Scallop Season Opens!

June 19, 2015

Scallop Season Opens!

Hernando County, FL

Saturday, June 27, 2015

 

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It’s that time of year again!  Yes, it is scalloping time!  As of Saturday, June 27th, you are able to go out and find some of those delicacies in the waters along Florida’s Nature Coast.  The diving of scallops is regulated by the State of Florida and they determine its location eash year.  2015’s season is only permitted at the the Pasco-Hernando county line, and head north along the Gulf Coast to the Mexico Beach Canal, ending in Bay County.  This year’s season will last until September 24th.

These tasty bivalves prefer the clean water of the Gulf Coast, which creates finding them a real easy task along Florida’s Nature Coast.  The simplest way to search out these delicious morsels, is to grab your snorkel, mask, a mesh bag and a net and just enter the shallow waters of the Gulf Coast and wade out to a grassy flat. While snorkeling on top of the water, you’ll look down and before you know it, you’ll see those little blue eyes peeping out at you from their tiny little opening in their dark mottled color, occasionally a bright yellow or orange shell.  Then all you need to do is dive down and grab the scallop from its perch in the grass bed.  BINGO, you’ve got a scallop!  Approaching the sport this way, you are not in need of a Florida saltwater fishing license, but if you choose to venture into scalloping by diving from a boat, a license is required.  You will need to navigate to a shallow spot offshore.

Just like with any of the other water sport of Florida, scalloping does have some regulations.  Each person is only allowed a daily bag limit of 2 gallons of the whole bay scallops in their shell, or 1 pint of the bay scallop meat.  A maximum of 10 gallons of in shell scallops, or 1/2 gallon of the bay scallop meat per vessel.

It is very important, if you go out scalloping, that you place your treasured scallops immediately in ice.  This helps in the preservation of the flavors and helps when you have to clean them, as the coldness causes the scallop to partially open its shell.  The delectable meat should be placed on ice immediately in a covered container and of course, prepared and eaten asap!

The Gulf Coast of Florida has a variety of activities that result in delicious meals, but scalloping may be the most fun for the whole family with the tastiest outcome!

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