July is Florida spiny lobster month. Thousands of divers have already made plans to invade the Florida Keys for the 2016 Florida sportsman's lobster mini season July 27-28. For the season, snorkelers and scuba divers have reserved houses, hotel rooms and campsites all over Monroe County. Some local scuba shops still have room on lobster trips that include lodging and boat charters, and some offer free lobster hunting classes or workshops. The workshops offer information on the game laws and tips on using lobster nets, tickle sticks, snares and lobster hotels. Most lobster hunters head for the Keys because there are more lobsters there. To offset, the state put in place more restrictive lobster bag limits for the Keys: six per person per day vs. 12 elsewhere.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and firstname.lastname@example.org.