Thousands flock to the Florida Keys for lobster season, or as we locals call them, “bugs”. By days end, everyone is telling fish tails about who got the largest bug. To set the record straight, the Florida Keys largest bug has a name. She …is Betsy and stands 30′ high and 40′ long. Betsy was created in Marathon by artist Richard Blaze and has spent most of her life in Islamorada. Betsy is said to be the second most photographed icon in the Keys, right behind the Southernmost Point in Key West.
As for our tasty Florida Keys spiny lobster, we have two seasons when they can be harvested. Well known among sport lobstermen, the Florida Keys lobster season begins with a “mini” two day event. It usually takes place on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July, but always check with the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) to make sure it has not changed. Their are many rules with lobstering in the Florida Keys, some that are different than the rest of our state rules. Some of the waters that surround the Keys are off limits for both Florida Keys lobster seasons. And “mini” season, just like regular lobster season, which begins August 6, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014 requires a saltwater license along with a lobster stamp. Each lobster must be measured, no egg bearing females and a limit of 6 lobster per person per day are just a few of the rule for our Florida Keys lobster season.
You can always go to myfwc.com to get up to date rules and regulations. Don’t forget your dive flag! If you are heading down for vacation and would like to lobster on a dive charter, check out businesses on the Key you plan to visit at Best of The Florida Keys Internet Guide.