BugFest divers had an awesome year! 

Randall Reid
Lantana resident Randall Reed caught a 5 lbs lobster off the beach at BugFest in July, the biggest caught in the Great Florida Bug Hunt. Congratulations!   
Many divers got their limits on both days!    


Great Florida BugHunt Details!

Schyler Cox covered BugFest for Scuba Diver Magazine.


The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea held another successful BugFest-By-The-Sea event in late July as part of its annual lobster mini-season dive festival, where scuba divers won cash and prizes in the Great Florida Bug Hunt.

Congrats to Randall Reed of Lantana for catching the biggest bug of the tournament off the beach, a 5 pounder. 

Mike and Bob Maler won the Buddy Team Award for Miami-Dade for the 12 biggest lobsters caught the first day of mini-season.

Jim "Chiefy" Mathie and Andy Rubin won the Buddy Team Award for the 12 biggest bugs bagged off Broward County.

Thanks also to Mayor Chris Vincent for participating as one of the judges in the lobster chef cooking competition.

The Town also sponsored a concert on July 28 to benefit Diveheart, a non-profit group that teaches people with disabilities how to scuba dive. Through raffle ticket sales and sponsorships, Diveheart raised an estimated $40,000.

Thanks to our awesome sponsor, Reef Safe Sun, Aruba Beach Cafe, Gold Coast Scuba, Village Grille, 101 Ocean, Plunge Beach Hotel, Coast Boutique, Billy Jack's Restaurant, Sea Cliff, High Noon, Windjammer Resort, ScubaRadio, the Scuba Cowboy and everyone else who participated in BugFest 2018 or helped out in any way this year.

 More than 120 divers took part in the Great Florida Bug Hunt. We'll post the names of all the winners in a couple of weeks.

- If you have questions about BugFest 2019, call Steve at 954-640-4209 or e-mail him at steved@lbts-fl.gov 

Download Schedule

BugFest Schedule BugFest Schedule (959 KB)


BugFest is again giving away $20,000 in prizes and dive gear, including an Aqua Lung Legends regulator and two Paralenz underwater video cameras!  

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

To participate in the Great Florida Bug Hunt, you must register beforehand. The cost is $20. All divers

receive a BugFest Goody Bag, which includes a BugFest T-shirt, a DAN ‘Check Your Air’ lobster gauge and

safety info, Dive Training Magazine, Reef Safe dolphin key chains, & more. Divers receive a raffle ticket for each
lobster they weigh in during the contest. The raffle prizes include an Aqua Lung Legends Regulator worth $675,
two Paralenz video camera kits worth $700 each, dive tanks, dive boat trips, hotel stays and other fun prizes.

You can register at Gold Coast Scuba in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, or at South Florida Diving Headquarters

(SFDH) at the Sands Marina in Pompano. You can also register online with a credit card by PayPal at

www.bugfestbythesea.com. By registering online, you agree to all the terms in the Town’s BugFest Liability Waiver.

Call Lobster-In-Chief Steve d’Oliveira with questions at 954-640-4209, or e-mail him at steved@lbts.fl.gov.




Biggest 12 Bugs Caught Off Broward By A Buddy Team on Wednesday. $500

Biggest 12 Bugs Caught Off Miami-Dade By A Buddy Team on Wednesday. $500

All dive buddies on your team must individually register for the Great Florida Bug Hunt

(no additional cost) by sending an e-mail to steved@lbts-fl.gov. The deadline to register

is 5PM on July 24th. We divided the $1,000 Buddy Team cash prize this year to reflect the fact

that the average-size lobsters caught in Miami-Dade tend to bigger than ones bagged in Broward.



Biggest Bug Caught Anywhere Off A Boat (private or commercial): First Place: $400 / Second Place: $100 


Biggest Bug Caught Anywhere Off The Beach: First Place: $400 / Second Place: $100

Biggest Bug Caught On Midnight Beach Dive off LBTS: First Place: Sherwood Vision Computer $800


Biggest Bug Caught Wedesday Off The SFDH 6AM Aqua View Dive: Akona Carry-On Roller Bag $100     

Biggest Bug Caught Wednesday Off the SFDH 6AM Black Pearl Dive: Dive Tank $200



Biggest Bug Caught Anywhere On Thursday (Boat or Beach) $250



 Biggest Bug Caught By A Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Resident $100



Prettiest Lobster Caught Anywhere By A Female Scuba Diver $100

In case of a tie, the No. 1 tiebreaker will be the lobster's weight.



El Prado Park, 4500 El Mar Drive, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

Wednesday (4PM-7PM)

Thursday (2PM-6PM)


Sands Harbor Marina, 125 N Riverside Dr, Pompano Beach

Wednesday (10AM-5PM)

Thursday (10AM-5PM)



Register Here



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