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Old 07-09-2018, 03:20 PM   #1
Cathouse
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Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

I'm taking my wife and 2 girls to Long Key first 2 weeks in August. Would love to take them looking for lobsters. Snorkels only for them. I dive also, but would like to try finding some lobsters snorkeling. I'll have my 21 boat and some kayaks.

Generally speaking what area should I start looking for lobsters? Gulf side? Atlantic side? Not looking for numbers, just general areas where we can look around and pick up some lobsters for the grill.

Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

Last couple of years august has been crap. It seems to me that the vast majority of the bugs get picked up during mini season. You can get them on either side.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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Originally Posted by R.Boonfield View Post
Last couple of years august has been crap. It seems to me that the vast majority of the bugs get picked up during mini season. You can get them on either side.
Thanks for the info.
Is this due to the time of year?
Is August just a bad month for lobster?
Or is it more about the hammering they take during mini season?
Do they move deeper?
Should I look more toward the lower keys? Like around Cudjoe?
Should we look on the Gulfside or Atlantic side first?

I'm looking forward to being towed behind my boat on the search. That will be fun in and of itself.

Up here, I have to dive 100'-120' for them. They are HUGE, but it would be nice to not have to almost kill myself to catch a few for the grill and for some memories with my girls.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

My guess would be mini season. One thing you can do on the gulf side if the viz is good is, as you said, troll behind the boat. On the gulf side you're mostly looking for holes in the limestone for where lobster hide. You will occasionally see coral and you can look there too.

As far as atlantic side goes, I personally havent seen many lobster but others claim to have seen them.

It is my understanding that the lower keys get less pressure.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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My guess would be mini season. One thing you can do on the gulf side if the viz is good is, as you said, troll behind the boat. On the gulf side you're mostly looking for holes in the limestone for where lobster hide. You will occasionally see coral and you can look there too.

As far as atlantic side goes, I personally havent seen many lobster but others claim to have seen them.

It is my understanding that the lower keys get less pressure.
Thanks for the info
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:03 AM   #6
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

The back country would be great with kids.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

The area gets hit pretty hard, but check around Tripod Bank and Sprigger Bank on the bayside. Just remember to stay out of Everglades National Park, you are close to the boundary.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

Thanks for the info Gary and Miami. I think they'd have a blast in the back country. I spent most of my time last year fishing the reef side. Only really got to looking in the back country toward the end of the stay. Had a lot of fun exploring.

Miami, you bring up a good question. I've read and read and researched open and closed areas down there and am still confused about where I can fish and where I can't. I think that's by design, but that's a topic for another day.

My question is, is there a solid map that clearly shows areas I need to avoid fishing or chasing lobsters? I'm updating my chartplotter software, but would like to make sure I don't get into an area I shouldn't be fishing in.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:27 PM   #9
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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My question is, is there a solid map that clearly shows areas I need to avoid fishing or chasing lobsters? I'm updating my chartplotter software, but would like to make sure I don't get into an area I shouldn't be fishing in.
There might be. Check West Marine once you get into Florida (or they may have Florida maps in SC) for Tops Spots maps. Those are pretty helpful and clearly denote boundaries.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #10
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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There might be. Check West Marine once you get into Florida (or they may have Florida maps in SC) for Tops Spots maps. Those are pretty helpful and clearly denote boundaries.
Thanks. We have Top Spots. Nice maps.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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Thanks. We have Top Spots. Nice maps.
Between the NOAA maps and the FWC maps, you should be able to figure it out.

Different rules and regs for;
State Water
Federal Water
Everglades National Park
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:55 PM   #12
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

Look in areas that others don't. I once pulled 3 very nice sized ones in 1' of water at the border where the grass met the sand. There was a hidey spot under the grass edge.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:01 PM   #13
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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The area gets hit pretty hard, ...
I was amazed at the catch annual numbers for 2017 for night time hoop netters. They are kicking the divers butts by 3 times.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:58 PM   #14
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

I appreciate all the information. Looks like my Long Key rental may be falling through. Possibly have another opportunity in marathon and one in Summerland key. Generally speaking which area would be better to find some lobsters, snorkel and fish?
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Last edited by Cathouse; 07-12-2018 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Na
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:59 PM   #15
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Re: Heading to Long Key end of August...Lobster?

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I appreciate all the information. Looks like my Long Key rental may be falling through. Possibly have another opportunity in marathon and one in Summerland key. Generally speaking which area would be better to find some lobsters, snorkel and fish?
They are about the same. I have been renting a house in Marathon for many years and have always had decent luck. I prefer Marathon because I know where everything is and you have a Publix, West Marine and multiple stores and places to eat close by. I would try (on slack tide) the gulf side of the 7 mile bridge, or you can dive the bridge pilings. The gulf side of the Bahia Honda bridge is also productive. I would try the south end of the Bahia Honda bridge a few miles out into the gulf. There is a LOT of broken bottom in that area, you just have to do some looking. As someone else mentioned, its best to just buy a sled and drag behind the boat. Good luck!
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