Lobsters in Miami during summer time? WHY NOT! I recently had the opportunity to go diving for lobsters in Miami during their two-day mini-season in July. It was unforgettable.
I had gotten my dive certification in October 2017 and up until then I had only been cold water diving, and when I mean cold water I mean PNW cold, where the air and the water are equally cold, the cold just doesn’t end. BUT July came around which meant lobster mini-season and it was hello warm waters for me! I had no clue what to expect or even what to do because I don’t just go catching lobsters with my hands in my spare time.
So let me tell you all about it.. If you already didn’t know..
The lobsters that make their way to through the Miami waters are brought through by the currents from Brazil, so these lobsters are different from the Maine lobsters or the little guy from the Little Mermaid, in other words these lobsters have no claws (also called spiny lobsters).
We got up at 5 AM and set out to some super secret coordinates roughly 3-5 miles from the shore and once we got to the spot it was show time. We geared up and jumped in with our lobster condo and tickle stick and it was a slow descent to the bottom from there. As we slowly descended to forty feet all I could see and hear were the bubbles from my regulator. When we reached the bottom it was like a whole new world.
In addition to the nice warm water, there is plenty to see. I mean my main focus was lobsters but an eel or lion fish caught my eye a time or two, it was like I was in real life Finding Nemo.. but the lobster version.. Finding Lobsty..?!
Anyways, getting your barrings can be a little tricky at first but of course, I had my sweet sweet dive buddy to show me the ropes first. So, it’s difficult to spot out at first because all you’re looking for are lobster antennas sticking out from under the rocks and sometimes you just don’t know.. Like is it a lobster? Is it branch? Is it a plant? Or is my mask just foggy? But when it indeed is a lobster that’s when the fun begins! You’ve got to be real sneaky because the second they know you’re coming they use their tails to shoot themselves deeper under the rock to protect themselves. So here’s what you do, you take the tickle stick and just gently nudge the little guy out slowly, just a little tickle here and there and then when it least expects it, BAM! You put the next right over it and watch it go ape shit.
We did two days of diving with two dives a day. There was definitely plenty of lobsters to catch there was a total of 10 divers and we combined our catches and split the winnings. It was a lobster party for days!
I also learned how to gut and clean a lobster! Full disclosure.. it gets a little gross.
Here is a video of me struggling with to get a lobster out of the net haha .
Until next season, my little fish friends!