Opening-day conditions were challenging, but lobsters were plentiful
By Steve Waters
The annual two-day lobster miniseason featured challenging conditions, but plenty of lobsters.
Night divers who went out for the start of the miniseason at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday had to deal with strong winds and bumpy seas. About six hours later, the wind had subsided, but seas were 2 to 4 feet most of the day.
“I think the weather forecast kept a lot of people from going out on the first day,” said Jim “Chiefy” Mathie, a retired Deerfield Beach Fire-Rescue division chief who is the diving expert on the Nautical Ventures Weekly Fisherman radio show that airs from 6-8 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 940 Miami and live-streams on the Nautical Ventures Facebook page.
Mathie adjusted to the sporty conditions by going out on with his crew on Steve Siegel’s 39-foot Invincible, which handled the waves better than Mathie’s boat could have.
Conditions under the ocean’s surface were excellent, with a slight current and good visibility, and divers saw lots of lobsters. The eight-man crew on Siegel’s boat Relentless caught their miniseason limit of 96 lobsters.
“Everywhere you looked, there were lobsters,” Mathie said. “Sometimes it was onesies and twosies, then you’d see a cluster of five or six.”
The miniseason is the first opportunity for recreational divers to catch lobsters since the regular season closed on April 1. And divers are allowed to keep 12 lobsters per day, which is double the regular-season limit. Mathie, who dives year-round and spearfishes when the lobster season is closed, had predicted a good miniseason on the Weekly Fisherman show.
When the divers who sat out Wednesday heard about what they had missed, they went out Thursday, which featured calmer seas but stronger currents. Diving on Mathie’s boat, his six-man crew came up with 61 lobsters, 11 shy of the limit. But they brought their spearguns with them on Thursday and also shot two hogfish, a mutton snapper, a red snapper and a Spanish mackerel.
For lobster-hunting tips when the regular season opens on August 6th, as well as the latest information on where the fish are and how to catch them, listen to The Nautical Ventures Weekly Fisherman radio show every Saturday morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. live on Fox Sports 940 Miami, an iHeart station. If you can’t tune in live, the Weekly Fisherman radio podcasts are available through:
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