TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s two-day mini-season for spiny lobster opened on Wednesday, giving licensed divers a first crack at hunting the tasty crustaceans.

The 48-hour event began on July 27 and will end on July 28 ahead of the regular commercial and recreational lobster season, which starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31, 2023, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,

“Spiny lobster season is an exciting time for anglers of all ages to be on the water,” said FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood. “It’s also a great time to practice safe boating and take care around Florida’s coral reefs.”

According to the FWC, the Florida spiny lobster, also known as the Caribbean spiny lobster, inhabits tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. They get their name from the forward-pointing spines on their shell that protect them from predators. They house most of their meat, which is sweet and firm in texture, in their tails.

They hide in their dens during the day, so the best time to catch them is at night.

The FWC says the lobsters must be measured in the water. The carpace should be longer than 3 inches.

To lobster, you must own a salt-water fishing license and a lobster stamp.

For more information about licensing requirements visit MyFWC.com/License or purchase your license at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

To learn more about bag limits, size limits, where to harvest and other regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster,” under the “Crabs, Lobster and other Shellfish” tab.

For more information on spiny lobster fishing, including how to measure your catch, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster” under “Crustaceans and Mollusks.”