Lobster Season Safety Tips

Lobster Season Safety Tips

The 2018 two-day Spiny Lobster Sport Season opens at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25th and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 26th.  For the uninitiated, that’s two days of craziness as lobster hunters flood Florida waters in search of their bag limit of the delicious bugs—which for the record is twelve per day off the Jupiter coast!

Lobster Season Safety Tips

We get it, everyone loves lobster, and for forty-eight hours, it appears that the entire population of the Eastern Seaboard is partying on our waterways. Increased boat traffic, inexperienced hunters, and alcohol add to the crazy factor of mini-season. But there are steps you can take to increase your safety.

Before you dive:

  • Make sure your dive gear is in good shape and has been serviced. If you haven’t been diving since last mini-season, you need to pay particular attention to your equipment.
  • Familiarize yourself with the environment and type of diving. The waters off Jupiter can have a stiff current and all the dives are drift dives. If you decide to do a night dive, know that you are comfortable in the dark before lobstering.
  • Listen to the boat briefings. They are chock full of information regarding the conditions, the site, what to do in an emergency, and other guidance to make your dive safer and more enjoyable.

In the water:

  • Make sure you are either pulling a float or are with someone who is. All Jupiter Dive Charters have an in-water guide who pulls a float.
  • Carry—and know how to use—a surface marker buoy. Let’s face it. Even though there is an in-water guide, you (and your buddy) may splinter off from the group or need to ascend before the guide. Make certain boaters can see you!
  • Watch your gauges. In the thrill of the chase, it’s easy to go deeper and stay longer than you meant to.
  • Pay attention to your buddy. Hunting or not, the unexpected can still happen. Is your buddy close enough to help? Do you have a plan? How are you going to communicate?

Coming up:

  • Listen for boat traffic! Sound travels four times faster in water and that makes it impossible to guess a boat’s direction of travel. Ascend safely.
  • Getting back on the boat with your equipment and catch is trickier than when you are unencumbered. The boat briefing will cover how to stow your gear and what to do with your catch after you’re topside. Remember; don’t approach the boat before the Captain or a crew member signals that it’s safe.

Jupiter Dive Center is offering additional charters during mini-season that leave earlier and offer 3-tank dive options. These charters fill quickly—make your reservation now!

Wednesday, July 25:
2-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m. (Please note the earlier time)
3-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m.
2-tank charter departs at 12:30 p.m.
3-tank charter departs at 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 26:
2-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m.
3-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m.
3-tank charter departs at 12:30 p.m.
2-tank charter departs at 2:30 p.m.

Didn’t catch your limit during the mini-season? Don’t worry. The eight-month Lobster season opens August 6, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019!

Finally, always make sure to verify dates and the latest regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife.  Regulations vary depending on the location. All hunters must possess the appropriate fishing license.

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