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Category Archives: Fishing

Scallop Season Is Coming

Scallop Season Is Coming

Summer in Florida (in particular on the Nature Coast where the author resides) and scalloping go hand in hand with scallop season just around the corner.

Scallops, once so abundant that one could simply pull over on a causeway and wander into the seagrass filling a bag or bucket, saw a percipitace decline in populations leading into the early 1990’s. Serious restoration and fisheries regulation efforts were initiated to address the matter leading to closures up and down the west coast of Florida with the eventual tightly managed reopening of select areas as populations recovered.

Today, Floridians and visitors alike are able to enjoy the fun of harvesting scallops and the great addition they make in the kitchen

2019 Florida Bay Scallop Seasons Map
2019 Scalloping Season On Floridas West Coast
source: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

As the map above indicates, scallop harvesting is open in an area covering almost 200 miles of west Florida shoreline. Not all areas are created equal when it comes to the harvest but, there are great opportunities up and down the coast. The Crystal River/Homossassa are is wildly popular for scalloping as are Keaton Beach and Port St. Joe heading up the coast into the Florida Panhandle. (* a personal favorite of the author are the grass flats off of Steinhatchee)

Scallop season is regulated (you need a Florida fishing license*) ands your daily harvest is strictly limited. From the FWC:

Daily Bag Limit: 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person; Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel

So, how do you scallop? Well, it is a pretty straight forward proposition. You either wade, as appropriate, in waters where scallops live or float/dive in deeper water. Scallops are not as sedate as you might think. They have multiple eyes (see below) and the ability to scoot out of harms way when need be. Still, you are at a distinct advantage in the battle:)

Check out this great video from Fishing with Luiza and Captain Jimmy Nelson for a deep run through of scalloping prep and execution.

beautiful scallop eyes
Scallop Eyes
source: Smithsonian Institution

The scallop season is upon us, almost, so get ready and get on the water to enjoy one of Florida’s truly unique on the water activities, available to folks with little or no experience and it can be done on the cheap (think kayaks or wading…) Oh,and, it tastes great too!

Scallops
The Lucky Angler

The Lucky Angler

Feeling Lucky? Fishing & boating luck and the superstitions that define it are considered by many to determine who becomes the lucky angler and who does not. I worked ocean going tugs some years back and sailed with a mate who was utterly convinced that onions on a boat were bad, very bad, luck. Made… Continue Reading

Selecting A Cast Net

Selecting A Cast Net

Selecting the right cast net involves little art mixed with a little science. Bait size. Mesh size. Lead. Coverage. Your capabilities. Well, in this video from Barracuda Tackle, Burton Young walks you through the decision making process using Barracudas’s family of nets as examples. Catch up with Burton Young and Barracuda Tackle to enjoy great bait… Continue Reading

Florida Scalloping

Florida Scalloping

It is almost that time of year, again. Scallop season is set to open, in a few select areas, as early as June 16, 2018. Scalloping is a wonderful combination of boating, floating, fishing and snorkeling. And, scalloping is an activity open to a wide range of folk, not just seasoned anglers. If you can… Continue Reading

Tripletail Fishing Addiction

Tripletail Fishing Addiction

I will start this article with a warning: TRIPLETAIL FISHING IS ADDICTIVE: PROCEED WITH CAUTION.  They are not necessarily an inshore target, not necessarily and offshore target and not typically an accidental bycatch no mater where you fish. But what they are is the absolute best fish to sightcast, suprisingly hard fighters, cooperative eaters, and… Continue Reading

It’s Soapfish Season!

It’s Soapfish Season!

Known as “soapfish” to some old crackers, Snook are one of Florida’s premier inshore gamefish and are making a comeback in our region from the harsh winters of 2009-2010. Many moons ago, originating in the everglades area, locals referred to the Snook as having poor table fair value. These days, they are the undoubtedly labeled… Continue Reading

Fisherman Helping Fisherman … Florida Strong

Fisherman Helping Fisherman … Florida Strong

Hurricane Irma visited the Florida Keys last week leaving behind a devastated charter fishing industry. These are our fellow fishermen. They are devastated both personally & professionally and need our assistance to recover and rebuild. Old Salt Fishing Foundation is establishing the Fishermen Helping Fishermen Fund to raise money, & provide direct financial support to,… Continue Reading

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