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Last Lobster Trip of the Season..Islamorada 3/17

Went lobstering with the roommate for some end of season action. The water was still cold for us native floridians, i think about 74 to 75 during the trip. We caught 9 legal losbters, countless shorts and 3 keeper mangrove snappers. All of this was done without a boat, needless to say the lobstering wasnt wasy but we were glad to come away with some keepers. after that day we decided to Rent a boat in Islamorada Friday and caught a few snapper as well, no lobster unfortunatly. with the budget constraints i could only get a 15ft whaler and it was too windy to go on the atlantic side and i have no experience lobstering from a boat so we drove around for a while trying numerous spots in the islamorada backcountry only to get shut out. but it was a great time regardless.
any tips for next time we rent a boat would be appreciatied.
some lobster ****....


  • danmanswagdanmanswag Posts: 515 Officer
    good stuff man...last time I hopped in the water a couple weeks ago all I found were short...probably saw/grabbed about 20 lobster, all small :huh

    Good luck next for renting a boat, I dont know what advice to give you. Is it for snapper fishing? Offshore? Lobstering?
  • paddleharderpaddleharder Posts: 250 Deckhand
    If you have more than three people in the boat I would recomend towing one person behind the boat on a ski rope with a mask and snorkel. When they find lobsters the person drops off and the boat can circle around. The middle keys have always been productive especially in the begining of the season. If the water is clear this technique works great also for fishing as well. Good luck.
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand
    Ditto on the towing. You can find a lot on single coral heads that fewer people visit. Make sure you take your GPS so that you can revisit the spots next season. If you use a sled instead of just a rope you can move to the right, left or up and down in the water column based on what you see coming up ahead of you.

    I have also used Google Earth to spot smaller features in shallow water. A dark spot with a light ring is frequently a rock or coral head in the middle of a grass flat.

    If all that fails, hopefully you have some neighbors that are generous with their waypoints.
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand
    Deleted due to accidental double post.
  • bandit100377bandit100377 Posts: 461 Deckhand
    I've had good luck on the bay side by dropping in the water with the anchor and looking for hard bottom with holes in it. Once you find a holey bottom, drop the anchor and poke around.
  • rsandersonrsanderson Posts: 67 Deckhand
    Good stuff man. When you all tow a person behind... does that work best on the Atlantic side or bay side or is just as effective on both sides. I have some buddies that do it that way and have had good luck with it. Im thinking about trying my luck at it this year.
  • yessirkingyessirking Posts: 31 Deckhand
    thanks for all the info guys. im waiting again untill mid august to head down to the keys for some lobstering and will try out that towing method. thanks for the google earth tip. I used that to plan out my trip this time but the boat we rented only had 9 gallons of fuel and was not enough to go to the spots i wanted to try out. So we ended up lobstering channels and saw alot of shorts and a big *** shark
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand
    The good news about the Google Earth method is that it is most useful in shallow waters that are closer to shore. I found a spot about 200 yards from my channel. Looked like some junk that some people had dropped in a couple years back. I found a bunch of lobster, mostly short, but that would be normal for that time of the season. There were also two lionfish (speared) and a couple of nurse sharks. The sandy area surrounding it had several hundred mangrove snapper. I take my boat back down in a couple weeks and will resume checking out my spots through the summer.
  • OysterbottomboyOysterbottomboy Posts: 414 Officer
    If you ever see an angelfish while getting towed, make sure you let go and chase him to see where he goes. Most likely he will lead you to a nice hole or a brain coral that is holding lobster.
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand
    I have noticed that with queen angels. Not so much with french and grey angels.
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