How to Catch Scallops
How to Catch Florida Scallops
There are designated areas in Florida, mostly along the Nature Coast of Florida, that are known as “hot spots” for scallops. One of the best areas is Steinhatchee.
One of the best incentives to go scalloping, besides spending time in nature with our families, is that we don’t need to go too deep into the water, just 4-8 feet is a good water depth. Since Scallops don’t bite, handling them is easy. Catching Scallops is very easy, get out there and find them. You don’t have to be an expert!
You will find scallops in the sea-grass or at the edges of the sandy spots. Scallops sometimes swim away when they see you, but they do not swim fast. Keep collected scallops in a mesh bag or else you might get pinched!
How to keep the Scallops Fresh
By the time you’re getting back to the boat, you should place your live catch immediately in a bucket or on ice in a cooler. It’s necessary to keep the scallops separated from the melting water runoff because Scallops are very sensitive to temperatures. At My Fishing Buddy Charters, we provide everything needed to catch and keep them alive and fresh.
There are some limits!
According to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the daily limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat per person. The maximum amount per vessel is 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or half a gallon bay scallop meat.
Now that you’ve caught them, it’s time to clean those scallops. Cleaning scallops is pretty simple but it takes some time. We need to remove the guts and keep the meat. The little white muscle in there is what you are after.
This is the reason that, during scallop season, you will see people sitting on the banks, docks, and boats shucking scallops. Even a few entrepreneurs will be offering to clean your scallops for a small fee. At my Fishing Buddy Charters, we have someone who can help you with that for a small fee.
We recommend reading our previous blog post, What Do you Need to go Scalloping?, to learn more.