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Crystal River Scalloping

Countdown to Scallop Season 2023: What to Know

By March 6, 2023No Comments
A picture of Crystal River Fishing Charters Countdown to Scallop Season 2023: What to Know

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Eric Bonneman

Scallop season is fast approaching, and for avid anglers, this event is marked on the calendar months in advance. Harvesting bay scallops is a unique and thrilling activity that combines the excitement of snorkeling and fishing into one fun-filled adventure. With abundant fish, turtles, crabs, and scallops, it’s an excellent opportunity for the whole family to dive into the outdoors. If you plan to go scalloping this season, here’s what you need to know.

Best Places to Scallop in Florida: Why Crystal River is the Best

There’s no question that Crystal River, FL, is one of the best places to catch scallops. One of the primary reasons for this is the crystal clear water that allows you to see the scallops even at depths of 6 feet. Crystal River has many rivers that feed into the Gulf, which helps scallops grow since these bivalves are very environmentally sensitive. With plenty of seagrass, small tidal fluctuations, and a variety of wildlife, Crystal River is a scalloping paradise.

a picture of a cooler full of scallops harvested in Homosassa Florida

Scalloping Regulations 2023: What You Need to Know

In the Crystal River area, scallop season begins on July 1st and runs through September 24th. Harvesters are allowed to catch 2 gallons of scallops per person (10 gallons max per boat) or 1 pint of shucked scallops per person (1/2 gallon max per boat). For complete regulations and harvesting laws, be sure to check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website.

Do You Need a Fishing License to Scallop?

Yes, you need a fishing license to scallop in Florida unless you’re on a charter. When you book a scalloping trip with Florida Fishing Adventures, you’ll be covered under a Florida Fish and Wildlife saltwater fishing license that covers up to ten passengers for each captain.

What Gear Will You Need?

To scallop, you’ll need a mask, snorkel, fins, scallop bag, and your favorite swimsuit. Gloves are optional, and you’ll also want to make sure you have a shaved face since beards can create mask leaks. All gear is included if you book a scalloping trip with Florida Fishing Adventures.

a picture of a family in the water with fresh caught scallops

Should You Worry About Sharks While Scalloping?

While Florida’s scalloping grounds hold sharks, you shouldn’t worry about them since most are migratory and don’t hang around long. With a high volume of boats and people in the water, sharks are usually discouraged from coming too close to the seagrass beds. Additionally, smaller species mainly visit the area for smaller food sources, such as juvenile green sea turtles. Most of these green sea turtles that are shark bait size are too scared of humans.

Let’s Get Out There

Spending a day scalloping in the sparkling waters of Crystal River is an adventure like no other. With the help of Florida Fishing Adventures, you can get out on the water and soak up some of that famous Florida sunshine to make memories that will last a lifetime. Our expert guides are on a mission to make your experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible, which is why we suggest hiring one when embarking on scalloping adventures. We know exactly where the best spots are and provide all the necessary equipment, so don’t hesitate – book now to join us! Experience first-hand why Crystal River scalloping is such a unique activity.

Eric Bonneman

Just a guy who fishes and writes about his experiences.

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