Mini Lobster Season 2023

11 Jul 2023    Catgeory1

Mini Lobster Season 2024 – What is it and Why do So Many Families Come To the Keys for it.


Mini Lobster Season is an eagerly anticipated event that takes place every July in the Florida Keys. It attracts numerous families who come to the Florida Keys in search of their share of the year's lobster harvest or “Lobster booty” like pirates say. 


The season is divided into two parts: the two-day mini lobster season and the eight-month regular lobster season. The mini lobster season occurs on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July, every year. This year's dates being July 26th and 27th. 


It is important for participants to confirm the specific dates and adhere to the regulations set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife. Following the mini lobster season, the regular lobster season extends from August 6th to March 31st, providing further opportunities for lobster enthusiasts to indulge in their favorite pastime. 


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Frequently Asked Questions about Mini Lobster Season and Lobster Season:


1. When is Mini Lobster Season in the Keys?

Mini Lobster Season in the Florida Keys takes place annually on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. In 2022, it will be held on July 27th and 28th.


2. Why is there a Mini Lobster Season in Florida?

The two-day mini lobster season was established in 1974 to give sports fishermen an opportunity to engage in lobster fishing before the commercial boats take over.


3. How many lobsters can you catch during Mini Lobster Season?

During Mini Lobster Season, there is a maximum limit of six lobsters per person, per day (within a 24-hour period).


4. Where can you catch lobster? In Key West?

Yes, you can catch lobsters in Key West. However, there are certain restricted zones that should be avoided. More information on these zones can be found below.


5. Are Florida lobsters good to eat?

Absolutely! Florida lobsters, also known as spiny lobsters or "sea crawfish," are delicious and highly regarded. They have a similar taste to crawfish and are versatile in various dishes. Key West offers excellent options for enjoying both Maine and spiny lobster delicacies.


6. What do Florida lobsters taste like?

Florida lobsters, predominantly the tail meat, have a slightly sweet taste and a firm texture. Their meat is fantastic in a wide range of dishes, including omelets and lobster rolls.


7. How do you cook a Florida lobster?

There are numerous ways to prepare Florida lobster, including grilling, baking, boiling, and steaming. There's no wrong way to cook them! For recipe ideas, you can explore Keys Treasures' collection of tried-and-true spiny lobster recipes.


The Facts of Florida Keys Lobster Season:


The upcoming mini lobster season is an exciting time for recreational divers and lobster enthusiasts. It spans two days and falls on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July each year. In 2022, the Florida Keys Mini Lobster Season will take place on July 27th and 28th. This exclusive period grants recreational divers the opportunity to explore open waters and catch rock lobsters without competition from commercial fishermen. 


The two-day frenzy of mini lobster season attracts a significant number of visitors from outside the area, all eager to participate in the excitement. To ensure that everyone can enjoy the lobster mini season, it is essential for all participants to adhere to the rules specific to Monroe County. These regulations are strictly enforced both on and off the water. In the spirit of fair play, here are some important rules to follow, along with answers to commonly asked questions. Remember to play fair and happy hunting!


To ensure everyone's enjoyment during the mini lobster season, it is crucial to adhere to the rules set for Monroe County. These regulations are strictly enforced both on and off the water. By playing fair and following the guidelines, all participants can make the most of this thrilling event.


As you plan for the mini lobster season, familiarize yourself with the rules and restrictions. It is important to note that the maximum limit for lobsters is six per person per day within a 24-hour period. While Key West offers excellent lobster-catching opportunities, there are certain areas where lobster fishing is prohibited. Be sure to respect these forbidden zones.


Florida lobsters, known as spiny lobsters or "sea crawfish," are highly regarded for their taste. The meat, primarily from the tail, has a medium sweetness and a firm texture. It can be enjoyed in various dishes, ranging from omelets to lobster rolls. Feel free to explore the Keys for the best local eateries serving delectable lobster creations using both Maine and spiny lobster.


Whether you prefer grilling, baking, boiling, or steaming, there is no wrong way to cook Florida lobster. Its versatility allows for culinary creativity. If you need inspiration, you can find tried-and-true spiny lobster recipes compiled by Keys Treasures.


Remember, to secure a special offer, book your mini lobster season experience through our website! Now, let's make the most of FL Keys Mini Lobster Season 2022.


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Now, let's delve into the dos and don'ts of FL Keys Mini Lobster Season 2022:


Here are some guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable mini lobster season:




1. Carry your recreational saltwater fishing license at all times, along with the required spiny lobster tag.

2. Have a measuring device with you at all times. Spiny lobsters must have a carapace (the upper shell from eyes to start of tail) larger than 3 inches. If you're unsure about how to measure it, refer to the regulations provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

3. Measure the lobster while it is still in the water.

4. Keep the lobster intact from the moment you catch it until you arrive on shore.

5. Adhere to the maximum limit of six lobsters per person per day.

6. Display a visible "divers-down" flag measuring 20" x 24" and stay within 300 feet of it when in open water.




1. Catch six spiny lobsters and then go out on the same day to catch six more.

2. Keep female lobsters with eggs under their tails. Female lobsters with eggs must be released.

3. Use traps, spears, or spear guns. It is prohibited to catch spiny lobsters with any device that could damage or puncture their shells.

4. Remove the lobster tail before docking. Lobsters must be caught and landed in one piece.

5. Harvest lobsters in restricted areas such as the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, Dry Tortugas National Park, or the no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Refer to the FWC list for other prohibited areas.

6. Dive at night, defined as one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.


For more detailed information about spiny lobster harvesting and associated regulations, please visit the FWC website.


2024 Lobster Season and Mini Season Dates:

What Days are Lobster mini season in Florida? And Florida Keys?


The 2024 mini lobster season like all lobster mini seasons is always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. Next year the mini season falls on July 24th and 25th. Make sure to always verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife It begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday.

The regular 8 month lobster season is always August 6 through March 31.


How Long is mini season Lobster?



It begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday July 24th and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday July 25th, 2023. Make sure to verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife. Understanding the Age of Lobsters:


How old is a Lobster?


The age of a lobster can be estimated based on its weight. Typically, a lobster's age is calculated by multiplying its weight by 4 and adding 3 years. However, it's important to note that this is just an approximation.


How old is a 4.5 lb. Lobster?


For example, a 4.5 lb. lobster would be approximately 21 years old (4.5 x 4 + 3). Keep in mind that lobsters need to reach around 7 years of age before they are legally harvestable, and at that stage, they would weigh approximately 1 pound. Additionally, lobsters can have a longer lifespan than many humans. A 25 lb. lobster could potentially be over 100 years old!


How old is a 3 lb. Lobster?


It takes lobsters an average of 5 to 7 years (depending on the water temperature) to grow to legal size, and they grow more slowly as they get larger. Therefore, a lobster that weighs 3 pounds is an estimated 15-20 years old, and a 25 pound lobster would be approximately 75-100 years old.


What are 1 lb. lobsters called?

Chix or Chicken Lobsters
A chicken lobster (also called “chix).


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How to Catch a Florida Lobster:


There are various techniques for catching Caribbean and Florida Spiny lobsters. Understanding their behavior is essential. Typically, Florida lobsters move forward slowly by walking, but when startled, they rapidly flex their tails, propelling themselves backward. Exploiting this natural reaction is key to catching them.


Imagine you've located a lobster under a rock or in a hole. To begin, use a tickle stick to slide it behind the lobster. Once the tickle stick is in position, gently tap the lobster's tail. This will cause it to move forward slowly. If it doesn't respond, you can apply a bit more pressure. Using the tickle stick in a sweeping motion may help coax it out of the hole. Once it's out, position your net behind it.


At this point, you have two options. The preferred approach is to trap the lobster between the ground and your net. However, this may not always be feasible. This is where leveraging the lobster's natural instincts becomes important. By tapping it on the forehead, you can trigger the lobster to quickly shoot back into your net. The key is to swiftly close the net, ensnaring the lobster. If you fail to close the net in time, the lobster may continue flipping its way out of the net, evading capture. It's normal to lose a few lobsters each year due to this challenge.


Remember, you should not remove a lobster from the water or place it in your bag until you have confirmed that it meets the legal size requirements. The provided video can offer a basic understanding of the technique.


It is advisable to book your regular season lobster charter in advance, as there are many experienced fishermen in the area who are skilled in the art of "tickling" spiny lobsters into small nets.


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Best Safety and Practices to follow for Mini Lobster Season:


1. Accurate Lobster Measurement:

Ensure that you measure each lobster correctly and do so while they are still in the water. The carapace (hard part of the shell) must measure greater than three inches to comply with regulations.


2. Proper Use of Dive Flag:

When diving, remember to raise the dive flag and lower it when underway. Divers must stay within 300 feet of their dive flag (or 100 feet if in a channel) to maintain safety.


3. Respect Lobster Limits:

Adhere to the limit of six lobsters per person, per day, throughout the entire day in Monroe County. Avoid making multiple trips to exceed the limit.


4. Avoid Interfering with Traps:

It is a serious offense to damage, molest, or take lobsters from traps in both state and federal waters. Recreational trapping is strictly prohibited.


5. Check and Maintain Boat Safety Gear:

Before heading out, thoroughly inspect and replenish all necessary boat safety equipment to ensure a safe and prepared outing.


6. Maintain Idle Speed Near Dive Flags:

When you come within 100 yards of a boat displaying a dive flag, reduce your speed to idle to prevent any potential accidents or disturbances.


7. Preserve Coral Reefs:

Respect the marine environment by avoiding any contact with coral. Refrain from touching coral, bumping corals with dive fins, standing on coral, or anchoring your boat on coral. Protecting coral reefs is essential for their preservation.


By following these best practices, you can ensure both your safety and the preservation of the marine ecosystem during your lobster hunting activities.


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