When it comes to spearfishing for lobster, Florida has an advantage over other states. This is what Cooper Baker, the owner of Florida Spear, a new apparel line said, “They don’t have a season or a size limit or anything. You can just if you see one, you can take it.”
The state’s warm waters mean that lobsters are active for a long season, while they’re only available for a short season in other parts of the country.
This gives Florida fishers a big leg up when catching these delicious crustaceans. But it also means that the state has to be a bit more careful about managing its lobster fisheries.
Lobsters are notoriously difficult to catch. They’re fast, strong, and have a very keen sense of smell. This makes them hard to find and even harder to spear. But Florida’s lobster fishers have developed a few tricks that give them an edge.
Read on to learn more about how Florida cheats at spearfishing for lobster.
Listen to more spearfishing tips on the Cast & Spear Podcast
Lobster Season in Florida
In Florida, the lobster season runs from August 6 to March 31. This is a much longer season than in other parts of the country, where the season is typically shorter. This is because lobsters are much more active in warm waters.
They don’t like to be cold, so they head for the country’s southern parts when the weather gets chilly. This means that Florida has a big advantage in catching lobsters. While other states are just getting started, Florida’s lobster fishers have already been at it for months.
Why Spearfishing for Lobster is Popular in Florida
Spearfishing for lobster is popular in Florida because it’s an efficient way to catch these creatures. It’s also much less labor-intensive than other methods, like trap fishing. In addition, spearfishing allows anglers to target specific lobsters.
This is important because not all lobsters are created equal. Some are much bigger than others, and they can fetch a higher price on the market. Finally, spearfishing is just plain fun. It’s a challenging sport that requires a lot of skill. For many Florida anglers, it’s a way of life.
The Downside of Spearfishing for Lobster
There are some drawbacks to spearfishing for lobster, however. The most obvious one is that it’s hazardous. Every year, there are reports of fishermen being injured or even killed while spearfishing.
Another downside is that it can be harmful to the lobster population. This is because not all lobsters that are speared are caught. Some of them get away, but they’re often injured. This can lead to a decrease in the lobster population.
How Florida Cheats on Lobster Fishing
Florida has a few tricks up its sleeve for lobster fishing. Here are some ways that the state cheats on this popular sport.
Clear Water in Florida
The water in Florida is clear, making it easier for anglers to see the lobsters and spear them. According to Cooper Baker, “And then the visibility, most of the time when you’re hunting in Florida, you’re able to spot these lobster is a lot easier.”
In other parts of the country, the water is often murky. This makes it much harder to see the lobster and spear them accurately.
“In California, I was going at night most of the time, and the visibility most of the time I was going out was you’re lucky. If you could see five to 10 feet, sometimes you couldn’t see your hand, but you still go out there and hope for the best,” this was according to Cooper Baker.
Warm Water in Florida
Lobsters are much more active in warm water. This means that they’re easier to find and catch in Florida. Coldwater makes them sluggish, and they’re more likely to hide in their burrows.
This is one of the reasons why Florida has such a long lobster season. The warm water makes it possible to catch lobsters year-round.
Lobster Spots in Florida
Florida’s lobster fishers know all the best spots for catching these creatures. They’ve been fishing these waters for generations, and they know where the lobsters like to hide.
Cooper Baker said, “I don’t have those spots. But if you talk to the right, they have these spots, especially on mini-season, they are like, I’m going to these spots where I know I’m going to limit out.”
The spots in Florida are also easier to access than in other parts of the country. This means that Florida’s lobster fishermen have a big advantage over their counterparts in other states.
No Size Limits in Florida
There are no size limits on lobsters in Florida. This means that anglers can catch any size of lobster they want. Whereas in other states, there are often restrictions on the size of lobster that you can catch.
This gives Florida’s lobster fishers a big advantage. They can catch bigger lobsters, which fetch a higher price at the market.
Using Nets and Traps
In Florida, it’s legal to use nets and traps to catch lobsters. “In Florida, they’re over here using snares, nets, and tick. And they’re just cheating in all sorts of ways. It’s it was kind of like this isn’t, nearly as hard,” Cooper Baker said.
This is not the case in other parts of the country. In many states, only hand-held devices, like spears, can be used to catch lobster. This gives Florida’s lobster fishers a big advantage. They can catch more lobsters in less time, and they don’t have to worry about getting tired from holding a spear all day.
Florida’s Cheating Methods Are Unfair to the Other States
In other parts of the country, the water is often cold. This makes the lobsters less active and much harder to find and catch.
The use of nets and traps is also illegal in many states. This means that lobster fishers have to work much harder to catch their prey.
“And in California, you’re sitting there catching them with your bare hands, not bare hands, you’re wearing gloves, but you know, you’re catching ‘them with your hands,” Cooper Baker said. They often have to wade through cold water, and they can only use their hands to catch the lobsters.
The antennae of a lobster are very sensitive. They can feel the slightest vibration in the water. This means that they can easily avoid traps and nets.
Also, the antennas make it challenging to spear the lobster. The lobster can feel the spear coming, and it will often move out of the way at the last second. The lobster can hide in its burrow, and the fisherman will never know it was there.
Cooper Baker said this about his experience, “Whereas in California, the lobster’s gone before you get a real chance on actually grabbing it cause you got to go. Normally you can’t just grab it by its antennas. You get behind it and get a hand around its body. So I feel like it’s nearly impossible.”
These factors make it much harder to catch lobster in other parts of the country. Florida’s cheating methods give its fishers a big advantage over their counterparts in other states.
This is unfair to the lobstermen in other parts of the country. They are at a disadvantage because they have to follow the rules.
“In California when you’re trying to catch a lobster during the day unless you’re like some guru with catching these lobsters, I feel like it’s, it’s nearly impossible compared to like if there’s a lobster, in a deep crevice and you’re trying to go for it. In California, during the day, with your bare hands, the chance of you landing that lobster is slim to none. But if you’re using a tick stick, and you can go in there and get the lobster out of that hole and, you know, snare it before it knows what’s going on,” Cooper Baker said.
The lobstermen in Florida can cheat because there are no laws against it. This means they can catch more lobsters and sell them for a higher price.
How Does Cheating at Spearfishing Affect the Lobster Population?
Cheating at spearfishing is unfair to other lobster fishers, but it also hurts the lobster population. Overfishing is a significant problem in many parts of the world, and Florida is no exception.
Bycatch (the accidental catching of non-target species) is also a problem associated with fishing. When fishers cheat and use illegal methods to catch lobster, they contribute to the lobster population’s decline.
The Ethical Debate Surrounding Florida’s Spearfishing Practices
There is a lot of controversy surrounding Florida’s spearfishing practices. Some people argue that it’s unfair to other states and that it’s harming the lobster population. Others argue that Florida is just taking advantage of its natural resources and that there’s nothing wrong with that.
What do you think? Is it wrong for Florida to cheat at spearfishing for lobster? Or is it just a case of the state being smart about its natural resources? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s up to each individual to decide what they think about Florida’s spearfishing practices.
It’s no secret that Florida has an unfair advantage in spearfishing lobster. With the state’s warmer climate and longer coastline, Florida fishers can take advantage of the lobster migration patterns and get a head start on the season.
While this does give them an edge, it’s important to remember that lobsters are a renewable resource and that the Florida spearfishing community is working hard to ensure the sustainability of the fishery.
So, while they may be cheating a bit, they’re also doing their part to keep the lobster population healthy and thriving.