July 17, 2019

Contributed
Left, Corey and Marissa Krohn's business, Fin Hunter Gear, sells tickle snares that attempt to protect coral while catching lobster. Corey said he's proud of his product and its ability to snag 'bugs.'
Above, the tickle snare catches a lobster.

Contributed Left, Corey and Marissa Krohn's business, Fin Hunter Gear, sells tickle snares that attempt to protect coral while catching lobster. Corey said he's proud of his product and its ability to snag 'bugs.' Above, the tickle snare catches a lobster.

TAVERNIER — It upset Corey Krohn that people trying to bully net lobsters often destroyed surrounding coral.

“My wife worked on a dive boat and I would just see firsthand how bad people were tearing up the reef with their nets,” Krohn said.

Contributed
Fin Hunter Gear lobster tickle snares come in a three versions with different color options. They’re sold at most dive and bait shops throughout the Keys with a concentrated distribution in Tavernier and Islamorada.

To thwart further coral destruction, he created an extreme lobster tickle snare, complete with gauge, through Fin Hunter Gear, a business venture with his wife.

“We’ve been around for four years, but this is our first year back on the market since the hurricane,” he said.

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed the Krohn’s home in Tavernier, where he makes the lobster snares.

He puts together the lobster tickle snares after work in his shop and has distributed them throughout the Keys, mainly in Islamorada and Tavernier. It takes him about three hours from fit to finish, he said.

“Everything is handmade,” Krohn said. “The watermarked paint has a special polyurethane protectant, so it’s safe for everything.”

Krohn has customized three versions of his snares.

“V1 is the original design. V2 is made specifically for divers. It’s smaller so that it can be clipped on by harness. Now our V3 has a 45-degree angle from the handle to the snare,” he said.

Fin Hunter Gear has been product tested and approved by wildlife officials.

The snare head has a 300-pound break point and is aerospace titanium grade, Krohn said.

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The Fin Hunter Gear tickle snare snags lobsters from under coral without damaging it.

The gauge attached to the stick allows hunters to keep the lobster in the water while measuring the carapace to ensure its of legal size.

“Another key feature, it has a plastic grommet which keeps the titanium braid from kinking. Lobster swim 360 degrees, so it spins,” Krohn said. “This snare is so much better than what’s out there. The grommet is airtight, specially coated, and corrosion proof. This snare is a marine-grade product.”

In a live demonstration, Eddy Cabrera, who owns Angler Eddy’s Live Bait & Tackle and carries Fin Hunter Gear tickle snares, used one to hoist a liter water bottle that was rolling along the floor high into the air.

He said he sold two snares last week in anticipation of the upcoming lobster mini-season at the end of the month.

This month, Fin Hunter Gear is giving a portion of its blue and white lobster snares proceeds to charity, 4oceans.

The snares generally retail for about $40 and are available at several Upper Keys dive shops, ACE Hardware, Dixie Aluminum and most bait shops.

For more information on Fin Hunter Gear lobster snares, find them on Facebook under their name or visit finhuntergear.com.

tjava@keysnews.com