Today is the last day for Stone Crabs in Florida. May 1st is when the harvest officially ends, and by May 2nd, all of the crabs need to be in inventory. The waters officially shut down for crabbing tomorrow. Next, fishermen and women have five days to pull up the traps.  The annual crabbing season kicked off on October 15th.

Taking a break allows the crustaceans to grow their claws back. When crabs are snared in underwater traps, fishermen and women remove a claw but leave the joint. The joint is what attaches the claw to body and it’s where a new claw will now regrow. The regrown claw often comes back even bigger. This makes crab claws a sustainable seafood in for Floridians.

According to Best Stone Crabs, the average price claws for the 2022-2023 season has been $35-$79 per pound. The price depends on the size with colossal’s costing the most.

Stone Crab Claw

Florida stone crab claw

Fresh Stone Crabs

Fresh is always best. However, lots of places serve stone crabs that have been frozen. The meat is not as tender and juicy. Meat from previously frozen claws also tends to stick to the shell. In addition, it can be dry and the shells don’t have any shine. FYI next time you order them.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says Hurricane Ian had drastic effects on the lucrative industry and harvest this season. They even amended a few regulations to make it easier for crabbers. Regardless, today is the last day for harvesting Stone Crabs in Florida. In addition, it’s the last day you can fish for snook. Snook season also closes on May 1st.

4 Gulf Coast Restaurants Make List Of Best Seafood In Florida

One of my favorite things about living in Florida is the endless supply of fresh seafood, and 4 restaurants on the gulf coast made a list of the best seafood in Florida.

Fishermen in Florida catch more than 84% of the entire nation’s supply of grouper, pompano, mullet, stone crab, pink shrimp, spiny lobsters and Spanish mackerel so for us down here, it’s as fresh as it can get and between restaurants and year-round seafood festivals, we have lots of options.

Trips to Discover, a travel blog, put together their list of the 15 Best Seafood Restaurants in Florida and it includes a wide variety of restaurants from upscale to dive all over the state with one thing in common: amazing seafood.

While there aren’t any restaurants in SWFL on their list, one that did make it is Walt’s Fish Market in Sarasota. Before moving to Fort Myers, I lived in Sarasota and Walt’s was a regular hang of mine, so I can definitely agree. I used to always get whatever was on special for the day and was always impressed with their combinations. On the blog, they praised Walt’s on their outdoor seating, live music and their “huge selection of choices, from conch fritters to mussels and oysters, but you can’t miss out on sampling their famous smoked mullet spread.”

Here’s some photos from some of my many visits to Walt’s over the last few years:


15 Best Seafood Restaurants in Florida, According to Trips to Discover:

  • Star Fish Company- Cortez

  • Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer- Destin

  • Dixie Crossroads- Titusville

  • Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House- Destin

  • Flagler Fish Company- Flagler Beach

  • DJ’s Clam Shack- Key West

  • Hunt's Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant- Panama City

  • Walt's Fish Market- Sarasota

  • O'Steens Restaurant- St. Augustine

  • Owen's Fish Camp- Sarasota

  • Up the Creek Raw Bar- Apalachicola

  • Stewby's Seafood Shanty- Fort Walton Beach

  • Pensacola Fish House- Pensacola

  • Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant- Atlantic Beach

  • Dry Dock Waterfront Grill- Longboat Key

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