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"Lobster lovers take in hunting seminar in Pompano"

August 2, 2012|EMMETT HALL deerfieldforum@tribune.com, EMMETT HALL deerfieldforum@tribune.com
Diving Instructor Chad Carney with Bugzilla


"Bug mania has hit the shores of South Florida, and divers were out in force for the official lobster mini season that began July 25-26." 

The eight-month regular season goes from Aug. 6 to March 31, but it is the traditional mini season that brings out the sporting instincts of an enthusiastic crowd of scuba divers and free divers hoping to snare their share of the Florida delicacy.

Instructor Chad Carney conducted the educational class that covered everything to do with lobstering from safety issues, proper gear, techniques on catching them, to cooking the prize. Carney, a marine hunter by nature, has been a certified diver since 1972 and an instructor since 1977.

He honed his craft on the shores of Tampa/St. Petersburg before calling Pompano Beach home this year. A boat captain and avid spear fisherman, he looks forward to the opening of lobster mini season every year.

"This is lobster mania and is a big part of our business and everybody rushes in for the two-day opening season," Carney said. "People still pile into the Keys, but the local reefs here are very successful and accessible. I love it here and the water is so clear, plus you can go offshore a little more than a mile and find some really deep wrecks."

Becoming a great bug catcher is an acquired skill and Chad was willing to share his knowledge and expertise on the subject.

Deerfield Beach resident Jay Gillespie, an amateur marine photographer, is more accustomed to diving with his strobe and camera than fishing. The mini lobster season is the only time he turns into a hunter.

"I haven't had any luck for the last five years, but I learned some new strategies here tonight," Gillespie said. "My wife loves lobster, so if I bring home some dinner for her this season, I'm golden."

For more information visit www.floridaskindiver.com

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