Florida Spiny Lobster Season – What You Need to Know


The Florida spiny lobster season is a time of year that is eagerly anticipated. Fishermen and divers from all over the state, and even across the country come down to the Florida Keys area to load up on delicious lobsters.

Florida Spiny Lobster Season and Dive Gear

While it can be a lot of fun, there are important things you need to know.

Florida Spiny Lobster Season Specifics

What You Need to Know (a brief overview)

Season Dates:

The 2-day recreational sport season is July 26 and 27th, 2017.

The regular commercial and recreational lobster season begins August 6th and runs through March 31, 2018.

Minimum Lobster Size Limit

The lobster carapace must be larger than 3 inches, measured in the water.

Measuring a live Florida spiny lobster underwater

The lobsters must be landed whole. You are not allowed to separate the tail section from the body.

Harvesters must have and use a measuring device at all times.

Bag Limits

August 6th – March 31st: 6 per person per day

License Needed to Harvest Florida Spiny Lobster

Unless you are exempt, you will need a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit.

Prohibited Harvest Areas

Harvesting lobsters in Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the FL Keys National Marine Sanctuary and certain areas of John Pennekamp Coral State Park are always prohibited and off limits.

Also, there other limitations per the MyFWC rules.

Video: Florida Keys Lobster Catching Guide

The shows you how to catch lobster while snorkeling or scuba diving. It is pretty specific and films the person actually catching spiny lobsters in the Florida Keys. The underwater footage shows tips and techniques for bagging these delicious saltwater bugs. Watch and learn how to spot, tickle, net and clean the lobsters ready to cook.

You can tell that they had a lot of fun, while loading up on delicious tasty spiny lobsters.

Lobster Catching Gear Needed

Here is a listing of some of the items you will need for a successful and belly-filling trip.

  • Dive Mask
  • Swim Fins
  • Snorkel
  • Tickle Stick
  • Net
  • Lobster Measuring Device
  • Shop for your gear here.

Aluminum Measuring Device

Do not let yourself keep undersized lobsters. You need this or one like it.

Get your measuring device.

Always measure your lobsters in the water.

Video: How to Catch Lobster in the Florida Keys While Snorkeling

The narrator shows you how to catch lobster with a tickle stick and a net. You can successfully use these techniques while snorkeling and do not have to use scuba gear. He says that there are tons of lobster to catch in 3 to 10 feet of water. That is perfect for just about anyone who is snorkeling.

Good luck and make sure to follow all of the MyFWC rules and regulations.