Aw, Shucks – Scalloping Season is on in Citrus County
Scalloping season in Florida’s Citrus County runs from July 1 and through Sept. 24, providing a family-friendly water activity for visitors of all ages to get outside and enjoy all summer long.
Combining the best elements of snorkeling, fishing, and boating, recreational scalloping is an underwater scavenger hunt. The area’s top-rated guides and rental services make any scalloping trip a stress-free experience, providing all the equipment you may need. Divers equip themselves in fins, mask, and snorkel, with a mesh bag for storing your treasures.
Enjoy the fish, plants, and coral, as you float along the water’s surface, just offshore in Crystal Bay or Homosassa Bay. Scallops are found in four to eight feet of water along grassy beds or the edges of sandy spots.
Scallops prefer the clear water and may try to swim away when they spot divers, but they do not swim far or fast. Their natural colors camouflage them among the sea grass, but their hundreds of blue eyes make them easy to spot.
One of the highlights of a scalloping excursion is enjoying the day’s catch after working up an appetite on the water. Visitors can take their harvest of scallops to several local restaurants, where the chefs can specially prepare Cook-Your-Catch meals, complete with all the trimmings. The bay scallop is noticeably sweeter and more tender than its sea scallop cousin, guaranteeing a delicious dining experience.
The daily bag limit is 2 gallons of whole, shelled scallops or 1 pint of scallop meat per person. Scallopers must remain within designated scalloping areas and all scallops must be caught by hand or a dip net. Scalloping is a sustainable food source. Every year, barring environmental factors, the local bay scallops replenish themselves when left alone during the off-season. One single bay scallop can lay up to two million eggs every fall. Fortunately, local guides know all the rules, making it easy and fun visitors to safely enjoy the experience.