Lobster Mini-Season Begins In Florida

If you love lobster, and you love Florida...you are probably excited about the 48 hour Lobster Mini-Season that just began today in the sunshine state. I'm more into eating than catching, but it looks like a lot of families are getting in on the act. Having vacationed in Maine most of my life, the tropical lobsters are a bit different, but still tasty! Here's everything you need to know:

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —Florida's annual 48-hour lobster mini season is now underway; it started at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Preparations for it though started weeks before with businesses likeForce-E Scuba Centerin Riviera Beach saying they’ve been busy from open to close with people stocking up on gear. John Vighetto is just one of many divers who will soon be on the hunt for dinner. He says it’s a tradition he and his friends look forward to every year along with the friendly competition that comes with it. “We get psyched about it probably a week before,” he said. “Start texting the group text saying, ‘Hey are you ready this year? Things like, last year you didn’t catch any we had to catch them for you.” Jeff Nelson, employee and certified instructor at Force-E while the excitement is great, it’s also crucial to remind customers of the rules underwater. That means making sure you have a lobster gauge on you at all times to make sure the lobster’s head section measures at least 3 inches; it’s the area from between the horns over the eyeballs to the where the head joins the tail. Lobster must be measured in water.

There’s also a 12 lobster per person per day rule and divers must have a saltwater fishing license plus a harvest stamp. Nelson says it’s also important to check for eggs; if you see a cluster on the belly area you must put it back.

Divers like Vighetto says he’s hoping the next 48 hours are as successful as some previous mini seasons. “We dropped down about 40 feet and there was like a lobster hotel on the reef and we maxed out basically in 20 minutes,” he said.

Lobster mini season goes until 11:59 Thursday night.

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