At the top of every diver’s bucket list is lobster season in the Florida Keys. Lobster diving is a lot like spearfishing—harder than you think. And there’s a reason why lobster divers are also known as "bug hunters”. These critters are hard to find, and crustaceans come from the same phylum as insects, Arthropoda.
At Hawks Cay Resort, our experienced guides and crew have guided thousands of divers to the best lobster spots in the Florida Keys. During the Florida lobster season, head to Hawks Cay Marina to begin your lobster hunting experience. Consider tying your lobstering adventure with your Florida Keys offshore fishing trip when the regular lobster season opens in August.
The regular lobster season in the Florida Keys is always August 6 through March 31.
The two-day mini lobster season is always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. Make sure to verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife.
A legal lobster has a carapace (shell that covers its body) length greater than or equal to three inches and weighs about one pound.
You may keep six lobsters per person per day in Monroe County (the Florida Keys). The possession limit on the water is equal to the daily bag limit.
The charter fleet at Hawks Cay carries a lobster license that covers all passengers onboard, so there is no need for lobster divers to carry their own license.
Lobsters prefer reefs and rocking outcroppings, but those caught unprotected on the open sand are not easy pickings. With one flip of the tail these critters can take off, leaving a diver bewildered and empty-handed.
Learn how to identify an egg-bearing female. Female lobsters carry eggs (you will see them directly under the tail) for about a month anytime between April and August. An egg-bearing female is said to be "berried," and under the regulations they must be released unharmed. The harvest of lobster is prohibited during both the two-day sport season and regular season in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.