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Florida's Lobster Mini Season Is Here

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It is the time of year when people can head to the water to catch their limit for lobster mini season. It officially kicked off at 12:01 Wednesday morning.

For many, it's become a tradition.

"We come up here from the Tampa area to do a little bit of lobstering. We don't get lobster up there, says Captain Gene Hammond. "I've been coming here for about 13 years."

"I like to throw on a tank in 8 to 10 to 15 feet of water and just take them off the reef," he says.

Hammond is the founder of the non-profit "Reeling Freedom" where he takes veterans and first responders out on fishing charters.

For these two days, though, it is all about a different kind of catch.

In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, people are allowed to catch up to 12 lobsters per day, per person. In the Keys and Biscayne National Park, it is 6 per day, per person.

"Read up on your rules. Know where you can and cannot go," advises Hammond to any newcomers. "Catch your limit, but limit your cash. Don't take more than you're supposed to."

The FWC urges everyone to keep an eye out for the red diver down flags.

"That means there's divers down there actively harvesting," says FWC Officer Tyson Matthews.

The mini season ends at exactly 11:59 Thursday night.

Keep in mind harvesting is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park.

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