TAMPA, Fla. - Florida bay scallop season is here for some Florida counties. Here are some things to remember before scalloping.
Franklin County all the way to Northwest Taylor County: July 1 to September 24.
Dixie and the rest of Taylor County: June 15 to September 24.
Levy, Citrus and Hernando County: July 1 to September 24.
Pasco County: July 19 to July 28.
Gulf County: August 16 to September 15.
According to the FWC, This year’s daily bag limit is two gallons in the shell per person. There is a 10-gallon limit in the shell per boat.
What do I need?
In order to legally collect scallops, you must have a valid Florida fishing license. You can get one through the FWC, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
You will also need a boat or a float, mask, snorkel, fins, a dive flag and a bag.
Where do I find the Florida bay scallops?
Captain Gary of River Adventure Tours says bay scallops are usually found living in sea grass beds in shallow water. Often times they can be hard to see so it is important you take your time looking for them.
Are they easy to catch?
They are not as easy to catch as you might think. Bay scallops can actually swim. They open and close their shell very fast creating a thrust that makes it hard to catch them. Make sure you keep your bag closed, so they don’t swim out after they are caught.
Keep an eye out for their shells and blue eyes.
"The dive flag up in the back means that a boat should not come within 300 feet or 100 yards of that boat," said Captain Gary.
The sun can often times bring them to the top of the grass.
One scallop can lay close to one million eggs in just one sitting.
They have a life span of almost one year.