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Summer Scalloping Dive right in!

FLORIDA BAY SCALLOPS

Harvest Season: July 1 - September 24, 2020

Eagerly anticipated, the sport of scouting out and bagging these feisty mollusks delivers fun by the boatload.

Less than an hour north of Tampa, Florida's Adventure Coast welcomes summer scallopers.

Expansive seagrass meadows - an estimated 250,000 acres - flourish in Adventure Coast's clear waters and provide a habitat for scallops to thrive.

These plentiful seagrass beds, coupled with the calm waters and shallow depths make this an ideal place for snorkeling and scalloping.

Seagrass
Just reach out...
Family, Friends, Fun!

Book a charter trip and just bring your smile. When you want to simply show up, sit back and leave the gear behind, choose among several U.S. Coast Guard certified charter captains familiar with local waters. They will take care of everything, fishing license included.

Scallops grow larger as the summer progresses. Recreational scallopers should harvest only those 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size in order to give smaller scallops more time to grow and later spawn.

And of course, the larger they are, the more tasty meat they yield.

Grab up to two gallons of whole, in the shell scallops or one pint of scallop meat per person per day.

Per boat the daily limit is ten gallons of intact scallops, which is equivalent to 1/2 gallon = 4 pints cleaned.

Be sure to have a cooler on board and place them immediately on ice, keeping them fresh and making the shells easier to open.

NOTE: Please do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters commonly used for recreational activities. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in a trash receptacle or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.

Have your own boat?
Be sure all aboard age 16 and over have a current Florida Saltwater Fishing License.

Motor out a short distance and choose one of many seagrass-rich areas with four-to-ten foot deep water and set out your anchor.

Place your "Diver Down" flag while diving
Florida's Adventure Coast Public Boat Ramps

NOTE: Except during Pasco County's season July 17 - 26, be sure and return to port in Hernando County.

If you spot a few from above, there should be plenty more nearby.

Scallops are well camoflaged and, unlike other bivalves, are free-swimming. They swim by clapping their shells together quickly which moves a jet of water past the shell hinge, propelling it forward in a zig-zag fashion. Don't worry; it doesn't go too fast to catch.

Harvested and...

Ready for shucking.

Extract the meat from the shell.

Scallop Shucking

Now that you have caught and shucked your scallops, it's time to dine!

From Food.com

Visit Florida's Adventure Coast for scalloping and stay awhile. Several lodging options minutes from public boat ramps and marinas have boat trailer parking available.

Fun for the whole family to hunt, catch and eat; Florida bay scallops - hidden like treasure - await your summer visit.

Photo Credits: Scalloping with the Bethea family for a UF/IFAS Extension Calendar. UF/IFAS Photos by Dawn McKinstry and Tyler Jones.

Photo Credit: Keith Kolasa, Hernando County Aquatics Manager

How many did you catch? Click to complete this quick survey for FWC research & tracking. Thank you!