Key West Lobstering
Key West Lobstering is a seasonal activity that allows fishers to find and gather one of Americans' favorite seafood delicacies. In Florida, fishers, amateurs and tourists interested in lobstering are welcome to hunt for the Spiny Lobster, a type of lobster without the large claws characteristic of Maine lobsters but with a delicious tail that is as tasty and popular as Maine's variety.
In order to go lobstering, those interested have to first obtain a lobstering permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Once the permit is received, lobstering participants must acquire the necessary gear and equipment: tickle stick, net, catch bag, measuring tool, snorkel, mask, fins, gloves and a dive flag. The best way to go lobstering is to rent a boat and head out to the reef, where you can either go snorkeling or diving to find lobster. Some snorkeling and diving charter boats and tours will also cater specifically to lobstering, depending on the season. The methods of catching lobstering include using a tickle stick to coax lobsters out of their hiding spots in crevices underneath rocks and coral. Once coaxed out of hiding, the goal is to get the lobster into your net.
Because of the popularity of lobstering and the disappearance of large amounts of lobster and their habitats, certain rules and regulations are in place to assure the survival of Florida's Spiny Lobster. For instance, any lobster that is caught must be measured underneath the water and those who are undersize must not be brought to the surface. Lobsters with bright orange eggs on their underbelly must also be left alone, as those are the egg-carrying mothers-to-be. The number of lobsters allowed to be caught by snorkelers and divers varies by location, with some areas allowing 6 total and others allowing 12.
Lobster lovers are invited to sample the tasty Florida crustacean during the 11th annual Key West Lobsterfest The event is to feature lobster offerings ranging from appetizers to full dinners with the traditional trimmings, from 14 local restaurants. The festive feast is to take place in The 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Key West's famed Duval Street
CHECK OUT WRECKS AND REEFS
Your Key West scuba diving adventure takes you to some amazing shipwrecks. You may visit Joes Tug, a 75-foot tugboat, or the Cayman Salvager, a monstrous 180-foot steel-bodied wreck called home by countless anemone, starfish, coral, and tens of thousands of tiny, brilliantly colored tropical fish. The 55-foot wooden tugboat known as The Aquanaut provides amazing photo opportunities. Be sure to charge those underwater camera batteries because you won't want to stop once you get going as you snap shots of shrimp, lobster, crab, and yellowtail!