Florida’s scallop season is now open for amateur divers and snorkelers looking to catch their dinner.
Gulf County, Florida, is home to many unique experiences, but for a few months each year, families travel to the Gulf from around the country to jump in and grab a bucket of succulent scallops. Diving for these ocean treasures may sound intimidating, but this outdoor activity is perfect for beginners and doesn’t require much more than a saltwater fishing license and a mandatory dive flag. A mask and snorkel are your guides as you glide over grass beds in 2- to 3-foot deep water, scooping up scallops as you explore. Some visitors choose to wade out from the shore and look for the myriad of glowing blue eyes along the edge of the scallop’s shell before scooping them up. Scallop and snorkeling group trips are also available at Port St. Joe Marina in case you’re not brave enough to venture out on your own.
Scallop Season: Through September 24
Location: St. Joseph Bay
What You’ll Need: Mesh bag for collecting scallops, ice chest for storing them and a knife to pop them open
Limit: Recreational harvesters on foot are limited to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per day
Image courtesy of Gulf County Florida Tourism.