Lobster enthusiasts should gas up their boats. Lobster miniseason begins tomorrow. Or tonight at 12:01 a.m. to be exact. The two-day lobster hunt is an opportunity for novice fishermen to be out on the water, drink, and, of course, catch lobsters.
If this is your first time on the lobster chase, realize there are some strict guidelines. For example, you can grab only so many lobsters per day. The limit in the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park is six lobsters per person per day. (This applies to both the mini and regular seasons.) In other parts of Florida, you can keep up to 12 lobsters per person per day during the miniseason, and six lobsters per person per day in the regular season.
More important, there are size limits on the lobsters.
According to floridalobstering.com, a lobster must be at least three inches in length from the hard part of the forward edge between the rostral horns to the rear edge of the carapace. If this sounds confusing, the website shows you how to properly measure a lobster. You also must have a valid saltwater fishing license and crawfish permit in your possession.
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Rules aside, this is always a fun time to hit the Keys with friends. Although the regular season begins next week (August 6 through March 31), there's always a frenzy during this two-day period. And because we, thankfully, haven't yet seen any BP oil on our shores, now is the time to go.