Buggin’ Keys Style


Buggin’ Keys Style

By Capt. Don Dingman

We started filming this season’s episodes of Hook the Future with a long road trip, and our new Mercury-powered Carolina Skiff was loaded for just about every kind of nearshore fish you can imagine.

So, we made our first stop at Marathon, in the Florida Keys. Some friends of ours had been there for a week catching bugs (spiny lobster) and grouper every day. With an open invite to come down and tickle some bugs with their kids, how could we say no?


Arriving on the last day of their stay, we loaded the 258 DLV with all kinds of dive gear. The DLV’s unique hull design appeals to both the shallow water angler and the enthusiast who like to venture into deeper waters. The modified Tri-V hull design allow for a smooth, outstanding performance dry ride. And there’s not a more stable, comfortable dive platform on the water.

They had been doing really well, so we decided to run a few miles up into the Gulf of Mexico to some spots that had been producing. As we arrived at the first number, their son Max told me he was going to show me how it’s done.

We put the dive flag up, donned our gear and went over the side. Nearing the bottom, and a large coral head, we could see three sets of whips poking out from underneath the ledge.

Lobstering is a team sport; we tried to put the two nets over the lobster’s escape routes while Max began working them with the tickle stick.

The first lobster slipped past the net, and I made a desperate, mad grasp at him. Catching only an antenna, I lost him as the whip quickly broke off. Fortunately, the bug flew backwards into the hands of my dive partner Donny, which were waiting for the lobster like a catcher’s mitt. Gauging the bug, we determined he was short and let him go unharmed — sans an antenna.


By now Max was determined and reached under the ledge behind a big lobster. He gently tapped the tail, causing it to spring straight into his net. That’s how it is (and should) be done!

Over the next few hours Max, Layne, and Chad all got their chances. Wading through many shorts, we called the trip due to approaching storms, with five keepers on board. It was an amazing day; after all, how many grown men get a chance to feel like a kid, playing underwater, and livin’ the Skiff Life, Florida Keys-style?

Boaters know Carolina Skiff is the most durable, versatile, stable and economical boat on the planet — and they’ve maintained their reputation for more than 30 years. From fit to finish, Carolina Skiffs provide the most features and the best functionality available on the market, giving boaters and anglers the best value in both performance and comfort. With more than 60 models across the Carolina Skiff, Sea Chaser and  Fun Chaser lines, you are sure to find a boat that meets your personal recreational or commercial needs.

To learn more, build a custom boat or locate a dealer near you, visit or call 800-422-7282.


Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle


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