Hunting for lobsters is like an underwater treasure hunt. In shallow water where limited bottom time isn’t an issue, divers hug the bottom and peer into every nook and cranny. In deeper water where bottom time is precious, good divers spend time hugging the bottom in the most productive areas, then rise up a bit to conserve air while hoping to lobster legs wiggling out of a hole.
Divers typically carry a “tickle stick” and/or a loop snare. A transparent tickle stick works well to tease lobsters out of holes and into grabbing range. The loop snare can be used to “tickle out” a bug until you have enough room to get the loop behind the tail. Usually, the lobster will walk backward into the loop, and when it does you constrict the snare. Of course, you need a bag to hold the bugs, and the various “lobster inn” devices keep them from escaping. (excerpted from VisitFlorida.com)
The following list describes just a few of the many dive sites within 30 min of the Boca inlet. Our unique coastline offers some of the best diving in the country. Scattered among our coral reefs are a multitude of reefs varying in depths. So the beginner, as well as the experienced diver, can enjoy them. Look at all of the different reefs to check out!
SEAGATE: The ledges along this spectacular reef start at 70′ to about 40′. With corals and coral heads, this reef is a photographer’s dream. You can drift this reef for about a mile. It takes several dives to explore the entire reef.
DELRAY LEDGES: The large canyons and cliff areas along this reef wander east-west as you travel the reef on a leisurely north-south current. The top of the reef is about 50′ with the bottom dropping off to about 70′. The backside in about 80′-90′ has dramatic finger cliffs and coral formations.
THE CHIMNEY: Named for the large hole in the top of the reef, 2 divers can swim thru the top of the reef and come out the west side. The hole is hard to see since it is always full of fish. This unique structure is different from any other reefs and is home to many moray eels and schools of glass minnows.
FINKS GROUPER HOLE “SHARK DIVE”: Named for the abundant groupers, including goliath groupers, and sharks who inhabitant this reef, it is a must-see. Large squid have been known to wander this reef as well. The top of this reef sits in about 45′ with a spectacular west-facing ledge that drops into 70′.
SAN REMO: This reef is known for the many large lobsters we have caught there over the past several years. The quantity and vast colors of the various marine species make this another reef not to miss. A large school of spotted eagle rays has been seen here several times as well as the very rare whale shark. This reef ranges from 50′ to 70′.
ENGLISH MUFFIN: Named for its spectacular nooks and crannies, invertebrates, soft corals and shrimp abound. Great for macro photography. Depth ranges from 50′ to 72′ in the sand. Don’t forget to bring the butter and jam on this dive.
NORTH BEACH LEDGE: This vertical cliff ledge soars from 70′ to 45′ on top. The reef runs for nearly a mile along the north Boca coastline, making it an ideal site for our famous drift dives. With the frequent siting of turtles, this reef should be called Turtle Ledge.
HONEYCOMBS: The many holes and ledges on top of this reef make this an excellent second site on our quest for an underwater adventure. Lobsters and colorful marine life are both plentiful. The top of this reef is very shallow. Anywhere from 37 feet to about 50 ft.
OPAL TOWERS: Famous for our dusk dives and night dives, this beautiful 50′ ledge is teaming with life. Octopus and turtles are a common sight as you drift along this north-south ledge.
SHARKS LEDGE: This fantastic reef sits at 45′ with a ledge that drops down to 73′. At the north end, the reef sweeps toward shore and the current has cut out a huge cavern. Many interesting creatures are known to hang out here, including a large green moray. Sharp ledges and overhangs- turtles, lobster, and morays common.
ANGLIN PIER REEF: This is another beautiful part of the third reef system. It has incredible sheer ledges with gorgonians and sea fans. The reef weaves east and west while running north-south.
WATSONS’ WEDGE: Named after an old dive boat captain, a huge chunk of this third reef ledge has fallen to the sand in a wedge shape. The fish seem to love this area as they swarm through nooks and crevices. An old, old lobster still maintains a hideaway here where no one has been able to reach.
ABBEY TOO: North of the Hillsboro Inlet this is a very popular reef in about 40-60′ of water. Lots of critters use the large overhangs and steep ledges for protection. Turtles are often found sleeping here at night. Great reef for photography.
LIGHTHOUSE LEDGE: Straight out the inlet this 60′ reef drops from 40′ to 72′ in stages and is a favorite for night dives. One night at the opening of lobster season, two nurse sharks were caught in the act of “playing doctor”.
SUNKIST: This third reef has twin ledges with drop-offs facing both east and west. The valley in between is wide enough for nice drop-offs yet narrow enough to swim from one side to the other.
THE CAVES: 15′ – 30′ reef with holes and caves (not big enough to fit in)- a great spot for lobster! Tropicals, barracuda, corals. For the last two years, a 200 lb goliath grouper has been hanging around.
POMPANO DROP OFF: This part of the first reef splits off into ridges running north and south. There are beautiful wide ledges and great hiding spots for lobsters and other critters. Every spring a friendly manta ray cruises through for a while.
HALL OF FAME: A west-facing reef, which hooks and curves as it runs north and south. At the top of the north end of the reef is a canyon with a swim-through cave. This unique site was the location of an underwater marriage performed aboard Fathoms O’ Fun.