Florida Keys Lobster Fishing Report Aug. 24, 2012
Capt. Jason Long
August 24, 2012
Marathon - Saltwater Fishing Report
In Chinese astrology, 2012 is said to be the Year of the Dragon. In the Florida Keys, 2012 is shaping up to be the Year of the Spiny Lobster. Since the first fins hit the water to splash off lobster mini-season, bug hunters throughout the Keys have been tickling their ways to excellent catches of our favorite sweet treats of the sea. Calm days, good visibility, and an abundance of keeper-sized bugs have all led to exceptional opportunities to take home our bag limits.
So what's the trick to having a successful day of lobstering in the Florida Keys? It starts with being prepared. Make sure you know your regulations (see chart below), have the proper licenses, and check to ensure your equipment is up-to-date and working properly. The next step is persistence. Now that the commercial traps have been set, and many of our favorite honey holes have been plundered during mini-season and the first weeks of the recreational season, it can be difficult to find the keeper bugs. Plan to cover a lot of ground, and don't spend too much time investigating holes with undersized tails. Jump in, take a look, and if the lobsters look small don't hesitate to move on to the next spot.
One of my favorite places to lobster dive, or lobster "snorkel," is Florida Bay in depths of six to 10 feet. Florida Bay is loaded with lobster, and there are tons of holes out there yet to be discovered. Because of the shallow depths, even beginners can get their limits with only basic knowledge and basic gear. Just be aware that strong currents can make lobstering in the Bay difficult at times. The closer you get to the bridges, the stronger the current is likely to be. If you plan to dive around bridges or strong current areas try and plan your dives around slack tides.
A word of warning while I'm thinking about it: don't blindly stick your hands into holes trying to feel around for lobster. There are a variety of creatures that may be lurking in the darkness. Eels, lionfish, sea urchins, fire coral (and more), can all ruin your day in a hurry. Another quick word about safety—the most important tool you can bring with you on the boat is common sense. Always leave someone in the boat to keep an eye on your divers, and never get too close to another vessel that's flying a dive flag. It may sound obvious, but most lobster diving accidents could have been prevented if simple precautions would have been taken
2012 Florida Keys Lobster Regulations
Season: August 6, 2012-March 31, 2013
Bag Limit (Monroe County): six per person per day
Minimum Size Limit: Carapace larger than 3", measured in the water. Possession and use of measuring tool required at all times.
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