What makes grown men cry and scream? What makes people go crazy each year and swear they will never do it again and yet every year as I sit at Bass Pro shops in Islamorada, I see them stop by the back of the re-created fishing boat the PILAR there and get a few T-Shirts that have my lobster designs on them. Off they go and I do not see them until the Saturday or Sunday after mini season is over. That weekend is when the throngs that invade Keys waters each year drive back and it is a tradition to stop by Bass Pro shops and get a lobster tee for the road and have the artist sign them or draw a small sketch on the sleeve. Coolers laden with fresh Spiny Lobster tails and maybe some hogfish filets or mangrove snapper filets are out in the cars guarded by the one who hates shopping the most.
I see them every year. Flour white skinned non-Florida Keys natives who turn red like a fire engine from two days of snorkeling or diving for the tasty treasures that have an uncanny knack for eluding even the most seasoned veterans. However you can bet the veterans are the ones that bring their own butter. Most stores are sold out so it is wise to bring extra butter with you. As good a job as Publix does, and even they sell out. So be sure to make a note of that. I CAN'T BELIEVE ITS NOT BUTTER” turns into I cant believe I’m without butter instead.
I have been designing and selling Lobster T-Shirts since 1990 and I believe I have the best ones going and every year I have a few favorites and a few new ones I hope to pass up the favorites with. GOT BUTTER and LOBSTER PIRATE are synonymous with Florida Keys Lobster season and you can get these designs at most
good places in the Keys. Even stop by Bass Pro shops the week of mini lobster season and I would be happy to sign them for you and chat about fishing or lobstering or sinkers for that matter.
I think that TAIL GUNNER is going to be a hit this year and may replace one of the favorites but that remains to be seen. I want everyone to remember to be respectful on the water and be sure you stay within the framework of the law as out FDNR officers are very resourceful in their pursuit of the people who think shoes and shorts are acceptable. NO SHOES, NO SHORTS, NO JAIL OR FINES
Try and find a native or a charter guide to take the group out for a sure fire way to use that extra butter you have stashed and be sure to thank him with a few extra tails for his or her hard work. Most captains are very grateful for some spiny lobster tails as a tip builder. Also, you can learn quite a bit the first day then tackle the lobster scene yourself the second day once the freezer has some tails put away.
Be sure to say hello as I will be the one without any lobster tails and will have a left handed that is marked up with the color of the rainbow from the markers I use to sign tees and sketch scenes for people on request each year at the Bass Pro shops WORLD WIDE SPORTSMAN STORE in Islamorada. Stop in and see the exhausted but entertaining man behind the boat whose hand is a blur as people stand three deep in the turn to get their lobster t shirts signed each year. I hope to see you all there and if you get too many tails I know of one artist that would LOVE to help you get rid of a few.