Yep, it’s lobster mini-season again!
While being cautious and courteous of your fellow boaters, be mindful of the rules and regulations for lobstering.
Word is out that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is really cracking down on dive flag violations this year. Be sure to have a legal size dive flag (20” x 24”) flying from the highest point on your boat and visible for 360 degrees. Display your dive flag at all times when you have divers in the water and take it down when they’re back in the boat.
At the same time, when you see a boat anchored but no dive flag, it’s safe to assume there are folks in the water and the boat owner forgot to display the flag.
Keeper size lobster must have at least a 3-inch carapace (the distance from the point behind the eyes to the end of the torso where the tail section begins). Six legal-size lobster per person/per day, today and tomorrow. That’s it.
The regular lobster season opens August 6, and the regulations remain the same.
For those fishing in the next few days, here’s what you can expect.
For offshore action, most Captains are heading to the humps for the blackfin tuna bite, while looking for dolphin on the way out and back. Trolling small Billy baits way back is turning the tuna on.
We continue our summer pattern of snapper and grouper fishing. The 60- to 80-foot depths and deeper will provide the best action on the reef, especially for grouper, as they are seeking cooler, more comfortable climes.
Fishing for all variety of snapper on the reef and patches is most productive in the early morning, late evening or at dark of night. Predominant during the day are yellowtails, while at night the mangroves reign supreme.
The wrecks are loaded with mutton snapper, amberjack and jack crevalle.
Mangrove snapper fishing in the bay is a great option on a windy day. Once you’ve caught dinner, try your hand at catch-and-release shark fishing in the sandy shallows.
Capt. Chris Johnson is a member of the Yamaha National Fishing Team and specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters out of the 7 Mile Marina in Marathon. You can reach him at 305.743.5305, SeaSquared@bellsouth.net and www.SeaSquared-Charters.com.