Marathon Bay Lobster Report July 28 - Afternoon

Finally the wind laid down a touch and we headed out the Vaca Cut for our last lobster trip of mini-season. This is typically the laid back adults only trip where catching lobsters is somewhat optional. Well, with over-achieving, Type-A, siblings leading the group and only being 20-lobster shy of our 2-day limit of 120, it was "Game on."

As is typical with the Sprigger/Bamboo-area, you're going to have to work to get good numbers, but at least the conditions are better -- current and visability. It was great to see so many Red Grouper, tropicals, and Hogfish and so few Jewfish and Lionfish!!!

My younger sister, who is bar none the best I have ever seen in the water, didn't have much assistance as the crew started cocktails a little early. Unfortunately for me, that meant I had to leave the comfort of the captain's chair if we had any shot at bagging the last 20. With everyone switching roles, it was a little tricky but we managed 19. Never one to quit, we went hole-to-hole for what seemed like hours for number 20. Finally, we found her and made light work of a 1.5-lb'er. There we had it -- we limited both days!

After the high fives, I popped open the live well for a quick peek. Not only is my normal role to captain, but I am also the "official measurer." Thinking back to the 'ol adage "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered" and knowing I hadn't measured any of the 20, I pulled out the gauge and double checked the work of my crew. Sure enough we had 2-lobsters, where the official FWC gauge stuck by itself on the carapice, splashing around in the live well :banghead. We released the 2-shorts alive and well.

After a little coaxing, we set the egos aside and settled on 118 for the trip :thumbsup.

Many pics and videos coming.

EDIT: For you self-proclaimed "internet FWC officiers" and/or "internet attorneys," yes I am aware 1. lobsters in a live well constitutes possession and 2. possession of shorts is illegal. However, using the marina gauges as my crew did, the lobsters were all of size. When I put the FWC approved gauge on them, two were an "eyelash" short.


  • Circle HookedCircle Hooked Posts: 60 Deckhand
    Great job and Thanks for the reports, i enjoyed reading them,hopefully i will get my share when i come down on the 7th.
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,786 Captain
    Good job!! Glad to hear the Jewfish # are down in the Bamboo/Sprigger area is down. As you mentioned, great place to work, but everybody knows where they are.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Klinger, good news indeed. In general we saw the following in the Marathon Bay over 3-days this year:

    1. Great lobster numbers
    2. Great lobster size
    3. Fewer Lionfish than previous years (we did our part and went 4 - 4)
    4. Better numbers of tropical fish and Hogfish
    5. Better numbers and size of Red Grouper
    6. No Gags or Nassau
    7. No Jewfish
    8. Less Nuresharks, Eels, and Cudas
  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,439 Admiral
    Jupiter Fins.. GREAT JOB!!!!

    Ok.. so when is the lobster feast and will you invite your forum buddy's?????

    hahahaha.. Only kidding.. way to go.


  • latitudeajustmentlatitudeajustment Posts: 2,031 Captain
    Wow, you guys rocked it once again, congrats! As relative newcomers to snorkel bugging, we were extremely happy to get catch 5 more yesterday afternoon in the shallow waters in the bay. Unfortunately I lost a very nice one as I swam exhausted to the boat as he was quite a challenge to get! Kept 2 real nice ones and the others were short. So, nowhere near as fortunate as you guys but still happy to get a few more of the tasty bugs! I am definitely giving it a go again once the official season opens.
  • Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Latitude, that's how we started back in the late 80's when I was in my early teens in an 18' SeaRay bowrider. Fist year it was a dozen, then a couple dozen, and so on. 20-yrs later we have it down to a science. Still, it comes down to the lobster. No matter how proficient you are, if the numbers are thin or lobster are short, you're odds go way down. Also, typically we have found a "seasonality" or cycle of bugs -- two good years and then a down year. However, with a greater number of bugs making it out of the hatchery, I believe due to reduced poaching of shorts and harvesting in illegal areas (i.e: Hammer/Delph poaching ring), we have strung together three or four solid years.

    Like you, we spent several years working the first week of the season; your odds are higher than later in the season and you can work at a slower pace as you don't have a 48-hour timeclock. It also gives you time to find good areas for the following year.

    Good luck!
  • latitudeajustmentlatitudeajustment Posts: 2,031 Captain
    Jupiterfins, thanks for the feedback. You guys are extremely proficient and it demonstrates practice makes perfection! It really is quite a workout especially in somewhat deeper water of 8-10 feet, was really challenging holding my breath for longer lengths of time to get down and scoop 'em up before they high tail away!
  • MRMMRM Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Great post, thanks for that. Quick question, my family and I are coming down the first week of regular season. Instead of staying adjacent to 7-mile bridge like we usually do, we are staying at Conch Key. Will we find much lobster in that immediate if we drag (bayside or Atlantic?) or are we better off cruising closer to Marathon. Any input would be appreciated.

  • Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I'm not much of an Atlantic guy for lobster; however, Bamboo Bank to Sprigger Bank is a decent area for lobster (NW of Conch Key in the Bay). The water is clear, there is little current, and a bunch of holes. However, because of its proximity to the "hatchery"/ENP, the lobster are a little smaller. Likewise, the popularity of the area keeps the numbers thinner. Conversely, the closer you get to current/water movement (i.e. 7-mile, Atlantic), the larger the lobster. Ask around as I certainly don't know much about ocean lobstering.
  • rygatorrygator Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    The Long key bridge is a good area for lobster. If you are looking for shallow water-6-8 foot, head strait into the gulf and drag around with all the other boats, lots of holes just have to find some no one else have hit. Be careful to stay out of the park thought, its not marked that well.
    If you dont mind a little deeper 10-12ft and some current go around the pilling on the long key bridge and the ocean side of the bridge out too a few hundred yards.
    Good luck.
  • MRMMRM Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Thanks, I'll try the Long Key Bridge. Any good Atlantic side reefs or wrecks around that at worth looking at within a couple of miles of Duck Key, preferably around 30ft?

    In terms of lobstering, am I right in assuming dragging the Atlantic side yield give bigger lobster?

    Also, how are the lobster numbers this year? Up or down?

    Thanks! Mike
  • SnookMagnetSnookMagnet Posts: 122 Deckhand
    EDIT: For you self-proclaimed "internet FWC officiers" and/or "internet attorneys," yes I am aware 1. lobsters in a live well constitutes possession and 2. possession of shorts is illegal. However, using the marina gauges as my crew did, the lobsters were all of size. When I put the FWC approved gauge on them, two were an "eyelash" short.

    You know you bring the scrutiny on yourself by preemptively calling out Internet FWC Officers for calling you out. You don't even need to mention how close anything was to being short or not. Its like you are looking for a fight or something.
  • pastordanpastordan Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    So why are you posting? Are you an internet psychologist?
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