What do we do on our day off? Silly question! We get on the boat and go fishing or, on this particular day, lobstering!
Florida Keys Fishing Lobstering Report – Captain Chris Johnson, SeaSquared Charters – August 21, 2010
Six friends, some Dion’s fried chicken, a slew of tickle sticks, nets, fins and masks – plus a pair of spearguns – packed on the boat and we were off to the great bug hunting grounds of the Florida Keys!
This year has been nothing short of spectacular for recreational harvesting of Florida Keys spiny lobster! The good news is … it’s been equally excellent for the commercial lobstermen. They deserve a great year after last year’s mediocre harvest and dismal market prices.
We averaged about 6 lobster an hour and put our limit of 36 in the boat in no time at all. Bonuses to the cooler were a nice red grouper shot on a speargun and a delicious hogfish that made the wrong move into a lobster net!
(Note: it is illegal to spear lobster, but it’s quite all right to spear any species of fish within regulations.)
Along for the fun were teenage Marathon home-towners Alex and Jason Bell. We call them “the ducks.” They have the distinct honor of jumping in the water to inspect each hole we stop on. If they deliver a thumbs-up, the rest of us hop in and the tickling ensues.
Also on the boat were dear friends Gigi and John Harrison, owners of Dot Palm Landscaping in Marathon. Gigi made the faux pas of wearing a bathing suit that had the potential to deliver quite the show to “the ducks.” Luckily, John had a dive shirt along and allowed her to wear it over her suit.
It was a great day …. with great friends …. and great Florida Keys weather. The lobster were merely the icing on the cake.
John sat next to me on the quick ride back to the dock. As we enjoyed the scenery of the Seven Mile Bridge and little mangrove islands, he turned and said to me, “This is why we live here.”
Indeed it is.