When is Lobster Season in Florida?

Florida’s spiny lobster, also known as the Caribbean spiny lobster, is a sought-after delicacy with its succulent meat and distinctive flavor. Diving enthusiasts and seafood lovers eagerly await the arrival of lobster season to embark on exciting adventures and indulge in a feast of fresh lobster dishes.

Understanding the Florida Lobster Season

The Florida lobster season is carefully regulated to ensure the sustainability and conservation of this valuable marine resource. Lobster harvesting is restricted to specific periods, allowing the population to replenish and grow. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can enjoy the thrill of lobster hunting while protecting the delicate balance of Florida’s marine ecosystem.

The Mini-Season Excitement

Before the official start of the regular lobster season, Florida hosts a two-day mini-season. This mini-season, also known as the “sport season,” provides a thrilling opportunity for recreational divers to catch lobsters before the commercial season begins. It usually takes place on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July.

Regular Lobster Season: Dates and Regulations

The regular Florida lobster season typically starts on August 6th and extends until March 31st of the following year. This eight-month period allows for ample time to plan lobster hunting adventures and relish the joys of fresh lobster meals. However, it’s important to note that specific regulations, such as bag limits and size restrictions, must be strictly followed to ensure the sustainability of the lobster population.

Navigating the Lobster Hunting Experience

Lobster hunting in Florida requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and preparation. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the geography, dive sites, and regulations of the area you intend to explore. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced lobster hunter, careful planning and attention to detail will greatly enhance your chances of a successful catch.

Preparing for a Successful Lobster Hunt

Prior to embarking on a lobster hunting expedition, several preparations need to be made. These include obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, checking weather conditions, and ensuring you have the appropriate equipment. Additionally, conducting research on lobster habitats, behavior, and feeding patterns can significantly increase your chances of locating these elusive creatures.

Equipment and Tools for Lobster Hunting

To maximize your lobster hunting experience, it’s crucial to have the right equipment and tools. Some essentials include a dive mask, snorkel, fins, a lobster gauge or measuring device, tickle sticks or lobster snares, a catch bag or net, and a dive flag for safety purposes. Investing in high-quality gear will not only enhance your performance but also contribute to your overall safety and comfort during underwater excursions.

Techniques for Catching Spiny Lobsters

Catching spiny lobsters requires a combination of stealth, patience, and dexterity. Popular techniques include “bugging” (searching for lobsters by diving and looking under ledges and coral formations) and using tickle sticks or lobster snares to coax the lobsters out of their hiding places. It’s important to handle lobsters with care and adhere to the regulations regarding minimum size requirements.

Safety Guidelines While Lobster Hunting

Lobster hunting involves venturing into the depths of the ocean, making it crucial to prioritize safety. Always dive with a buddy, maintain proper buoyancy control, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s essential to stay within your limits, practice responsible diving, and avoid taking unnecessary risks. By following these safety guidelines, you can ensure a memorable and incident-free lobster hunting experience.

Delicious Recipes for Cooking Florida Spiny Lobster

After a successful lobster hunt, the culinary adventure continues with a range of delectable recipes to explore. From classic lobster tails and buttery lobster rolls to flavorful lobster bisques and creative lobster pasta dishes, the options are endless. Experimenting with various cooking techniques and flavors will showcase the true essence of Florida’s spiny lobster and leave you craving more.

Conservation and Sustainability Efforts

Preserving the health of Florida’s marine ecosystem and the sustainability of the spiny lobster population is of paramount importance. Conservation initiatives, such as marine protected areas and responsible fishing practices, play a crucial role in maintaining a thriving lobster population for future generations to enjoy. It is vital to respect the regulations, practice ethical fishing, and support organizations dedicated to marine conservation.


Florida’s lobster season offers an incredible opportunity to engage in an exhilarating underwater adventure and savor the delightful flavors of the spiny lobster. By understanding the regulations, preparing meticulously, and embracing sustainable practices, you can ensure an unforgettable lobster hunting experience while contributing to the preservation of this precious marine resource.


1. Can I hunt lobsters outside of the designated lobster season in Florida? No, it is illegal to hunt lobsters outside of the designated season. It is essential to adhere to the regulations to protect the lobster population and maintain the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem.

2. Are there any size restrictions for catching lobsters in Florida? Yes, there are size restrictions for lobsters in Florida. The carapace (body) must measure larger than 3 inches, measured from the most forward point between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue.

3. What is the bag limit for lobsters during the regular season? The bag limit for lobsters during the regular season in Florida is six lobsters per person per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park. In the rest of Florida, the bag limit is 12 lobsters per person per day.

4. Can I use scuba gear for lobster hunting in Florida? Yes, you can use scuba gear for lobster hunting in Florida, but only during the regular season. During the mini-season, diving with scuba gear is not allowed.

5. How can I contribute to lobster conservation efforts in Florida? You can contribute to lobster conservation efforts in Florida by following the regulations, practicing ethical fishing, and supporting organizations dedicated to marine conservation. Additionally, you can participate in beach cleanups and educational programs focused on marine sustainability.

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