Best of 2001: Best Place To Catch Ocean Poachers

La Jolla Cove
Coast Boulevard, La Jolla

For scofflaws with a taste for shellfish, it's a pretty easy matter to stroke down ten or fifteen feet into the Cove's protected waters, wrangle one of the abundant bugs from under a rock shelf, and break off the tail right there. Since a normal lobster tail is about the size of a bar of surf wax, it's easy to hide -- in a pocket or a dive mask or a swim fin. Keep an eye out for swimmers emerging from the water whose baggies hang a little too low, or who grasp their masks a little too tightly, or who take off their fins before their feet find sand. And watch for gloves -- unless you have hands of leather, grabbing the powerful, thorny-backed critters requires them. Of course, this isn't wholesale poaching. It's just enough to supply dinner that night -- and run afoul of the law.

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