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April 17, 2014

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Swimmer nabs monster lobster off California coast

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Ken Steinhardt/The Orange County Register/AP

Joseph Ali, 27, of Huntington Beach, Calif., shows off an 18-pound California spiny lobster he caught with his hands while free diving, without tanks, near the pier Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Joseph Ali says onlookers thought he was drunk when he dove into the nighttime waters around a Southern California pier. But he came away with a monster of a lobster and the catch of a lifetime.

Ali tells the Orange County Register he was closing his father's business, Zack's Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, on Monday when he saw the ocean was calm and decided to dive for dinner.

He was down about 15 feet going after a smaller lobster when he saw the giant. He says it was too big to grab properly, but it latched onto him, and he wrestled it to shore.

The lobster weighed nearly 18 pounds — even a 5-pounder is considered trophy-sized — and was likely at least 30 years old.

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