Sportsman Season, a.k.a. Lobster Mini-season, takes place on the last Wednesday and Thursday in July. This annual two day event, during which properly licensed snorkeler and/or diver are allowed to take up to six legal sized lobsters per day in Monroe County waters, typically brings around 25,000 visitors to the Florida Keys and Key West.
Lobster Mini-season allows for lobster lovers to spend time on the water trying to catching a few crustaceans before the opening of the regular lobster season which starts on August 6th. While it can be a good time on the water, please make sure to follow the rules and be safety conscious. FWC officers will be patrolling on and off the water during mini season, and you will see about twice as many officers as usual on duty. In addition, undercover agents and police dogs trained to sniff out lobsters will be around to enforce the strict rules protecting the area.
To get you started, check out the FWC brochure on Lobster regulations: FWC_spinylobster_brochure. Please do not forget to use a dive flag and dive or snorkel with a buddy. And if I find any of you diving in the canal in front of my house for lobsters (which is not only rude but illegal by the way) you will be getting the stink eye from me as I put in a call to the local law enforcement agencies to have you arrested.
After catching your lobsters, check out some of our recipes, as we have some great ideas for preparing Florida Spiny Lobster. You can also take your lobsters to one of the local restaurant that will cook your catch and they will be happy to prepare them for you; check out my restaurant reviews.
Coming up, Lobsterfest is a must attend event for lobster fans! Several local restaurants set up booths all down Duval Street and serve up lobster in a variety of ways. Even Indiana Bones loves going downtown for Lobsterfest!
To see what else is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.