Florida lobster season is right around the corner. But with all of that competition out there, fishermen need to be ready, prepared and determined to catch their fair share of crawling crustaceans.
Fishing is an art, as is lobstering. It takes a very specific skill set, a drive to win and the patience to push through the challenges that will inevitably come your way.
Whether you’re new to the Florida lobstering scene or you’ve taken part for years, there is always something new to learn and we’ve got the tips to help you make this season the best one yet!
When Is Florida Lobster Season?
The 2019 and 2020 Florida lobster season runs from August to March.
This should give you plenty of time to get your things in order, find the right supplies and start finessing those lobster fishing skills.
While this eight-month season is extensive, there are some mini-seasons interspersed throughout for optimal results.
In 2019, this mini-season runs on July 24 and June 25.
That’s right around the corner! So let’s go over some surefire ways to secure your next lobster.
What You’ll Need for Florida Lobster Season
Here are some lobstering essentials to get you started.
- Lobster Gauge
- Mesh Game Bag
- Dive Light
- Dive Flag
- Lobster Net
- Tickle Stick
Each of these supplies is essential for finding the lobsters that are both legal and worth the ride. From more obvious ones like gloves, lights or to some you might never have used before, a Florida lobster hunt is nothing without these essentials.
How to Catch a Florida Lobster
Here are the basics for finding and catching a Florida lobster.
Step One: Find the Lobster
Step Two: Catch the Lobster
Step Three: Measure the Lobster
Step Four: Bag the Lobster
Step Five: Transport the Lobster
Things to Know
The steps above outline the basics for catching a lobster for first-timers. And the supplies listed also give divers a glimpse into what they can expect to carry on their journey. But below are a few helpful tips to ensure you catch a lobster on your next dive.
The Florida coast is bursting with lobsters during the right season. But there are a few places to go that offer more opportunities. The best place to find these lobsters, however, is the Florida Keys as the population is denser and there’s a better chance of securing a catch.
It’s also important to note that finding these lobsters isn’t easy. Staying hidden is one of their best traits, so you will really have to give it your all in order to make a catch. Once you do get sights on one, be careful. They might be slow, but when scared, can move quickly and cause quite a disturbance in the sand that can send them flying from view.
When making your catch, it’s also important to stay vigilant and on your toes. Lobsters are pros at getting themselves out of sticky situations. This even includes getting themselves out of human nets.
When going in for the grab, make sure to think like a lobster and keep in mind that lobsters will retreat backward in order to escape, meaning the best way to attack a lobster is from behind. Similarly, once a lobster is within the net, close it immediately to ensure the lobster doesn’t pull any more tricks.
Another important thing to note is that Florida lobsters are regulated. They are a protected species and therefore must be a specific size in order to be taken. Lobsters must be measured underwater and can’t have a carapace of less than 3 inches. In addition to that, divers can’t bag a female bearing eggs.
Make sure you measure your lobster before you bag it. Make sure you have the right license to be fishing at all. Lastly, depending on where you’re fishing, divers can only bring up 6 to 12 lobsters a day.
Once you have finally caught your lobster, you have to keep it alive. That means containing and carrying this lobster in a humane way, providing it with the essentials it needs to survive. Make sure it has a few inches of salt water to wade in while waiting on a good recipe!
From here, it’s all up to you! But if you want to kill your lobster in a humane way, the best suggestion is to turn it on its back and slice from head to tail. This eliminates the slow, painful death that comes from boiling.
And that’s really it!
Having Fun During Florida Lobster Season
Of course, at the end of the day, it’s the experience that matters. You’re probably not in the game to make money, but to understand the hard work that goes into catching these creatures – and the rewards are so sweet.
On the one hand, you have that pride and satisfaction. On the other, you have a lobster that you can serve up any way that you’d like.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to share this experience with your family to ensure that it’s one that lasts, continuing well into the future.
It’s always fun and exciting to try new things. Living in a state like Florida provides so many opportunities like this around every corner. Celebrate it.
Now that you’ve caught one, why don’t you reward yourself with a T-shirt!