Scuba Conditions: July 2021

July means mini-season, midnight madness and lobster dinners! Photo credit: Steve Wood

Diving in July is all about getting ready for and participating in Lobster Mini Season. This two-day ‘sport season’ allows a recreational diver a chance to collect spiny lobster for the first time since the end of March and is considered a tradition by many locals. Consider the following ideas to ensure a successful and safe experience out on the reefs.

Night divers always do best by splashing right at the stroke of midnight partaking in what is affectionately known as ‘Midnight Madness’. For many, this is the most anticipated dive all year. Consider scouting dive sites during the day and ensure you’ve got alternate spots picked in advance in case your honey hole is already taken by another boat. Peck Lake and the shallow reefs off the beach north of Fort Pierce Inlet are usually PACKED opening night and being considerate of others while out on the water after dark can go a long way. Consider running outside the reef and idling into the ledges versus running the beach/inside of the ledge to keep proper distance from other boats; divers in the water are hard to see, especially at cruising speed. Conditions should be ideal with an overnight high tide around 1 a.m., allowing for incoming tide after midnight.

Beach divers have their best chance all year to clean up on lobster since easy access locations like Bathtub Reef have been untouched for months. Interestingly, many are surprised to hear that some divers never even leave the inlets to bag a limit; especially this year, local waterways have been blessed with clean conditions and minimal freshwater releases. Rocky channel edges and structure in the river have been known to hold big lobsters if you know where to look. Be advised that boat traffic can make these areas hazardous and strict adherence to dive flag laws is a must.

If you launch from public ramps close to the inlets. like Sandsprit or Stan Blum, consider an obligatory stop by FWC par for the course this time of year. Everyone knows about basics like boat safety gear and proper licenses but consider rechecking lobster for eggs, correct size, and bag limits before heading back to the dock. This should be done underwater but couldn’t hurt to double check. Don’t forget to bring down your dive flag before heading in.

July is a great time of year to dive and provided tropical activity remains low, conditions should be spectacular. Whether it’s offshore or off the beach, the summer dive season is here.

Deep Six Watersports – Stuart 
(772) 288-3999 Stuart
(772) 562-2883 Vero