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.


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

Sponsored again by Reef Safe , this year's event is July 24-29 , 2018 and features a concert on Saturday, July 28 that benefits Diveheart , a non-profit that helps wounded veterans (and adults and children with disabilities) build confidence, independence and self-esteem through scuba diving.

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

Unlike the Keys, divers during lobster mini-season can bag up to 12 bugs per day anywhere north of Monroe County!

In addition to great Reef Safe sun care products, participating divers can win $20,000 in cash and prizes.

Here are the latest Florida Fish & Wildlife lobster mini-season regulations.

Online registration for the Great Florida Bug Hunt will open on May 1.

Even though you must check the PayPal option to get to the payment page, you can then pay by credit card. The contest fee is $20. Divers receive a free BugFest Goody Bag and BugFest T-shirt. BugFest will refund the $20 fee this year if you stay in a Lauderdale-By-The-Sea hotel. After registering, please call Steve at 954-640-4209 with your hotel confirmation number. His e-mail is also listed below if you prefer to e-mail.

BugFest this year (so far) 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 mini-season dive safety seminar at 5PM on Tuesday, July 24 by Divers Alert Network!

- A free lobster hunting seminar at 6PM on Tuesday, July 24. The 1-hour seminar is taught by author and lobster hunting expert Jim "Chiefy" Mathie, a retired Deerfield Beach firefighter.

BugFest Mini-Season Awards Party and Chef Contest (Thursday, July 26).  The event will feature the Scuba Cowboy  and ScubaRadio mermaids. 


- Underwater pier or reef clean-up (Saturday, July 28) at Anglin's Pier. 

- Free live bands starting at 6:30PM on Saturday, July 29 in Anglin's Square to benefit Diveheart! The concert features The Weedline, Fifth Circuit and Patrick Arnold. Join us as we party together to raise funds to help this great organization!

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