“Mini Season”, also known as the 2018 Florida Spiny Lobster Sport Season, will take place on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26, 2018. The mini-season gives sports fisherman first dibs at the spiny lobsters before commercial fisherman season which begins the first week of August and continues into March. Florida’s annual spiny lobster mini-season is always on the last Wednesday and Thursday in July.
Although the 2-day mini season is small, the spiny lobsters cannot be small/undersized. The size limit is strictly enforced to protect the ocean bugs. The possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times while harvesting spiny lobsters during the mini-season. Divers must abide by the following restrictions:
- Minimum carapace size limit is 3”, measured in the water.
- The harvest or possession of egg bearing spiny lobster, or any other egg bearing species of lobster is prohibited.
- Spiny lobsters must be brought to shore in their entirety.
- Spiny lobster limits brought onto shore or water are limited to 12 per person per day and 24 per person on day two.
- Spiny lobster harvesting is prohibited at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park only during the sport season.
- All lobster hunting is prohibited at Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and the no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The weather should be pretty much ideal for this mini season. Get your share of the bounty knowing the earlier divers go out, the better chances they’ll have of no rain and dinner on the table. It begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday.