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You’re gonna pay a lot for that lobster

While the cost to come down to catch some lobster can be high, lobster divers say a good part of it is the thrill of the hunt, not just dining on the tasty crustacean.
While the cost to come down to catch some lobster can be high, lobster divers say a good part of it is the thrill of the hunt, not just dining on the tasty crustacean.

Out-of-towners in the Keys for the two-day lobster mini-season will pay a lot for the experience — and a lot for each lobster caught.

The total cost for a full mini-season experience in Marathon would cost a couple from Fort Lauderdale about $1,106.36, or $46.10 per lobster, if the couple stays in a hotel, tows its own boat and brings home 24 lobster (the limit is six per person per day).

This is how the cost breaks down:

The average cost of a hotel room in Marathon for two nights, calculated from 10 area hotels, would be $503.36 total, or $251.68 per night after taxes for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Towing a 25-foot V-hulled center-console fishing boat on a trailer for a total of 6,500 pounds behind a 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 would cost about $50 round trip from Fort Lauderdale, assuming the truck is getting 13 mpg and the couple filled up with regular unleaded gas at $2.15 a gallon for the 262-mile round trip.

Then there’s gas for the boat. Filling a 70-gallon tank to power twin 150 horse power Yamaha outboard motors would cost $273 at a marina if the gas costs $3.90 per gallon at a marina, average for the Middle Keys (less if your boat tanks are filled at a gas station).

If the couple went out for dinner after arriving Tuesday night, then ate out four more times from Wednesday to Thursday for breakfast and dinner, they would spend about $200, a conservative number after entrees and cocktails.

Kits are sold online full of lobster gear at about $40 each, including a snorkel mask.

So after gas, food, gear and a two-night stay in Marathon, the average cost for one lobster would be $46.10 should the couple bring in its limit of six lobsters each during the two-day event that ends at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

As of Tuesday, previously frozen wild-caught lobster from the Bahamas cost $17.99 per 6.75-ounce tail at Publix in Marathon, or $6.99 for a 3-ounce tail from Canada.

The regular eight-month lobster season for commercial fishermen and recreational divers starts Aug. 6.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219

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