Dive lobster mini-season at BugFest! 

Maler family winners
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident Francisco Rizzo, and his dad, Frank, caught this 5.6lbs lobster in 12 feet of water off the Town's beach. It was the biggest bug bagged in the 2017 Great Florida Bug Hunt!  
Catch up to 12 lobsters per day at BugFest!    


Great Florida BugHunt Details!

Schyler Cox covered BugFest for Scuba Diver Magazine.


The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea celebrates Florida's lobster mini-season with BugFest, our annual bug hunting dive festival!

Sponsored by Reef Safe Sun, this year's event is July 24-29, 2018 and features a concert on Saturday, July 28 that benefits Diveheart , a non-profit that teaches adults and children with disabilities how to scuba dive.

Unlike the Florida Keys, there's lots to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea besides hunting lobsters during mini-season. We have great beachfront hotels at low summer rates, restaurants, fun public plazas with kids games, quaint shops and pubs -- all just a short stroll from your town hotel.

Mini-season divers can also bag up to 12 bug per day outside Monroe County! That can be confirmed by checking the latest Florida Fish & Wildlife lobster mini-season regulations.

In addition to great Reef Safe sun care products, we are giving away $20,000 in cash, dive gear prizes and trips. Divers who enter the contest receive a raffle ticket for every lobster they catch! You may not bag the biggest bug, but you could still go home with a prize.

Online registration for the Great Florida Bug Hunt is open. Please note: Even though you must check the PayPal option to get to the payment page, you can still pay by credit card. The contest fee is $20. Divers receive a free BugFest Goody Bag and BugFest T-shirt. 

This year's BugFest event includes:

- The Great Florida Bug Hunt (July 25 & 26). You can win a regulator, dive tank or other great prizes, even if you don't catch any bugs!

- A free lobster hunting seminar at 6PM on Tuesday, July 24 at Plunge Beach Hotel. The 1-hour seminar is taught by author and lobster hunting expert Jim "Chiefy" Mathie, a retired Deerfield Beach firefighter. Chiefy will be giving away five of his books on lobster hunting!

- A Mini-Season Kickoff Party at Plunge's beachside pool and bar at 7PM on Tuesday, July 24. Meet the ScubaRadio mermaids and enjoy a free beer, courtesy of Gold Coast Scuba, while listening to trop rock music provided by the Scuba Cowboy!

BugFest Mini-Season Awards Party and Lobster Chef Contest starting at 6PM on Thursday, July 26th. The event will feature the Scuba Cowboy  and ScubaRadio mermaids.
- A wreck diving workshop on Saturday, July 28 with wreck diving legend John Chatterton (Shadow Divers and Pirate Hunters). This includes two wreck dives on Sunday, July 29th.
- A concert to benefit Diveheart starting at 6:30PM on Saturday, July 28 in Anglin's Square.

- If you have questions about Florida's lobster mini-season or BugFest, call Steve at 954-640-4209 or e-mail him at steved@lbts-fl.gov 






Download Schedule

BugFest 2017 Schedule! BugFest 2017 Schedule! (157 KB)

BugFest 2016 Photos!


BugFest is again giving away $20,000 in prizes and dive gear, including $1,000 in cash to the two, three or four person buddy-team that catches the biggest 12 lobsters (by weight) the first day of mini-season during the Great Florida Bug Hunt, BugFest's lobster-hunting competition.

You can catch your lobsters anywhere in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties. Bugs can be caught off a boat or off the beach. Doesn't matter. As long as they are legal, they can be entered in the contest. All divers participating in the contest must pay the $20 registration fee.

Divers will receive a raffle ticket for every lobster caught. So even if you don't catch the biggest lobster, you could still go home with a new regulator, BC, mask, wet suit or another great prize!

Unlike Monroe County, Florida allows divers outside the Keys to catch 12 lobsters per day per diver. You can also dive for lobsters at night. And unlike the Keys, not only are hotel rates much cheaper, driving home isn't a hassle and neither is grabbing dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

Great Florida Bug Hunt Categories & Prizes

Buddy Team

  • Biggest 12 Bugs Caught Wednesday By A Buddy Team (all dive buddies must register) $1,000

Boat Diving

  • Biggest Bug Caught Off A Boat (private or commercial): $400 Second Place:$100
  • Biggest Lobster Caught Off Aqua View (SFDH) Wednesday Morning Sherwood Profile Module Computer $340
  • Biggest Lobster Caught Off Black Pearl (SFDH) Wednesday Morning Sherwood Insight Module Computer $375

Register Here



BugFest Special: book three nights, third night is free
BugFest Special: Three nights for the price of two!
BugFest Special: Special Bugfest Rates! Click photo for details.
BugFest Special: Three nights for the price of two!
BugFest Special: Three nights for the price of two!
BugFest Special: 40% Off
BugFest Special: Call For BugFest Rates