It’s that favorite time of year again, Scallop Season! Citrus County residents and visitors alike gear up for scallop season every summer. Friends and family load up their boats, local hotels fill up and the boat ramps are busier than ever. Thousands make their way out to Crystal River and Homosassa River towards the Gulf of Mexico on the quest for the savory scallops.
Scallop Season in Citrus County, FL
Fondly referred to as an underwater Easter egg hunt, scalloping is a very popular activity here in Citrus County. Scallop season 2021 begins July 1st and ends September 24th. Scallop hunters will need to navigate to the scalloping grounds, about 2-3 miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico. Basically, they can be easily found anywhere eelgrass is found. While most Citrus County locals launch their own boats in, there are also rental boats available and guides who will take your group out to the scallop grounds.
Play by the Rules
Before you head out to scallop, make sure you know some of the rules and regulations from the FWC. First and foremost, make sure you have your saltwater fishing license if you’re between 16 and 65 years old. Secondly, understand the speed laws, local navigation rules and safety equipment necessary for your boat in case of emergency. Also, make sure you display a dive flag from your boat whenever swimmers are in the water. Last but not least, don’t forget to pack your snorkel, fins and a mesh bag to stash your scallops in while you’re in the water.
Scallop Season Limits
Additionally, you’ll need to understand the limits during scallop season. Each person is allowed to keep 2 gallons of whole bay scallops or 1 pint of scallop meat. On the other hand, there is a 10 gallon limit of whole bay scallops or 1/2 gallon scallop meat per boat, whichever is the lesser amount.
When you’re finished scalloping for the day, it’s time to get cooking. Technically, you’ll need to clean your scallops first. You can clean the scallops yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Many locals set up at the boat docks and for a small fee clean your catch for you. If you do it yourself, you should use an oyster knife to pry the scallop shell open and pull out the meat. Remember, it’s not safe and highly frowned upon to dispose of scallop shells in swimming areas in Crystal River or Homosassa River. Be sure to toss your shells into a trash bin or larger areas of water out in the ocean.
Once you’re done cleaning your scallops, it’s time to cook them. There are so many great recipes for bay scallops. However, if you’re too tired to cook, the local restaurants in Citrus County will gladly cook up a delicious dish with your scallops for a fee. Scallop season is a great way to get together with friends and family of all ages to make lasting memories. Remember, if you’re visiting from out of town, book your stay at a local hotel, rental or bed and breakfast in advance.
Make the Move to Citrus County, Florida
After a visit to our charming area for scallop season, you’ll certainly want to come back. There is something for everyone when you are at your leisure in Citrus County, Florida. Whether you’re seeking a vacation rental home, winter home or a permanent residence, contact the professionals at Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty to help.