When is Stone Crab Season in Florida?

If you are planning on visiting Florida, then you may already be familiar with stone crab. If you are not, then keep reading because we will tell you all that you need to know about Florida’s stone crab and stone crab season. 

Not everyone likes seafood, but if you do then you’ll definitely want to eat something that is local to Florida. Here’s what anyone staying in one of our Naples vacation rentals needs to know about the stone crab.

crab at a seafood market

Stone Crab Capital of the World

Everglades City is considered the Stone Crab Capital of the world. When visiting the city, one of the first things that you’ll notice is the crab boats that are lined along the dock. The Barron River is full of stone crab traps. Most of the tourists to Everglades City come to the city primarily to enjoy the stone crab claws that they can find at the local Naples restaurants

Stone crabbing became a big deal in the 60s. “Crabbers” would go as far as the Gulf of Mexico with up to 5,000 traps. The traps are left out in the gulf until the start of stone crab season starts. Once it does then it might require as much as three trips to pull in the traps that were set earlier in the year due to the number of crabs that have accumulated. This is not an easy job but generations of Floridians have been doing it for such a long time that it comes as second nature to them. 

If you’re planning a visit to Naples, Florida then make a detour to Everglades City and enjoy some of the local delicacies, such as the stone crab.

Facts About Stone Crab

Stone crab is undeniably a Florida delicacy that attracts many visitors. The best part of the crab is the claws, which is the part that is eaten, as it is the largest part of the crab with the most meat. It accounts for half of its body weight. Stone crabs use shells to burrow in the sand. That is why they are discovered covered with shells. They have to be steamed as soon as they are brought to the deck and chilled. This will stop the meat from sticking.  Research has shown that 13% of the stone crab claws are regenerated, which means that they survive the declawing phase. Some would say that the freshest stone crab can be found on Sarasota Bay but others would argue this and would say that Everglades City is where the freshest and most deliciously prepared stone crab can be found in Florida.

stone crab

The Season

So when is stone crab season exactly?

Stone crab season is from mid-October to mid-May when the Naples weather is a bit cooler. The season is also when part-time restaurant workers flock back to the area from up North in preparation for the winter season. Stone crab season in Florida is the livelihood for many Floridians. Restaurants and residents get ready for the start of the stone crab season, as they know this when they see an increase in visitors.

Where to Stay

When you decide that you want to visit Florida in hopes of finally getting your hands on some stone crabs then we suggest that you stay with us at one of our Naples rentals. Our rentals are less than an hour away from Everglades City but there are plenty of restaurants here in Naples that also serve delicious stone crab. When you stay with us, you’re never too far from popular seafood restaurants, parks, beaches, and local attractions.