RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — People from across the country launched dark and early from New Port Cove Marina in Riviera Beach for the first day of lobster mini-season Wednesday morning.
Divers have just two days to take advantage of the mini-season before the regular season begins.
During the mini-season divers are allowed to bring home 12 lobsters, instead of six. There is an exception for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park where divers are limited to six. Divers also don't have to compete with commercial fishermen, who aren't allowed out until the regular season.
Sandra Brammeier owns Ocean Quest Scuba. She says she has been lobster hunting for more than 20 years.
"It's always fun, and for me, I have the same divers year after year," Brammeier said. "Some of our divers literally come from Kansas, Colorado, California, Missouri."
With more boaters and divers out on the water, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers want to remind people of the rules.
Always have your dive flag up when you’re in the water, and stay within 300 feet of the flag.
If you catch a lobster, you must check the size in the water. The carapace of the lobster must be 3 inches or more.
A recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster.
Regular lobster season starts Aug. 6.