A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience!
Scalloping season runs from July to September every year. Scallop harvesting is done in the Homosassa River, about 2-3 miles from shore in the gulf.
- It’s an underwater Easter egg hunt!
- Use your masks, fins and snorkels to “hunt” the scallops, pick them up and place them in your bag.
- Float around, looking in the grass beds for the scallop shape or their “blue eyes”.
- Go Scalloping by clicking the "Book Now" Button!
Scallops are delicious shellfish, a type of bivalve mollusk, meaning the interior muscle is surrounded by two shells similarly to oysters, mussels, and clams. Inside the shell, scallops have a white adductor muscle (the part we to eat) that opens and closes the shell, as well as a bright orange section called the coral. The muscle is round and tender when cooked, with both a touch of sweetness and briny saltiness.
Scallops live on top of the seafloor and depend on camouflage to avoid predators. They can actually “swim” by opening and closing their large adductor muscle to propel themselves. Don’t worry, though, they can’t swim fast or far. You don’t have to worry about chasing them.
Float around, looking in the grass beds for the scallop shape or their “blue eyes”. Hold your breathe, take a dive, grab them and put them in your bag.
Do scallops have eyes?
Scallops have 50 to 100 small, bead-like bright blue eyes. The eyes line the edge of their shell's opening that they use to detect dark, light, and motion. They even use their retinas to focus on light, similar to human eyes.
Can scallops swim?
Scallops can move across the ocean floor—pretty quickly!—by clapping their shells together. They are bivalve mollusks, meaning they have a hinged shell made up of two parts. Scallops use a unique method of locomotion called "jet propulsion" to move through the water. By quickly opening and closing their shells, they expel water, which propels them forward in a series of short bursts. This movement allows scallops to "swim" short distances, but they do not have the ability to actively control their direction or sustain long-distance swimming like fish or other marine animals.
Do scallops bite?
Scallops don't bite so handling them is easy. They do not have teeth or a mouth structure designed for biting or chewing. Scallops are filter feeders, meaning they obtain their food by filtering water and extracting microscopic organisms such as plankton and algae. They have rows of tiny, hair-like structures called cilia along their gills that create a current to bring in water and food particles. The particles are then trapped in mucus and transferred to the scallop's mouth for ingestion. While scallops may have a protective shell, they primarily use it for defense and not for biting or feeding on larger prey. Take your scallops back to the boat frequently, measure your catch and get them on ice immediately.
When is the best time to go scalloping?
The season runs from July to September, but the exact dates can vary from year to year. During scalloping season, you can expect to find plenty of scallops in shallow water eelgrass flats.
How many scallops can I harvest?
Each person can have up to 1 gallon of whole bay scallops in the shell (or one cup meat, shucked). The vessel maximum limit is 5 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell (or two pints meat, shucked)
Do I need a fishing license?
No need for a fishing license if you go scalloping with us. We will secure a scalloping license for your whole boat.
Is scalloping hard?
Everyone can harvest scallops! It's so much fun! Your captain is an expert in finding and harvesting scallops. Your captain will teach you everything you need to know and provide you will all of your gear.
How do I cook scallops?
There are many great recipes. Here is a classic and simple way to prepare delectable scallops:
Remove the side muscles from the scallops if needed. The side muscle is a little tag of muscle tissue on the side of the scallop that secures it to the shell and may still be on the scallops. It will feel a bit tough and its fibers run opposite the rest of the scallop. Just pinch it with your thumb and first finger and pull it away. If you miss one, don't worry; they're a little tough to chew, but are safe to eat.
Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the pan. Heat the butter or olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When a few flecks of water evaporate on contact, the pan is ready.
Add the scallops to the pan. Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer, spaced about an inch apart. The first scallop should sizzle on contact. If it doesn't, wait a few seconds to let the pan heat before adding the rest. Do not crowd the pan; work in batches if necessary.
Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, then flip. Cook the scallops undisturbed for 2 minutes. If the scallop doesn't release easily from the pan, let it cook for another few seconds until it does. Flip the scallops over.
Cook the scallops for another 2 to 3 minutes. Cook the scallops on the second side undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes more. Both sides of the scallop should be seared golden-brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft, like well-set Jell-O; do not overcook or the scallops become tough and chewy.
When is the best time to go scalloping?
Scallop Season in Homosassa Florida, Crystal River & Citrus County runs from July to September. We are looking forward to a fun Season!
Weekends are great but for those that can book during the week it can be less crowded and worth taking the day off for!!! Book Now for the perfect Scallop Charter Adventure! Call to ask about our book by phone discount. All tours for Citrus County, Homosassa are available for on-line booking!
When should I book my scalloping tour?
Our tour times for Scallop Season fill up quickly! We take great care taking the time to disinfect and clean our boats to make sure they are pristine and ready. Our 30 Foot Pontoon with an on-board restroom is set up with so much room it's like a Party on the Patio and our 20 Foot Pontoon and can go into the shallow waters for your perfect backwater adventure that with the right tide gives us the perfect short cut to the Scallop grounds. Our 22-foot Funchaser can get you to the scallop grounds in comfort and record time. See why we are rated #1 on TripAdvisor and we hope to have you aboard for the ultimate Scallop Adventure!
Our boats are amazing and we do 4 and 6 hour tours. Don't get stuck on an some old Boat and be rushed! Relax, Eat, Drink, Scallop, Snorkel, Sightsee and Explore! All equipment, fishing license, masks, snorkels and fins are included! Call us and we will help you pick the right boat for your perfect Scallop Adventure!