Home > Blog > September 2017 > Spiny Lobsters in Destin by Colin Kirkwood

Spiny Lobsters in Destin by Colin Kirkwood

lobstersHave you heard of hunting for spiny lobsters in Destin? Neither had we until Newman-Dailey Real Estate Agent Colin Kirkwood enlightened us. We learned that he has been hunting for spiny lobsters for most of his life. From as far as the Country of Panama to The Bahamas and from Key West to Marathon Key, all the way up through the Southeastern coasts of Florida, Colin has searched the waters for spiny lobsters, and he tells us that hunting for spiny lobsters in Destin is the ultimate challenge! Here’s what he shared: 

“I've truly met my match when it comes to spiny lobsters here in Destin.  In most of the Caribbean, they can be found free diving in 60 feet of water to as little as six feet of water and around most any type of structure or coral head, which is easily accessible by boat. But not in Destin!  These guys make you work for ‘em.  

If you are lucky enough to be one of the few who gets the chance to spot a spiny lobster here in Destin, it doesn't mean that you have any guarantees that you will catch one. However, you can be guaranteed a few things if you do see one: they will be absolutely gigantic and they will not give up without a fight.  The lobsters that get to this size don't get this way because they are weak and stupid. They get to be this size because they are smart, fast and determined not to succumb to any other predator--not man nor fish.  

In order for you to catch one, the spiny lobster must have a minimum carapace (the bony shield covering the back of an animal) that is greater than 3-inches long. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horn and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace. The monsters we find in Destin are at a minimum measurement of 9- inches.  The spiny lobsters that you see in my picture have a carapace measurement of 11 to 14- inches, which truly make them monsters.

One of the reasons you don’t hear much about spiny lobsters in Destin is because they are in extremely deep water. The depths that we dive in search of these prehistoric creatures can be from anywhere of 100-feet to as deep as 140-feet.  Being able to dive to these depths for an extended period of time is only achievable only by an expert diver with many hours of practice and with the proper equipment.  

After the hour and a half boat ride from the Destin Pass, we make it to our hunting grounds.  In preparation for the dive we are always certain to check, double check and then triple check our equipment making sure that everything is in proper working order as the simplest mistake at these depths will most certainly have devastating and deadly consequences. Once suited up, it's time to dump over. The excitement in this moment is hard to explain even with me being an experienced diver. You get nervous and excited all at the same time. After a few minutes of descent the first thing that you begin to notice is the shock of the thermocline, which is an extreme temperature drop that feels as though you are getting punched in the stomach for the first time as a kid. Your eyes begin to grow large and you can't figure out why your brain can't tell your lungs to work.  “Breathe!” you being to think to yourself, “Breathe!”  For this brief moment that your breath is taken away, it is at this point you start to question your decision to continue on into the depths, but you do. As soon as the shock of the thermocline wears off, the bottom of the ocean comes into sight and a euphoric sense of calm comes over you. As you reach the bottom and it becomes clear, only then do you begin to see the hunting grounds and realize that the Gulf of Mexico is enormous. It's overwhelming and endless with its beauty, and feels like nothing else you've ever experienced. It is then that the search begins, and with a little bit of luck and a whole lot of experience and preparation, you will be lucky to find a few giant spiny lobsters.”

This sounds like an incredible adventure for experienced divers! For the rest of us, luckily there are Destin restaurants, such as Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer, serving this Florida delicacy. For those who live locally or are staying at a Destin vacation rental, you can head to one of Destin’s Seafood Markets, such as Blalock Seafood Market, to purchase spiny lobsters to prepare in your own kitchen. 

Considering buying or selling real estate in Destin? Colin Kirkwood is one of Newman-Dailey’s experienced real estate professionals and always ready to discuss market conditions or hunting for lobsters. Find Colin online or email him at [email protected] 

Looking for the perfect vacation rental for your next Destin vacation? View our collection of premier Destin vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652 to narrow your search. 

See you @ the beach!

Monday, September 18, 2017

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