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Mainly taking place in Florida, scalloping offers a unique experience for travelers and locals alike. Scalloping can be a fun tradition for various reasons, including the thrill of hunting and gathering, the enjoyment of being in the water, and the opportunity to harvest fresh seafood.

Scalloping can be a fun and family-friendly activity, providing a chance to explore marine ecosystems and appreciate the beauty of the underwater world. Scalloping takes place in shallow waters usually in or around seagrass beds. Additionally, the scallops collected during scalloping trips can be cooked and eaten, offering a delicious meal.

Scallop Seasons By Zone In Florida

Florida Bay Scallop Seasons

Florida Bay Scallop Seasons (Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida scallop season varies depending on the region you’re located in. Below are the 2023 scallop seasons for their respective areas.

Franklin - NW Taylor County Scallop Season

The 2023 recreational bay scallop season for Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, and a portion of northwest Taylor counties opens July 1st and will remain open through September 24th.

Levy, Citrus, and Hernando Counties

The 2023 scallop season for the Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties will be the same as the Taylor County season: July 1st through September 24th.

St. Joseph Bay/Gulf County Scallop Season

Scallop season for theGulf County area, which includes all state waters from the Mexico Beahc Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County will officially be open from August 16th through September 24th.

Fenholloway - Suwannee River Zone Scallop Season

The Fenholloway - Suwannee River Zone, which covers the coastline from the Fenholloway River down to the Suwannee River, will offer scallop season from June 15th through Labor Day.

Pasco County Scallop Season

The Pasco County scallop season will be open from July 1st through August 6th. This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando-Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse, including all waters of the Anclote River.

It's important to note that these dates are subject to change, and it's always a good idea to check with the FWC for the most accurate and up-to-date information. The FWC sets the specific scallop season dates and regulations for each region in Florida to ensure sustainable harvesting practices and protect the scallop populations.

Popular Areas For Scalloping

Florida is the only state along the Gulf of Mexico that allows recreational bay scallop harvesting. If you're looking to plan a trip to Florida's best scallop destinations, you'll probably have your best luck in these three top destinations.

1. Crystal River, FL

Crystal River, FL is located on the west coast of Florida, about 80 miles north of Tampa. It is renowned for its natural springs and the crystal-clear waters of Kings Bay, which provide an ideal habitat for scallops. Crystal River is a popular destination for scallop harvesting due to its abundance of seagrass beds where scallops thrive, making it a paradise for snorkelers and divers seeking a memorable scalloping experience.

2. Steinhatchee, FL

Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Steinhatchee, FL is approximately 70 miles southeast of Tallahassee. This charming fishing village is known for its pristine estuary, the Steinhatchee River. The shallow grass flats and marshes of the river offer a bountiful scallop population during the summer scalloping season. Steinhatchee attracts scallop enthusiasts who enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and uncrowded waters while collecting their scallop harvest.

3. Homosassa, FL

Homosassa, FL is located on the west coast of Florida, around 75 miles north of Tampa. Nestled along the Homosassa River, this area boasts excellent scalloping opportunities. The river's mix of freshwater and saltwater creates an ideal environment for scallops to flourish. With its picturesque scenery and diverse wildlife, including manatees, Homosassa provides a unique and enjoyable scalloping experience for visitors.

Book Your Scalloping Trip

Scalloping In Steinhatchee, Florida

Scalloping In Steinhatchee, Florida

Scalloping is a great way to get out on the water with family and friends, all while sourcing a delicious meal. If you're looking for an easy family-friendly fishing trip, check out our scalloping charters to book a trip with one of our local professional scalloping guides.