Reason number one million and one to love Palm Beach - mini lobster…season! Or is it Lobster “Mini Season”? We once again pondered this question a few weeks back at the sight of loads of small boats and dive flags bobbing along the shoreline. It brought a smile as we recalled years ago when a friend asked another friend how small the mini lobsters were (very sincerely), which provoked a rousing laugh around the table.
To the joy of all who crave these tasty treats affectionately nicknamed bugs, we actually have two Florida Lobster Seasons. The regular eight month season just began, running from August 8 through March 31 and then there’s the "mini season" which is always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July.
By the light of the moon and a flashlight, enthusiastic divers are sometimes in the water at 12:01 a.m. during mini season to get a jump on bagging their daily limit of 12 lobsters. With the reef right at our Palm Beach coastline, you may have luck with nothing more than a mask and snorkel. But don’t forget your tickle stick! New to the sport? Here’s a resource that might help.
Also don’t forget! In addition to the bag limit, there are some other important things to remember when hunting the spiny crustaceans:
- Use a tickle stick to loop around the tail. Then no damage is done to the legs or antennae because…
- …Undersized lobsters or a females with eggs cannot be harvested.
- Make sure you have your saltwater fishing license ($17 for residents and $47 for non-residents).
- Purchase your $5 spiny lobster permit needed for Mini Season.
- Watch the weather to avoid fast developing thunderstorms.
- Finally, stay safe!
If you missed the 2019 Mini Season, never fear! In 2020, it falls on July 29 and July 30. Now you can begin planning a few sick days (wink, wink) or your next visit to Palm Beach!
Lobster battalion at Coral Cove Park Tequesta Florida by Carli Segelson courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission