It’s that time of year again – scalloping season – and there is no better place to get some sun and search for your scallops than in Wakulla County. From June 27th to September 24th, locals and visitors come to the bay area to charter boats, enjoy the gulf breeze, and gather scallops. To help our local and visiting scallop hunters, we’ve put together some tips and things to remember, so you have a safe and productive trip on the water.
Permits & Limits
Keep in mind that to go scalloping, you need to have a Florida saltwater fishing license. This is true even if you are scalloping from the shore. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has several options for licenses, so make sure you get the one that’s right for you.
The daily limits are two gallons of whole bay scallops in their shells or one pint of bay scallop meat per person. There are no size limits for bay scallops, and although landing or dip nets are permitted, hand-harvesting is encouraged.
Make sure you have a mask and snorkel, fins, and a dive flag. This will help to ensure that other boats know where you are and can avoid coming too close. All boaters need to stay at least 100 feet from these dive flags in rivers, inlets, or channels, and in open waters, they need to stay at least 300 feet away.
It is important that you stay near your boat while swimming and diving for scallops. This is especially true if the weather conditions are beginning to get rough or if there are waves forming. Be cautious of staying out in the sun too long, and always use a high SPF sunscreen that is water resistant.
Your “Must Have” Checklist
There are some things that you will need to make sure you have with you for your scalloping adventure. Whether you bring them with you or plan on buying them while you are in town, these are things you don’t want to forget:
- Florida Saltwater Fishing License
- Mask & Snorkel
- Net or Bag for Collecting Scallops
- Dive Flag (on the boat or buoy)
- Boat (optional – bringing or renting)
- Drinking Water
- Scalloping Knife (or cash to pay for a scalloping service)
We hope that you enjoy your time scalloping and that you all stay safe. If you are looking for other adventurous things to do in nature, download our free visitor’s guide today!