2020 Bay Scallop Season Opens on Floridas Huge Bend, June 15
The yearly bay scallop harvest is the biggest economic driver for our Natural North Florida/Big Bend Gulf counties. Snorkelers, wishing for a meal of these yummy mollusks take a trip from far and wide to take part in what lots of think about an “underwater Easter egg hunt”!
Scalloping starts in Dixie and southern Taylor counties on June 15th this year, and lasts till Labor Day. Theres little doubt that the epicenter of the harvest is Steinhatchee, located on the Dixie/Taylor County line. There, youll discover boat ramps, marinas, marine services, excellent restaurants, and lodging.
The most popular counties in terms of an effective harvest are Dixie, Taylor and Waaulla. Levy and Jefferson counties likely have scallops concealing in their turf flats, however the water there is normally unclear enough to see them in the 3 to 6-foot depths.
As you can see, scalloping is enjoyable for the whole family. And you can anticipate a terrific meal at the end of your trip. And while the cleaning of your catch can be a rite of passage for a few of your team, you may discover it much easier to benefit from the services of the folks at marinas,, who will, for a really reasonable cost, clean, wash and bag your limit.
Capturing Your Limit
Its worth pointing out the dangers of scalloping. Scallopers must be award of sea urchins and take care not to step or get on one. Stingrays are numerous however harmless unless stepped on and late summer constantly brings hordes of stinging jellyfish. Beware, however do not let these marine dangers spoil your trip. On a more severe note is weather condition. Hot summer season afternoons often sustain big thunderstorms. Keep your eyes open and keep listening to the radio. Be prepared to haul anchor and run towards more secure waters ought to the noises of thunder approach.
Click this link to learn more about Steinhatchees marinas and marine services. See Steinhatchee.com for information about motels, restaurants, home rentals, and charter guides providing scallop journeys.
Local boat ramps can be busy. Consider renting a boat to beat the crowds.Scalloping is not big video game fishing. nor does it involve specialized.
abilities, knowledge or deal with. Scalloping is an enjoyable day on the water for.
the entire family. The youngsters can swim near the boat, the.
larger ones can look and pick scallops at starfish and small fish, and.
the grownups can scallop, swim or just take pleasure in each others business..
Followed by a supper that night of newly caught scallops, life “aint too bad”!
Once youre in the scallops neighborhood, youll need to do a bit of browsing, simply to make anchoring rewarding. Hopefully the water will be clear (Scallops like it by doing this.) and you can place a couple of spotters to search for scallops with their light sides turned upwards. While many scallops are found with their dark sides up to the surface area of the water, a couple of tend to settle on the bottom turned over, making it easy for boaters to find them. If you see a couple of light or colored shells, thats a good sign that there are more scallops nearby. If youre in deep or dark water, youll more than likely requirement to get a team member overboard to take a better look before you commit to that specific spot.
* For total boating regulations see: myfwc.com/boating/safety/law_summary.htm.
Prior to you get your team damp, relate to a few rules– some authorities, some
simply based on excellent good sense. All scallopers, unless exempt, are
needed to have a Florida leisure saltwater fishing license..
Scallops may just be taken by hand or with a hand-held internet. Your boat.
need to show a dive flag (Of size 20″ x 24″ or bigger, with a stiffener,.
flown from the acme of the boat.) or, if youre wading from.
coast (Thats possible in some years!) everyone should tow a 12″ x 12″.
flag. When approaching the scallop fleet watch out for.
scuba divers, swimmers and snorkelers and keep a legal distance (” Vessels.
approaching divers-down flags better than 300 feet in open water and.
100 feet in rivers, inlets, and navigation channels must slow to idle.
speed.” *) Keep an individual aboard the boat at all times and instruct.
your scallopers that his/her word is law. Crowds of scallopers.
dont seem to frighten sharks, and the word from the Captain to get.
out of the water ought to be taken seriously. Likewise, excellent typical sense.
tells most people that cleaning scallops aboard and then tossing the.
offal into the water near snorkelers is well outside the series of good.
judgment. A lot of people, that is. Your lookout should.
Keep a head count of everyone in the water and alert folks,.
particularly kids, lest they wander or swim too far from the boat.
If youre the very first boat out of port on the first day of scallop season, you most likely need to take notice of reports from marinas and regional newspapers or television regarding the location of the best potential areas. Just look for the flotilla if youre out on day two!
If its your very first time scalloping, youll require to make a trip to a.
regional dive or deal with shop and get a few requirements. The.
previously mentioned dive flag should be the first thing on your list, and.
mesh bags 2nd. I d encourage getting bags in brilliant colors as black.
ones tend to get lost on the bottom if dropped. , if you believe youll be.
scalloping in waist-deep water you may not require anything aside from a.
mask and comfy wading shoes, however when the scallops get deeper.
where the tidal currents are strong youll certainly desire to think about.
purchasing swim fins and snorkels for everybody in your party. I.
carry a 5-gallon bucket thats been marked in 2-gallon increments..
People are limited to 2 gallons of scallops in their shells. Boat.
limitations are 10 gallons total, even if you have more than 5 individuals.
aboard. Make sure to measure your catch carefully, as the FWC is out in.
force throughout scallop season, and they take bag limits of this precious.
resource extremely seriously. A 2-gallon private limit will yield about a.
pint of cleaned meat. Unlike oysters, where you consume the entire animal,.
scallops are taken just for their adductor muscles (Those which open.
and close the shell.). Adductor sizes vary somewhat, and limits appear to.
have a higher yield towards completion of the season.
Scalloping is the Big Bends option to South Floridas lobster season. Its a mix of total madness at boat ramps and marinas, motels filled to capability, family enjoyable, and some of the finest eating around.
Scallop catching isnt difficult once theyre found. The hardest part for.
inexperienced snorkelers is using the devices, but after a few.
minutes, even amateurs master timing their breaths and dives..
While some scallops are simple to see, particularly if their light sides.
are facing upwards and theyre laying on top of the lawn, a lot of scallops.
are not right away visible, and are cuddled down in the lawn, dark.
side up. Discovering an area with much shorter yard and spotty white sand locations.
is chosen, and if you find yourself in such an area, your catch rate.
will be much faster. Look thoroughly along the edges of white sandy spots.
and youll most likely do better than if you remain in grassy dark areas. , if.
you do end up in an area of long turtle grass try approaching the.
lawn with the tide running straight towards you. That method, youll be.
able to look under the bending yard and will have a better chance of.
seeing the scallops. Mid-day times on warm days assist, too. Tides dont.
Really make a difference as to whether the scallops are there.
choosing them will be easier in slow-moving currents. You will notice.
that scallops move with the tides which an area you scoured can be.
re-populated in a matter of an hour or two when theres present. Choose.
them up by hand or with a dip internet as you find them and pop them into.
your dive bag, but be sure to pull the bags drawstring, as scallops.
will periodically swim and get away. Scallops do not bite so handling them.
is easy. Take them back to the boat often, determine your catch and.
get them on ice instantly.
Heres a short primer about scallop cleansing!
Scalloping begins in Dixie and southern Taylor counties on June 15th this year, and lasts till Labor Day. There, youll find boat ramps, marinas, marine services, exceptional dining establishments, and lodging.
Scallops taste respectable raw, best out of the water. I dont understand.
in fact how safe that is, but youre eating the muscle and not the.
internal organs. A quick capture of lime juice and a dash of salt and.
pepper most likely make them much safer, and they sure are yummy. *.
Initially, get your catch on ice as quickly as it comes aboard. Make sure to.
cover the shells with ice and let them sit for a while. If you prepare to.
clean your catch aboard the boat, take a break for lunch while theyre.
cooling, and the shells will open automatically. This takes a minimum of.
one get out of the cleaning process, and spying shells open is no small.
Another choice is to toss scallops, without flour, in melted butter.
and after that broil them in the oven for a couple of minutes. Attempt these over.
a bowl of cheese grits, and youll quickly add this basic recipe to your.
Scallop Cuisine 101.
Costs differ, however the rates (based on weight or volume) are quite sensible.
Be prepared to carry anchor and run towards more secure waters must the sounds of thunder technique.
I suppose the most popular method scallops are consumed by Floridians is.
fried. Fried is fine, however scallops should never be damaged. A really.
light finishing of business fish breading or plain corn flour (Masa.
Harina at Latin grocery stores.) and a quick trip into 375-degree peanut.
or canola oil will produce a delicious outcome. Dont drop too numerous into.
the oil at a time though, as youll end up with a soaked finishing..
do not overcook scallops. Let them fry until the centers are barely hot,.
drain them on paper towels, and get them to the table immediately.
Scallop guts arent necessarily fragrant. Youre hot and most likely.
sunburned. And they do not keep well in an un-cleaned state, so they.
require to be dealt with. However, the end product is worth all the.
difficulty, so heres how its done:.
A sophisticated, more secure and more lengthy approach to consuming newly shucked scallops is to prepare them in an acidic marinade and serve them as a salad. Scallops prepared as a ceviche have actually been marinaded, in a sense, and are delicious.
Everybody seems to have his/her preferred scallop-cleaning tool. I.
choose an inexpensive stainless-steel tablespoon, its front edge honed with.
a bench grinder. Others use standard oyster knives, but I believe.
thats overkill for these little shells. Theres the Shop Vac.
technique. Ive seen it done– sucking the guts out of scallop shells with a.
vacuum cleaner, however Ive never been in presence to see the last.
clean-up of the machinery. I can think of.
Each bay scallop produces simply a little bite of meat, and its one that must be savored.
Lastly, take note of the guidelines. Floridas marine officers do not take the lack of safety equipment or over-limit catches gently!
Consider renting a boat to beat the crowds.Scalloping is not huge video game fishing.
If youre in deep or dark water, youll more than most likely requirement to get a crew member overboard to take a more detailed look prior to you dedicate to that specific area.
Second, holding the scallop in the palm of one hand, place your.
cleaning tool into the shell and cut the muscle far from one half..
Thoroughly scrape the guts away from around the muscle, dispose of the.
guts, and utilize your tool to cut the muscle into a container. Do it.
once again– and once again!