Lobster-lovers rejoice, it's Mini-Season!
Its that time of the year again, Mini-Season! This year the mini-season begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 25th and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday, July 26th. This is the first opportunity to catch lobsters since the regular season came to a close on April 1. The regular 8 month lobster season is always August 6 through March 31. Local lobsters should be plentiful and less wary than usual during mini-season. During these two days, drivers can keep 12 lobsters per day, which is double the limit during the regular season. The mini-season limit in Biscayne National Park and the Keys is six per person per day
. With everyone gearing up for the season, Boatsetter
wants to help lobster-loving divers get out on the water and stay safe. Here are some ways to ensure you are prepped and ready to dive into this mini-season!
Have your dive gear checked
Many divers only dive during miniseason, which could mean that their skills dive equipment could be rusty. Whether a novice or a regular diver, don't cut your season short- have a local dive shop check out your gear before jumping in. Don't wait until the last minute to have regulators, buoyancy compensators, masks, and air tanks inspected and filled, because dive shops won’t have time to do it. Why have your dive gear inspected at all? Something as simple as a broken fin strap can keep you from catching lobsters. That’s why it’s also a smart idea to dive before miniseason. Not only can you scout for lobsters, you can get reacquainted with being underwater and make sure all of your gear is working properly.
Know the rules and regulations
If you plan to harvest spiny lobsters, you must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit. Here are some other basics to know as well:
- Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.
- Minimum carapace size limit is 3”, measured in the water.
- Spiny lobsters must be landed in the whole condition.
- Spiny lobster limits on water: 12 per person per day.
- Spiny lobster limits on land: 12 per person on day one and 24 per person on day two (Six bag limit per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park).
- Spiny lobster harvesting is prohibited at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park only during the sports season.
- Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County only during the sports season.
- All lobster hunting is prohibited at Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and the no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
More information about Florida regulations for spiny lobster harvesting can be found here
Have a plan
Make sure your boat is fully prepped and ready to go before the big day. Checking in on tide levels and keeping up to date with the weather forecast can save you from diving during harsh conditions. Be sure to have in mind a few spots where you would like to dive just in case lobsters that were deep have moved to shallower reefs and vice-versa. It is also important to be mindful of your dives, as lost traps and rope remains are a risk to boaters and a danger to the ocean's animals. Safety is of the utmost importance while participating in any water activity, but having fun is also important. Follow these rules, be prepared, respect the ocean, and you're guaranteed to have a successful mini-season.
Need a boat for your dive? Check out the outstanding fleet Boatsetter
has to offer.
Happy hunting and eating during the upcoming Lobster Mini-Season!