I've heard that 2014 will be a good year for bay scallops, unless you are one. Heh, heh. Have you ever been bay scalloping? If you're a Florida resident, or if you're brave enough to live here in the summertime, then bay scalloping is your reward for dealing with the worst of the weather. And it's also a perfect way to have fun with the whole family and stay cooler amid all the intense humidity and heat...just keep your eyes open for summer storms that can pop up just about anytime.
There's nothing like the taste of perfectly seared super sweet bay scallops. I prefer them over their larger cousins the sea scallops. And summer means bay scallop season in Florida.
The scalloping season starts this Saturday, June 28th and will conclude September 24th. But it's always better pickin's the earlier you go. For more information from FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) on the 2014 season, please click here.
Read on for more information about scalloping on the Nature Coast and Citrus County:
Gear you need for scalloping:
First you need a boat, or a friend with a boat. Ummmm, yeeeeeah.....that would help, unless you hire a pro to take you.
If you have a boat, or know a friend with a boat you're doing good, but make sure they (or you, know how to use it).
Next you'll need; Mask, Snorkel, Fins, and a Catch Bag. And really, you don't need to be SCUBA certified, any old snorkeling set will work fine, but definitely get the de-fogger for your mask, it will be worth it's weight in gold! You also need a mesh bag to put all your scallops in– you can find these bags in many places, from Amazon, to most local gas stations and bait stores.
Oh, and other must-haves are sunscreen and a cooler stocked with bottled water, your favorite beverages and something to snack on.
Where to scallop? Maps, surveys, more info: Be sure to see these maps for where the best scalloping is on the Nature Coast. If you're planning on going scalloping this bay scallop season, make sure to help biologists learn more about how many bay scallops live along Florida's Gulf coast by submitting your bay scallop harvest data through their Web survey. View the article "Bay Scallop Web Survey Taps Recreational Harvesters" for more information.
Remember: Scuba divers and snorkelers are required to carry and display a divers-down flag. Florida Dive Flags: Rules for Divers and Boaters.
Also, see this page for Citrus County pros who are qualified to take you out for your scalloping adventure if you don’t want to try it on your own.
Another great place to head for scalloping is Steinhatchee, read all about it here.