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If you’re looking for a truly unique Florida summer experience, scalloping should be on your bucket list.
Like an underwater Easter egg hunt, you’ll find secluded places on Florida’s pristine Gulf Coast where you can don a snorkel and hunt through fields of grass and sandy patches for delicious bay scallop treasures. From June to to September, freshwater rivers flowing into the ocean create the perfect combination for these tasty mollusks to thrive. Whether you hire a charter or bring your own boat, you are sure to have a once-in-a-lifetime scalloping adventure at one of these top spots in the Sunshine State.
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One of the most popular scalloping destinations, here you will find gorgeous landscapes, warm waters, plenty of grass flats, and laid back friendly locals. A scallop hunter’s dream, the Homosassa River is a 9-mile waterway that leads to the Gulf.
Often referred to as the “Sportsman’s Paradise,” Steinhatchee is one of the best spots in Florida to go scalloping. With pristine and abundant scallop grounds, this charming Old Florida fishing town is an ideal summer destination for the whole family.
Port St. Joe
Located on Florida’s “Forgotten Coast” between Panama City and Apalachicola, Port St. Joe is a vibrant small town. Sitting on the edge of St. Joseph Bay, here you’ll find some of the tastiest scallops in the Sunshine State. The 2016 season has been postponed from August 22nd to September 6th in this location.
Update: Port St. Joe is historically a popular spot for scalloping in Florida but is closed for scalloping this 2017 season until further notice.
The “gem of the nature coast” and made famous for its manatee population, Crystal River is also a great spot to go scalloping. Perfect for hunters of all ages, the refreshing spring waters are an ideal way to cool off on a warm summer day.
Fishing is king in the quaint Keaton Beach and during scallop season this spot has an abundant amount of treasures to be found. Explore this Gulf Coast grassy key and you can find golden nuggets nestled in 3-5 feet of water.
Cape San Blas
A 17-mile barrier peninsula in St. Joseph’s Bay, this small town has laid back vibes, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters. One of the few spots you can scoop up scallops with just a net, these shallow waters are great for children. The 2016 season has been postponed from August 22nd to September 6th in this location.
Located in Citrus County, the shallow grass flats of Chassahowitzka River is a quiet spot for scallop hunters. Spring-fed, this 5-mile long river is home to pristine saltwater bays and diverse aquatic life.
Bayport Pier & Hernando Beach
Just south of Homosassa you’ll find Hernando Beach and Bayport Pier, two ideal scallop destinations just minutes from each other. Here you’ll find lush seagrass, clear waters, shallow waters, and plenty of nearby restaurants waiting for you to savor your bounty.