Anglers countrywide have been waiting patiently for July to finally get here, and the countdown is almost over! What are they all waiting for? Florida’s lobster mini season! The two-day sport event takes place the last Wednesday and Thursday of every July, and is a hit all throughout Florida! This year’s season takes place from 12:01 Wednesday the 24th to 12:00 midnight on Thursday the 25th.

Check and recheck that your spiny is of legal size. Big fines come from shorts and from bagging over your legal limit!
Hint: Check and recheck that your spiny is of legal size. Big fines come from shorts and from bagging over your legal limit!

We’ve come up with some helpful information for those of you who aren’t pros at the game:

Your pre-season checklist:

  • Saltwater license – you can obtain the lobster license through the FWC website, or at local dive and tackle shops such as Captain Hook’s Marina, the Hawk’s Cay Dockside Store, and K-Mart fishing section.
  • Dive Flag – Dive flags are essential to any situation in which you have divers down in open water. These flags signal to other vessels that there are people in the waters, and that they should proceed at a slow speed with caution. These flags are required by law in the state of Florida.
  • Gear –  Tickle sticks, gloves, nets, and catch bags. These can be purchased separately or as kits in most dive shops, tackle shops, sport stores, or other stores such as Publix, K-Mart, or Walgreens throughout the Florida Keys.
  • Essential Vessel Safety Equipment – Life jackets: 1 per person aboard. Vessels over 16 feet must also have a throwable device. Children under 13 are required to wear a life jacket at all times while the vessel is underway. Visual Distress Signals: Flares, distress flags, or distress lights. Fire Extinguishers. Navigation Lights. Information and details can be found in the United States Coast Guard Boating Safety brochure.
  • Saltwater/Lobster Regulations – Before you get underway, brush up on the FWC spiny lobster and saltwater fishing regulations for sizes and limits.

Well now you’ve got all these tasty bugs, but what do you do with them? Here’s a list of ways to cook and serve your bugs:

Florida Spiny Lobster
Lobster, crawfish, craws, bugs, crayfish. Call them what you will, but we prefer to call them tasty!
  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Boiled
  • Fried
  • Sauteed
  • Grilled
  • Smoked
  • Over salad
  • On a sandwich
  • In a taco
  • As a wrap
  • With rice
  • Over pasta
  • With potatoes
  • As a bisque
  • In a soup
  • In sushi
  • Cold
  • Hot
  • Room temperature
  • In a gumbo
  • As a melt
  • Breaded
  • With hot sauce
  • With pilaf
  • As a stir fry
  • In ceviche
  • Covered in spices
  • Or dipped in melted butter

There should be a few to get you started. Come up with a special recipe? Send it over to us at with your name and a photo of the dish if you have it, and we’ll post it to the blog and to our Facebook page! Be creative! Let the games begin!

Scroll to Top