Locally scallop season seems to be a big thing. From June 29 – Sept. 24 it’s legal to “harvest” them. I have heard several of my friends brag about the number of scallops they’ve been able to find and talk about how much fun it is. I’ve always wanted to try to find them myself as I really do love eating them. So, for two weekends me and a friend tried.
If your going to try your hand at it, know the legal parts; get a fishing licenses (yep, gotta have one) and you can legally get two gallons a day. (here is a link for more information on scalloping http://www.visitgulf.com/scalloping?gclid=COGQgJCkh7kCFfE-Mgod9V4A5g)
The first weekend we headed to Port St. Joe to attend the Scallop Fest. Lots of vendors, near the ocean, lots of live bands and of course……..beer! Of course there were many other liquid refreshments if you aren’t a beer lover. After a little shopping, walking, and listening to some good music we moved on to hunting for our treasure….live scallops.
As we only knew what others had told us, and what we’ve read we decided to visit a few local fishing supply stores for some more information. Our first stop at Half Hitch (http://www.halfhitch.com/locations/port-st-joe) proved very beneficial. Basically, you need a license and know the daily limit. The daily limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one-half gallon of bay scallop meat. Harvesting can only be accomplished by hand or with the use of a landing or dip net. We purchased our fishing licenses and headed out. We were told that was all there was too it. “Find people who are out in the bay and you’ve found a spot.”
The open region extends from the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the Pasco-Hernando county line. Scallops are concentrated in relatively small areas within the open region. If you are unfamiliar with the area, get some local information on the location of scallops before you go.
First weekend, found …. 2. Yet, just two. But not being one to give up easily, we decided to go back the following week though “armed and ready” this time! Snorkel gear, bathing suits, snacks, and ice…..ready to try again. Hey, it looks easy! We found 10 this time. And it only took the entire day. But hey, I was in water, having a good time. And they are really fun to catch. I never knew a shell could move so fast!!
Here are a few more pictures I took that weekend.