Scallop season has been open for about a week and most reports are very good. Scallops can be found North of Bayport in 4 to 6 feet of water usually. Look for grassy areas and sample the area until you find them. A snorkel, mask and fins are necessary. Often you can pick up 4 to 6 at one dive.
Plan to be on the scallop grounds to coincide with low tide if possible. That way you will be diving in shallower water. Also the incoming tide is much clearer and cleaner than the outgoing tide. Something to think about: IF you have 3 people in the boat, you can limit out with 6 gallons faster than if you have 5 people in the boat, needing 10 gallons of scallops to limit out.
Safety first. Since the scallop area is generally flat rock with grass on top, your anchor will not hold well. Have one diver plant the anchor, otherwise, the boat will not hold position. Further, keep one person in the boat as a safety person to prevent the boat from drifting off if the anchor does not hold, and to watch the divers. Have the diver periodically watch the boat to make sure all is well.
Be sure to observe the legal limits as the FWC is watching you.
Scallops can be fried, baked in a scallop pie, broiled and who knows how many ways you could fix these delightful delicacies. Below you will find my favorite way to fix them for they go further, and taste great!
SCALLOPS, BROILED IN-SHELL
Serves 4 with only 72 scallops
1 STICK SALTED BUTTER
8 FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC CLOVES
A COOKIE SHEET
PANKO BREAD CRUMBS
1. Crack the scallop and remove the top shell, cutting the top of the scallop away from the top shell.
2. Carefully remove the entrails, leaving only the meat stuck to the bottom shell.
3. Place the scallops on a large cookie sheet
4. In a microwave proof container, place 1 stick butter, chopped and 8 garlic cloves chopped very fine. Microwave until the butter is melted.
5. Fill the scallop shell with garlic butter and cover with Panko bread crumbs.
6. Broil, watching for the bread to brown, remove and serve 18 per person.
NOTE: With other side dishes, this could be the main course, or reduce the number for an appetizer. Panko bread crumbs is superior and worth the effort as they are larger and stay crunchy. Regular bread crumbs or purchased Italian bread crumbs over power the taste and cause a paste.
Slurping the garlic butter from the shell is allowed.