Scalloping In Florida Along Florida’s Sports Coast

Things To Do


Grab your mesh bags and snorkeling gear and embark on an underwater Easter egg hunt with your friends and family along Florida’s Sports Coast. Bay scallops are hiding on blades of seagrass just under the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico, and during scallop season they’re yours for the taking. Scour the shallow waters for your prizes, then head back to shore and cook up your tasty reward from your adventure in the gulf.

Florida Bay Scallops

Scalloping In Florida
Hunt for bay scallops on Florida’s Sports Coast

Bay scallops—like oysters, clams and mussels—are bivalve mollusks and live in shallow waters along certain areas off Florida’s Gulf Coast. Bay scallops are smaller than sea scallops and have less meat. They’re typically found in depths between four and eight feet on the sandy ocean floor or on blades of seagrass. They have 20 pairs of tiny, bright blue eyes along their shell edges that detect movement and light.

Collect as many as you can—they’re not hard to find or catch.

Scallops can “swim” backward by rapidly opening and closing their shells in order to escape predators. But once you’re within an area with a good scallop population, they’re not hard to find or catch. Collect as many as you can—as long as you stay under the daily limit of two gallons (with shell) or one pint of meat per person; 10 gallons with shell or a half-gallon of meat per boat.

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Scallop Season: When it is and What You’ll Need

Scalloping In Florida on Florida’s Sports Coast

In Pasco County, the scallop season begins July 1st and lasts for 37 days. Going with a local guide or charter company is your best bet for finding scallops because they will know the best spots to anchor and will take care of everything for you, from snorkeling gear to a charter fishing license that covers everyone in your group. With this option, little else is needed beyond some reef-safe sunscreen, some water to drink and maybe a few snacks.

Going with a local guide or charter company is your best bet for finding scallops.

If you go it alone, make sure everyone on your boat has a saltwater fishing license (unless age-exempt), snorkeling equipment, a diver-down flag, mesh bags to collect scallops and coolers for storing them.

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