Scuba Divers Get Ready for Lobster Mini-Season
July 21, 2016 | Richard Sites
Lobster mini-season is next week and all over South and Central Florida divers are getting ready.
The Florida Lobster, Panulirus Argus or Spiny Lobster, lives in the western Atlantic as far north as Bermuda. It is the main fishing export from the Bahamas and rivals the Florida Keys with it’s shrimp exports in economic importance.
The 6 month season in Florida also contains a “mini-season” where divers can get a head start on catching “bugs”, as they are called here. The Florida Keys are a prime hunting area since the water is clear, warm and shallow.
Most bug hunters use tools, like nooses and tickle sticks, to catch them during the daylight hours. But, the lobsters leave their protective homes at night and can be easily caught from a boat in shallow water using a (Q-beam) spotlight and a “bully net”. At night, as they walk around the grass areas searching for food, they are easy prey.
As for eating, the taste is quite different from the soft, sweet taste of the northern or Maine lobster. And since there are no claws, all the meat is in the tail of the animal. They are usually cooked like shrimp: boiled, then split open and sauteed in garlic butter. They are my favorite food and I will be on the first boats out Wednesday morning.