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Nice size bug for that area. The florida record is 26lbs and on the FL east coast around the St. Lucie to Ponce deep reefs that size bug is considered normal. @rjack321 & @Catito , remember that all FL lobster are not born in Florida but rather the tiny 'recruits' ride the gulf stream currents from central and south america. It's been well documented by SAFMC with actual dna testing. 2020 & 21 are continuing a 7 year trend of the most sustainable seafood stock in Florida. With this data, some of us are asking for additional limits programs.
Not if you prepare it correctly.But why? A lobster that big…doesn’t it just taste like cardboard?
You are correct, it is a male.How can you tell it is a female?
I think it looks more like a male, but hard to tell from the picture. It is easier determine when they get a good bit larger.
That size lobster is very good eating. In fact, the "head" and legs and antennae bases all have considerable meat (probably more than the tail), so the larger ones have a better yield if you take the trouble to prepare the (normally discarded ) head and legs.
This one happened to be a male, but if were a female, I still would have taken her, if she weren't bearing eggs. Apparently spiny lobster may reproduce when their carapace is 3" long, so when they are about two years old. This one's carapace was over 6". The northern gulf doesn't get the kind of pressure that South Florida does for spiny lobsters, so they are able to grow to larger sizes. They are certainly not as densely populated (within recreational limits) as South Florida.why would you take what is almost surely a breeding female that is almost inedible at that age
I know that @paulwall already answered your question but I wanted to add that you can "See it" in his picture. Look at the bug being held against his chest, and on the right side of the tail. The 4 individual small 'swimmerette fins' sticking out are just 'singles'. If it was a female, each swimmerette fin would be a 'double' and you would clearly see it by looking at the tips.I think it looks more like a male, but hard to tell from the picture.
Not if you prepare it correctly.
In truth, I prefer the shovelnose lobster for taste, but this one tasted like a typical spiny lobster, somewhat sweet, a little chewy. I will say that these big guys are spinier and ouchier than the smaller ones.