When is lobster season in the Florida Keys?
The regular lobster season in the Florida Keys is always August 6 through March 31.
When is mini lobster season?
The two-day mini lobster season is always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. Make sure to verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife.
Get a license
You must have a valid license with a lobster stamp. These are widely available and even able to be purchased online.
The Tools You’ll Need
Lobster Gauge – Lobster must be measured underwater before being placed in your game bag.
Mesh Game Bag – Opens and shuts easily and offer a locking mechanism.
Dive Flag if beach diving
Short-Handled Lobster Net and/or Tail Snare
Tickle Stick – A thin fiberglass stick can go a long way in encouraging lobsters out of holes
How To Catch A Lobster
Lobster diving isn’t easy. First you have to find them and then you have to catch them, measure them, put them in your bag, and keep them in your bag. Any of these tasks offers the lobster an opportunity to escape. And chances are once they are gone. They’re gone for good!
To find them, look under rocks, and in cracks and crevices. The antennae will likely be the only thing poking out. Bring a light and check deep into crevices. They also can often be found in very close vicinity to eels.
When it comes time to catch them, you have to think like a lobster. Lobster retreat backwards to make an escape. Get your net or tail snare in behind them after coaxing them out with your tickle stick. Let them back into your trap. In an open area, a net might work great. In a smaller closed in area a tail snare and tickle stick combo will likely work best.
Once you catch it, make sure you keep it. Many, many lobster have been lost while they are being measured, checked for eggs and transferred to your bag. Make sure you have a bag that you can secure easily, connects to your gear, and remains locked throughout your dive. When handling lobster, be sure to grab them by the body as they will gladly sacrifice antennae or legs for a chance at freedom.
What is the minimum size limit?
A legal lobster has a carapace (shell that covers its body) length greater than or equal to three inches and weighs about one pound.
What is the daily bag limit?
You may keep six lobsters per person per day in Monroe County (the Florida Keys). The possession limit on the water is equal to the daily bag limit.
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