Charter boats, divers from across Florida taking advantage of lobster mini-season

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 13:18:14-04

Lobster enthusiasts rejoice!

It's lobster mini-season once again - and divers from Key West all the way up to the Treasure Coast are taking the plunge - trying to get their hands on these savory sea creatures.

"The first time you enter the water and take your first breaths, it's an addiction," says diver Zachary Creson.

Lobster mini-season provides the two days a year Floridians can catch these guys before the start of the commercial lobster season.

About 60,000 divers are expected to participate across the state this year.

If you ask any of them, they'll tell you the key to a successful lobster catch is a combination of skill, a great eye - and of course - you've got to know the rules

FWC will be out in full force, making sure divers are safe and in compliance.

"Under the 3-inch size limit, and females with eggs -- those are not allowed to be taken," says Ryan Walton with Deep Obsession Charters, who lead Wednesday's expedition.

Creson, meanwhile, brought in quite the haul.

"Today was a pretty good day," he says. "Caught about 12, got my limit for the day, pretty happy."

He says he has been diving since 2004, and he and others have seen this two day event grow every year.

"As more divers enter the industry, they realize this is an event they can do together," Walton says.

It even attracted first time lobster diver Barbara Mattiace.

"We came out today to get some lobster," she says. "It's my 50th birthday, and this is the best way to celebrate it."

She didn't get any lobster, but she says it wasn't enough to ruin the experience.

After this first time dive, she's ready to jump in with both feet.

"It didn't put a damper on the day," she says. "It was a fantastic day."

Commercial fishers can hit the water for lobster season starting on August 1.

Regular lobster season begins on August 6.

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