It is that time of year again… Divers dust off the old gear (which they have hopefully tested) and race out to the waters surrounding the Florida Keys (and into the mainland) to catch Florida spiny lobsters. Why is it a mini season? Well, these two days are for recreational divers to grab some crustaceans before the commercial lobster season begins on August 6.
There are a few things you should know before heading out to catch your dinner:
- The legal limit is 6 lobsters per person per day in Monroe County. Off the mainland it is 12 per person per day.
- Lobsters need to be at least 3 inches long (on the main body part – I’m sure it has a name, but I have no idea what that is) for you to keep it.
- Everyone needs to have a fishing license with a special lobster permit. I wouldn’t mess with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation people on that one.
- You cannot legally dive in Monroe County at night. You can, however, use bully netting. What is bully netting? I asked a friend about it just this morning. He said, “You get some bright lights and shine them into the water. You see the lobster and jam the net down. The lobster strolls right into the net. Easy.” I’m not sure it is quite that easy, but I am no expert on the matter. You won’t find me diving or bully netting.
There are always accidents this time of year. Sometimes they are people that haven’t been diving in a while or haven’t checked their equipment. Please be careful out there.