Scalloping

Scalloping Near Black's Island

Scallop in the Shell

Fresh Bay Scallop

Shucking a St. Joseph Bay Scallop

Shucking a St. Joseph Bay Scallop

Freshly Shucked Bay Scallops

Freshly Shucked Bay Scallops

Scallop Cleaning

Port St. Joe

Scallop Cleaning

Up Close and Personal with a Scallop

Up Close and Personal with a Scallop

St. Joseph Bay Scallops

St. Joseph Bay Scallops

Finding Treasures in St. Joseph Bay

Finding Treasures in St. Joseph Bay

Experience the unrushed, family-friendly pastime of scalloping in pristine St. Joseph Bay, home to the tastiest scallops in the Southeast.

Scallop season only lasts a couple of months, but during that time St. Joseph Bay draws visitors from all over the country seeking to fill their buckets with the succulent morsels. Catching them is easy, cleaning them a little harder and feasting on them simply delicious.

Scalloping is a fun activity the entire family can enjoy. It’s easy for beginners and doesn’t require much more than a saltwater fishing license and a mandatory dive flag. A mask and snorkel, gliding over the grass beds in 2-3 foot deep water is the preferred method. However, many choose to wade out from the shore, look for the myriad of glowing blue eyes along the edge of their shells, and scoop them up.

While scalloping, it may be helpful to carry along a few additional items to make the job easier, such as a mesh bag for collecting scallops, an ice chest for storing freshly caught scallops, a scallop knife and neoprene water shoes. Licenses and supplies are available at local outfitters.

Snorkeling is also a popular activity in St. Joseph Bay. It’s simple, enjoyed by people of all ages and is a great way to gather scallops. All snorkelers should display a diver down flag to alert boaters passing by. Scallop and snorkeling group trips are available at Port St. Joe Marina, and many small charter operators take private trips. A variety of equipment is available for rental and purchase.

Learn more about scalloping on St. Joseph Bay.

 

Helpful Tips

  • Recreational harvesters on foot are limited to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat, per day.
  • Aboard a vessel, scallopers may possess no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or a half-gallon of bay scallop meat, at any time. However, they daily bag limit per person still applies. (e.g If there are two people on a boat there can be no more than four gallons, however, if there are five or more person there can be no more than ten gallons.)
  • Bay scallops may be harvested only by hand or with a landing or dip net and may not be harvested for commercial purposes.
  • A Florida saltwater fishing license is required to harvest bay scallops.

Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website for more tips.

Bay Scallop Pinwheels

By Matthew Godwin, Off The Map Expeditions
Wrap a single uncooked scallop with a large, uncooked, butterflied shrimp. Skewer together with a toothpick. Then wrap this morsel with a single slice of thick bacon and skewer it all together with another toothpick. Grill, pan fry or broil with medium heat until bacon is very crispy. Enjoy!

Scalloping Adventure

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Our Scallop Restoration Project is Underway!

We know you love to scallop. We do, too! But this year our scallop population in St. Joseph Bay has declined. We aren’t seeing as many scallops as we would like.

In an effort to replenish the population we, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, are undertaking a massive restoration project in the Bay. Due to this effort, scallop season in St. Joseph Bay will postponed until August 22, 2016.

GCFLScallopingRestoration

Click here to see a copy of the new FWC guidelines

We are excited to work with FWC. In fact, 650 scallops have already been collected and caged in the Bay so they will be safe from predators and have a better chance to reproduce for next year.

Learn More

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