July 26, 12:01 a.m. marked the start of Florida’s lobster mini-season. It’s a two-day, heavily anticipated event and the only time of the year when recreational spiny lobster fishing is allowed in Florida waters.
The sport season will last until Thursday, July 27 at 11:59 p.m. Boaters and fishermen flocked to the docks early Wednesday morning at Crandon Marina in Miami.
Professional fisherman Weston Reeder explains, “The point of the two-day season is so that recreational people have a chance to catch lobster, so when the regular season starts and the commercial fishing goes on… they give the guys who can only catch six or 12 per day a chance to get a few.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) regulations are highly enforced during these two days. Here are a few:
-Divers must have a spiny lobster permit.
-Daily Limit: six lobsters per person in Monroe County, 12 per person for the rest of Florida.
-Lobster’s carapace must measure at least three inches.
-Night Diving is prohibited in Monroe County.
To see all of the regulations for the season, click here.
Local law enforcement and FWC agents are stationed at marinas across South Florida, including the Keys, to ensure the regulations are abided by. Caplin News spoke with a Miami-Dade Police Officer who shared that on Tuesday, two people were arrested on the water for getting a head start at lobster catching before the official start of the season at midnight.
Grab those tickle sticks and nets, follow the rules and hit the water as the spiny lobster mini-season is a short one.