NAPLES, Fla. - "They really don't tell us how things are going until they come in," Rick Rinella with Truluck's in Naples says while waiting patiently at a dock in Isle of Capri.
He's got more than 300 orders to fill in the restaurant Friday night, people waiting for that first batch of stone crabs to start the season.
"Everybody's worried, and we were watching everyday to see where this oil was going to go."
As the first boats rolled in, the claws are dumped into baskets and weighed out. Rinella finds a little relief, although not as much as he wanted.
"I think there could have been more."
In just a matter of minutes the stone crab claws are rolled in, cooked, sorted, boxed, and in Rinella's trunk. After all, he does have to rush these claws to a restaurant full of hungry diners, some who wait for the day stone crabs hit the menu.
"It's one of my favorites," Lois Sarabello says as she claws at her crab claw at Truluck's.
She too wondered if there would be a season after the oil spill, but not for her own benefit. "It's heartbreaking, people making their living fishing, especially in Louisiana."
Some fishermen say the number of stone crabs caught on opening day is definitely down, but they think it relates more to weather than oil.
But today, for Southwest Florida, it's considered an overall success that tastes rather sweet.