Lobster Sport Season: How to catch your dinner safely.
Spiny Lobster Sport Season 2020 opens at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday July 29 and Jupiter Dive Center is ready with special charters! So, grab your license and reserve your spot now! (link to book a dive)
Love it or hate it, Lobster Sport Season is two days when it seems the entire population of Florida floods the waterways in search of their next dinner. 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.
If you have not been diving since last mini season, you need to make sure your equipment is in good shape and serviced before you hit the water. All the diving off Jupiter is drift diving and divers are required to have their own surface marker buoy.
On the boat:
Listen to the boat briefings! Jupiter Dive Center crews will discuss the conditions, the site, boat procedures and what to do in an emergency—all to make sure your dive is safe and enjoyable.
In the water:
Either pull a float or be with someone who is. All Jupiter Dive Center charters have an in-water guide who pulls a float, so you do not have to. But let us face it, it’s lobster season. You and your buddy may splinter off from the guide or need to ascend before the guide. Carry—and know how to deploy—a surface marker buoy. More on that later…
Watch your gauges. In the thrill of the chase, it is easy to go deeper and stay longer than you intended. And speaking of keeping an eye on things, pay attention to your buddy. Hunting or not, the unexpected can still happen.
At the end of the dive:
Make sure to start your ascent with enough air in your tank to complete your safety stop. As you ascend, listen for boat traffic. The waterways see more private boating during these two days than probably any other time of year. Because sound travels four times faster in water, it is impossible to guess a boat’s direction of travel. Look up and make sure your path is clear. And remember to inflate your surface marker buoy!
We are offering additional charters during sport season that leave earlier and offer 3-tank dive options. These charters fill quickly—make your reservations now! (add links)
Wednesday: 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.
Thursday: 2-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m.
3-tank charter departs at 7:30 a.m.
Lobster Sport Season Rules:
Florida Fish and Wildlife officers are out in force during sport season and it is each diver’s responsibility to know and comply with the regulations.
The daily bag limit is 12 lobsters!
Minimum size limit: Carapace must be larger than three inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times. And just in case you don’t already know, here’s how to measure a spiny lobster.
Make sure you have a current recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit to harvest spiny lobster. The harvesting of any egg-bearing lobster is prohibited. Likewise, do not use any device that is going to puncture or crush the shell or flesh of the lobster. Undersized lobster must be released unharmed.
And finally, if you did not get your limit during the sport season, do not worry. Regular lobster season opens on August 6th and we are dedicating both our morning and afternoon trips on August 6th and 7th to lobster dives. After the initial opening, we will continue to dedicate our Wednesday and Friday afternoon charters to lobster hunters for the rest of the season.