Spiny lobster season is gearing up, and it is not just for divers. Harvesting by Lobster Bully Netting at night with the use of bully nets and lights is legal and fun, and is popular in the Florida Keys and portions of Miami-Dade County.
By being courteous and respectful of each other, bully netters, homeowners and other members of the public can work together to ensure the season (July 26-27 for the two-day sport season and Aug. 6-March 31, 2018, regular season) is safe and fun. Check out the list of best practices below to learn more about how to make the most of this year’s spiny lobster season.
- While bully netting is a legal method of harvest, bright lights and loud noise on the water late at night can be disruptive to others such as adjacent homeowners and renters.
- Bully netters should try to keep lights directed down and avoid shining lights at houses along the shoreline.
- Sound travels long distances over water; sound levels should be minimized when near shoreline residences.
- Bully netters have the right to fish. Report any actions taken to prevent you from legally fishing to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
- Remember, homeowners are concerned about protecting their homes, families and property and may be suspicious of noise and lights near their property.
- While bully netting may take place close to private property, trespassing on private property is illegal.
- Fishers should not go onto private property including, but not limited to, private seawalls, docks and boats.
- If you experience a problem or see a resource violation, don’t take matters into your own hands. Call the Wildlife Alert Hotline (888-404-3922) for assistance.
If you would like postcards with these best practices on them, email your request to Marine@MyFWC.com. Make sure to include in your email your name, mailing address, and the number of postcards you want mailed to you.
For recreational spiny lobster fishing regulations, including how to measure spiny lobster, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster.”