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From the Boathouse: New West Marine a coastal landmark

October 02, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Attention all boaters: Have you heard about the grand opening this weekend for the largest West Marine store on the West Coast? This gigantic flagship emporium encompasses more than 27,000 square feet, with 18,000 products in the showroom. West Marine built the store with boaters in mind, using the responses from a survey of Orange County boaters.

The store is built so shoppers can see and touch various products, including more than 100 marine electronic products, a new "Bait Shack" with fishing gear, and small boats from kayaks to inflatables. In addition, experts will be at the store this weekend to answer questions and host seminars for the recreational boater, fisherman and water enthusiast.

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Raymarine will have a mobile showroom onsite, where you can learn about the latest and greatest marine electronics. The new store is located at 3433 Via Lido, Newport Beach, and you can see the schedule at westmarine.com/newportbeach.

On another topic, the recreational California spiny lobster season opened Sept. 28 for divers and hoop netters to search the sea floor for these mouth-watering treats. If you are going lobster hunting, then remember to closely follow the regulations for catching them and have with you a current fishing license, the lobster report card and a lobster gauge.

You can only catch the bugs (slang for lobsters) by hand or with a hoop net. The bug must be at least 31/4 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.

Those fishermen who will be hoop netting can only use five baited hoop nets per person, and no more than 10 baited hoop nets off of any boat. If you are fishing from a public pier, then only two hoop nets may be used per person. The daily bag and possession is seven lobsters per person, and this means seven total, including what you might have at home in your freezer.

Be sure to read the most recent regulations for any changes or corrections on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's website. The site has a very helpful lobster information card that you can print out to carry with you and to show any newbies to the rules. Go to nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=36321&inline=true.

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