Hire Scalloping Charters In Florida For A Serene Experience

scalloping in florida

If you have never scalloped but love eating them, think of an Easter egg hunt while swimming above shallow saltwater grass flats. All you need is a mesh bag to place your scallops, as well as a mask and snorkel, although fins are helpful to be able to cover more area. Scallops are not easy nor too hard to find as their natural coloring provides camouflage within the sea grasses. Most of the time their shells are open to feed and breathe, revealing vibrant blue “eyes,” but if they sense danger they slam their shells shut and can swim backwards or up by clapping its shell halves together. You can hire the best scalloping Charters in Florida that will make sure you are completely ready for the adventure.

Captain Zac Zachry Scalloping charter

The Scallop Season

Scallop season along Florida’s Gulf coast runs from July 1 to September 25. It is legal to gather scallops north of the Pasco-Hernando (Aripeka) county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

Legality Says

You need to carry saltwater fishing license if you enter by boat. It is legal to land up to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of scallop meat each day during the open season. You may catch bay scallops only by hand or with a landing or dip net. They cannot be sold for commercial purposes.

The Hunt

  • If you are looking to get in on “the hunt,” then you will need a boat, mask, snorkel, saltwater fishing license and a dive flag. The best time to go is on a slack tide, when the grass blades stand straight up.
  • Bay scallops are masters of camouflage. It takes a keen eye and steady hand to locate these critters in the thick beds of shoal and turtle grass that flourish in the shallows off the state’s west coast.
  • Once you spot a scallop, get ready for a chase. These mollusks, unlike their clam and oyster cousins, can swim. By squeezing their shells together, scallops expel a jet of water that rockets them across grass beds.
  • As you approach the scallop, beware of the bivalve’s bewitching stare. These animals have a row of purple eyes that can mesmerize even veteran scallopers. So don’t be distracted. Many a scallopers have returned home empty-handed after hesitating at the moment of truth.
  • And remember that while a scallop may look harmless, it is a wild animal trying to survive. The scallop’s strong adductor muscle, which provides the delicate meat that you seek, can snap the shells shut like a vise. Scallops will pinch, and it hurts.