It’s almost time to hit the water for the  2019 recreational and commercial spiny lobster, also known as rock lobsters,  season starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31, 2020.

There’s a few rules you should know before heading out to catch these lovely delicacies.

  • There’s a daily bag limit of six per person and the number of them you can possess on the water is also six.
  • They must be larger than 3″, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device required at all times. Find out how to measure a spiny lobster.

(Video courtesy FWC)

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary during both the 2-day sport season and regular season.

Here’s the rules you’ll want to familiarize yourself with before heading out:

  • Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster
  • Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.
  • The harvest or possession of eggbearing spiny lobster, or any other eggbearing species of lobster belonging to the families Palinuridae (spiny lobsters), Scyllaridae (slipper lobsters) or Synaxidae (furry lobsters) is prohibited
  • No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the exoskeleton (shell) or the flesh of the lobster
  • Recreational trapping prohibited
  • Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting. People harvesting may not exceed their individual bag limit and take someone else’s bag limit. That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not properly licensed (if a license is required) may NOT be counted for purposes of bag limits.