Lobster time again – 2011 Florida Mini-Season

Wednesday and Thursday of last week was the Florida Mini-Lobster season. This two day special season gives the general public a chance to snorkel and dive to harvest Spiny Lobsters for two day before the commercial lobster fishermen put out their traps. Each person is allowed keep 6 lobster on each of the days.

This year the weather was not “friendly”. Winds were 15 + knots and the seas, even in the back country were pretty sporty resulting in rough water and poor visibility. Don, Dave and I went anyway, anchoring up in 20 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Don was not diving and came along as our lookout, remaining on the boat. Dave and I suited up and went over the side.

We had flat, grassy bottom with small patches of ledge and under that ledge were lobsters! I had a new trigger operated snare and it took a few fumbled attempts to figure out how to use it. This gave 3 or 4 lucky lobsters the chance to make me look dumb. After that I grabbed some for the catch bag. Dave did his own gathering and pretty soon we were low on air and it was tome to head back to the boat.

We went back out on Thursday but the weather, seas, visibility and current were even worse than the previous day. We tried a more sheltered spot but the bottom didn’t have much ledge or rocks and the current made it a struggle to stay close to the boat. So, after some half-hearted attempts we called it quits. Lobsters won this day.

We’ll see them again on August 6 when the regular lobster season opens down here.

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