The BugFest Lobster Mini-Season Dive Festival in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea ( July 26-July 31, 2016) is almost here!
Now in its fifth year, BugFest is the biggest and most popular lobster mini-season event in Florida! More than 300 divers participated in 2015, including 100 who completed in the Great Florida Bug Hunt.
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a charming Florida town on the ocean just north of Fort Lauderdale. With dozens of boutique hotels and 30 restaurants and pubs all within walking distance, ScubaNation TV once described us as a "cozy little drinking town with a diving problem."
Why drive all the way to the Florida Keys, when the daily lobster mini-season bag limit north of Monroe County is 12 bugs per day per scuba diver. You are also allowed to night dive for lobsters here. You can't do that in the Florida Keys. Veteran mini-season lobster hunters will also tell you the lobsters up here are also bigger, because of decreased competition.
Several hotels are discounting their rates. A few are even offering three night stays for the price of two! And if you register online and stay in a hotel in Town, the first 25 divers who do so will win a free dive trip on Friday, July 29 to SS Copenhagen, a historic Florida shipwreck.
In a word, BugFest is fun! You can catch lobsters while diving in South Florida this mini-season on boat dives or even off the beach. We have a fantastic photo competition, several bug hunting contests, a chef competition and some great presentations. The festival is centered around Florida's two-day lobster mini-season on July 27 and 28. Most events are between July 26 and 30, but a few, including a free DAN seminar on mini-season dive safety, are scheduled for this weekend.
We added a popular wreck diving workshop and dive with Shadow Divers legend John Chatterton on July 30 and 31st.
Online registration for the Great Florida Bug Hunt is open. A complete and updated BugFest 2016 schedule is posted below!
Sponsored by Reef Safe sun care products, BugFest this mini-season is giving away $20,000 in cash, dive gear and other great prizes. The cost to register for the Great Florida Bug Hunt is just $20. You can catch spiny lobster anywhere off Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties (you can register and pay online with a credit card or PayPal account).
Your Great Florida Bug Hunt registration will be refunded if you stay in a Lauderdale-By-The-Sea hotel!
This year's Grand Raffle Prize is a 4-day, 4-night stay at UNEXSO in Freeport, Grand Bahamas, courtesy of Reef Safe! This prize also includes complimentary economy class ferry transportation for two divers courtesy of Balearia Caribbean!
Other raffle prizes include a ladies dive watch from the Abingdon Co. worth $800, and a $625 Legend LX Aqua Lung regulator.
The best part is that you don't even have to catch the biggest lobster to win the dive trip, because every diver receives a raffle ticket for registering, and then one for each lobster they catch and enter. You also get to keep all your lobsters! Photographers who enter our contest will also receive a raffle ticket for entering at least one underwater photo. And we have lots of great lobster mini-season prizes to give away after the big cash winners are announced at the BugFest Mini-Season Party!
One dive buddy team will win $1,000 in cash for bagging the 12 biggest bugs on opening day. Buddy Teams also must register in advance.
The summer hotel rates in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea are super and much more economical than the Keys!
The best thing about staying in town, of course, is that you can walk to any one of our 30 great restaurants and bars after you're done diving.
There are many unique Florida dive sites in the Sunshine State and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is proud to be one of them.
If you have any questions about BugFest or the Town, please call Steve at 954-640-4209. You can also e-mail him at email@example.com.
BugFest 2016 Schedule! (255 KB)
Ask to check out late if you do the Copenhagen dive on July 29.