sure, just make sure you follow the rules, we went conkin last week and the lip of the shell has to have an outward curl.
A good friend of mine was out near STX fishing and found himself surrounded by pilot whales so he jumped in with his snorkel gear and swam and videoed them, I'll try and attach the link where he posted it on Utube!
I can hardly type that with a straight face!
Yes, you can walk in on STX and catch lobster. You cannot, however, pry the locations from me!
Talonz82 - that's a great video - thanks for sharing!!!!
that is the most awesome thing you could ever do and you can do it in your own back yard I cant hardly wait to start my adventure hey thanks for sharing
Juanita, I've heard of "locals" like you, lol! I have almost a year to make friends, though!
P.S. If you met my wife and I, I'm sure you'd be more than willing to let us in on a few 'secrets'! ;P
Talonz, thanks for the info on the outward lip. THAT is not in the "rules and regulations" info that I've read!
Also, my wife and I watched that video in utter and complete amazement. Thank you SO much for posting that!
Hoping that someone starts another thread about whales
That was really cool, do you know where they filmed that???
Great video! How far off shore were you?
Good day everyone! Can anybody fill me in on any of the other original questions that I had?
STX has two KMARTS, the larger one sells Tackle. There is alot of grass and rocks you have to contend with when you fish from shore. You might get lucky and catch a snapper or yellow fin tuna. The rest of the fish are too small to even name them. There are bait and tackle shops on the Island, when their open is anybodies guess. If you can afford your own (snorkel gear) bring it! Make sure it is a good fit (the mask). I buy frozen squid for bait, it works pretty well. You might find a place to pick up conch from shore when in season, you need a boat for lobster, for lobster you have to go down at least 12'.
Thanks, Lizard, for the info!
That's a real bummer about the lobster, lol! Are there locals that take "customers" out on small craft? I'm not talking about charters. I'm not interested in forking out $1000, lol!
I will give you all the help that I was given. You need gloves,dive gloves are OK. Leather garden gloves with a zip tie are the best. It is not that its not safe to grab them by hand. You will have more confidence reaching in a hole where you could find a green moray. They are what normally eat lobster. For free diving you can use a snare. You can buy one that is like a lasso, or you can use a small wool mop. I no it sounds funny but it sicks to them. You can pull them out where you cant see one, then the glove. You will need a float that you can anchor to the reef for rest and a bag for the lobster. You need to hang on the float and check for eggs. If you swim to shore with one,with eggs you cant say you where going to put it back. Crime is done and you get big ticket. The hard part is finding them. I will tell you I suck, I need to go more. Last time I was there in September I did not even try. I have caught five but two in same day twice and many times zero.
Here is the skinny on the Lobster. The Locals sell their catch at the dock or on the street (their turf), or to restaurants. They farm certain areas they consider theirs and keep their farms a secret. This is how they make their living, If by chance you enter by accident into their farm area you will meet a very unhappy person to say the least. You might be able to buddy up with some, but its a long drawn out process especially with the older ones. The younger lobster guys are a little easier (not much). If you do as aschultz does you are not considered a threat. I think the lobster know when aschultz's in the water with all his equipment.LOL
Sounds like fun, guys! Hopefully, I'll run into someone on the island that can teach me the ropes a bit. The info you guys gave provided is greatly appreciated!
P.S. How do you know when you've accidentally stumbled into a secret "farm"? I mean, I just kinda' want to float around and maybe pick up a lobster or two.
You get to know the areas, you can see some of them diving from shore.
That might be why my wife is always laughing and taking pictures. Lobster is not my thing, spear fishing is. Grouper are the target, some times I stick mop in a few holes that look Worth trying. The commercial lobster is where I heard more about intimidation stuff going on. Give people and there markers space. If someone is mad at you leave,but it is probably because they think you are watching them to see how they do it. Not for secret spot. Alexandra said where she goes they just walk in the sand by the dozens. I am going north east next time. If I find her spot, wont touch them. Then the fear will set in and retreat would by my best bet. The commercial guys cant use traps but they can use scuba. Not sure but I think they have to stay off the barrier reef. So it is not a problem with them.If you get really good you might piss some people off. Kind of like saying I don't want to lift wights because I might get to big. Sorry for such a long and poorly written novel. I like talking about it and don't have many ears that care here. My new thing is get pulled by a boat with snorkel gear and spear gun. Then dive when you see a big grouper. I watched a video, I didn't invent it. You cover the reef like its nothing. That's why my lobstering has not taken off,cant do both.
I know diddly about lobster/conch fishing, but this caught my eye re. this topic.
That is a link to an article in the St Croix Source about lobster fishing.
We were talking about free diving, in depths of 12' not 80" to 120'. Interesting article.
That is very scary, I hope they get paid well.
I don't think they do, in fact I think most work for themselves.
You won't find a lot in 12' of water.
terry - actually we find the most lobsters in 5-15 feet of water. They like shallow rock piles or at night they explore the seagrass beds just out of the reef.
So its night time when they are out in the sand and grass.