Lobster Mini-Season, The Keys - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-02-2014, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Lobster Mini-Season, The Keys

Have been diving the Keys since the '70's and threatening to do the lobster mini-season for years. My wife went back to work this year after 21 years of raising three kids and set aside the money to give us a week at Hawk's Cay Resort as a Christmas gift. Hawk's Cay is not cheap. The mini-season was 7/30 and 31. My son, 17 yr. old daughter and I dove on the Dive Duck Key boat in about 30 ft. of water and got some despite not knowing much about what we were doing. The reefs were not the normal Keys reefs, they were closer in and had only about 20ft. visibility. Made one huge mistake and feel I should warn any of you thinking about going there. Thought we could do better than the first days ten lobster so I hired a guide on day 2 and was told it would cost $100. Because of the low visibility, we had to stay fairly close to the guide and couldn't stop when we saw a lobster. My son stopped to get one and by the time we realized he did and got the guide to stop, we had moved just far enough away that we couldn't find him. Fortunately, he surfaced and returned to the boat with a lobster. The guide didn't point out a single lobster and got six by himself (though they were given to us). We certainly could have done better without a guide. To make matters worse when we got the bill from the resort we were informed that the cost of the guide was $100 PER PERSON. That's on top of $80 for me (the trip and a tank) and $200 for my two kids who also needed regulators and BC's. Bottom line is that it cost $580 for a half day dive trip for three people to get 7 lobster. Two other groups on the boat had guides and it appeared their experience was like ours. I'm glad to have finally scratched off min-lobster season on my bucket list but it's certainly the most expensive lobster possible. Still, the Keys and the diving was as terrific as usual and I'm glad we went. (photos from day 1)
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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Glad you got to go to the keys, it's a great water sports place. Understand about the bad experience but don't let that deter you, just chalk it up to experience as a lesson learned. There are some less expensive ways...just do some homework & ask some questions on here. Lots of great info. Great look'in family!!
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mac1528 View Post
Glad you got to go to the keys, it's a great water sports place. Understand about the bad experience but don't let that deter you, just chalk it up to experience as a lesson learned. There are some less expensive ways...just do some homework & ask some questions on here. Lots of great info. Great look'in family!!
+1. You made great memories that you and your kids will have all your lives. Drag your boat, or rent one - even from a ways away for better rates, if possible.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post with pictures. Brings back many a memory diving around Hawk's Cay. While we lived in the Keys for many years we would hide until our visitors would leave. Now we go down two or three times and we are the visitors. It's a shame that you were taken advantage of on the cost. I have some steaks if you want to make it surf and turf.
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