Florida Lobster Season: Everything You Need to Know

It's that time of year again! Florida lobster season is upon us, and we could not be more excited. For those who are unfamiliar, Florida lobster season is a nine-day period in which commercial fishermen are allowed to harvest spiny lobsters off the coast of Florida.

florida lobster season

When is the lobster season in Florida?

The lobster season typically runs from early spring through late fall in the United States. However, in Florida, the regular lobster season is a bit different. The season officially begins on August 6th and runs through March 31st.

However, lobster harvesting is not allowed during the last two weeks of the season. This closure is designed to protect the lobster population during their spawns.

As a result, Florida lobster season provides plenty of opportunities for seafood lovers to enjoy this delicious treat. Just be sure to check the calendar before heading out to harvest your lobster dinner.

Where can you catch lobster in Florida?

Lobsters can be found in all of Florida's coastal waters. However, the majority of lobsters are caught in the Florida Keys. This is because the Florida Keys provide ideal lobster habitat. The warm, shallow waters make it easy for lobsters to find food and shelter.

What type of lobster can you catch in Florida?

Two types of lobster can be found in Florida waters: the American lobster and the Caribbean spiny lobster. American lobsters are typically larger, with adults weighing around four pounds. They are also considered more valuable, selling for around $8 per pound.

Caribbean spiny lobsters are smaller, with adults only reaching two pounds. They are less valuable than American lobsters, selling for around $4 per pound. However, they are still a delicious seafood treat popular among lobster lovers.

when is lobster season in florida

What is the purpose of the mini lobster season?

In addition to the regular Florida lobster season, there is also a mini lobster season. This two-day season occurs during the last week of July. The mini-season is immensely popular among Floridians and provides a great opportunity to enjoy some delicious seafood before the regular season begins. It allows recreational fishermen to harvest lobsters for personal consumption.

What equipment do you need to catch a lobster?

If you're looking to catch yourself a lobster, there are a few things you'll need. First, you'll need a lobster trap. These come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to lure the lobster into a space where it can be easily captured.

Lobsters are scavengers, so they're attracted to rotting or decaying food. Once you've got your trap, you'll need to bait it with something that will attract the lobster's attention. Common baits include fish heads, seaweed, and other seafood scraps.

When your trap is baited and set, lower it into the water until a lobster takes the bait. With some patience and luck, you'll be reeling in your own lobster dinner in no time.

florida lobster

Can you catch lobster at night in Florida?

Yes, you can catch lobster at night in Florida. Many lobsters are caught at night. This is because lobsters are nocturnal creatures and are more active after the sun goes down.

Do I need a license to catch lobster in Florida?

Yes, a recreational fishing license is required to harvest lobsters in Florida. Licenses can be purchased online or from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offices.

Florida lobster season fishing regulations

To ensure the sustainability of Florida's lobster population, a few regulations must be followed during the season. The Florida saltwater fishing regulations 2023 include:

Minimum size limits

Lobsters must be a minimum of 3 inches (7.6 cm) in carapace length to be harvested.

Bag limits

The bag limit for Florida is six lobsters per person per day.

Closed season

Lobster harvesting is not allowed during the last two weeks of the season.

These regulations are designed to protect the lobster population and ensure that there are enough lobsters for everyone to enjoy.

lobster season florida keys

Best practices for safety & success 

You can do a few things to ensure a safe and successful lobster season.

  • First, be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out. This will help you avoid bad weather conditions that could put you at risk.
  • Follow all of the Florida lobster season regulations. These regulations are in place to protect the lobster population and ensure a sustainable fishery.
  • Finally, use proper safety equipment when setting and retrieving your traps. This includes gloves, a knife, and a life jacket. Following these simple tips will ensure a safe and successful Florida lobster season.

Now you're ready to cook your lobster!

There are a few different ways to cook lobster. One popular method is to boil the lobster in water. This will result in a tender and juicy lobster perfect for dipping in butter.

Another option is to grill the lobster. This gives the lobster a slightly smoky flavor that is delicious when paired with a lemon garlic butter sauce.

Florida lobster season is a great time to enjoy delicious seafood with family and friends. So get out there and enjoy the season! No matter how you choose to cook your lobster, be sure to enjoy it while, the season is still here.

If you prefer to spend your time at a more leisurely pace then check out our guide of things to do in St. Pete Beach!