Fishermen hit the water for lobster mini-season

NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - When the clock struck midnight, Wednesday, the dive was on for some fresh Florida lobster.

Lobster mini-season is underway and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to make sure that all participants know the rules for hunting lobsters.

Beginning with lobster size, FWC officials said the lobster’s carapace must be larger than 3 inches. The measurement must also be made in the water.

Undersized lobsters and egg-bearing lobsters are prohibited.

Officials have also instituted a bag limit: six per person, per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park and 12 per person, per day for the rest of the state.

“We’re trying to get our 12 per person,” said one boater. “It’s gonna be about five of us on the boat and looking forward to a good night.”

The bag limit is the reason some people come to Miami-Dade instead of the Florida Keys. “It was good down here, and you get 12. It’s pretty easy,” said another boater. “It’s shallower water. It’s a lot better than running to the keys and only getting six.”

“There is no diving for lobsters at night in Monroe County,” said FWC Major Alfredo Escanio. “There is diving for lobsters at night in Miami-Dade County, so we ask the public, whoever’s gonna embark on that activity, be very careful.”

Ahead of lobster mini-season, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue as well as the U.S. Coast Guard is urging all boaters to be extra cautious.

“There are going to be people in the water, there are going to be flags — may or may not be lit — so they’re gonna be harder to see, so we ask that people would just be mindful of that and exercise extreme caution with regards to a safe speed at nighttime,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Ray Herberling.

Lobster mini-season runs until Thursday at midnight. The regular season begins Aug. 6 and runs until March 31.

To participate, you need a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit.

For more information on the mini season, click here.

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