Gulf Coast Scalloping

sign

It all starts at the boat ramp.  You never know what you will find once you pull up to launch the boat……………..

Rich and the boys came over for the weekend to go scalloping.  Since it was kind of last minute, we couldn’t find an acceptable hotel room (on the water).  This meant getting up fairly early – especially for high school teenagers – to drive the  1 1/2 hour journey to Pete’s Pier both days AND hopefully find nearby parking.

clouds

Luckily for us, there were morning showers and it seemed to have pushed back some of the boaters.  We only had a short wait at the ramp, but after we were heading out, there were 5 boats in line.  Eric was able to find a parking spot in Pete’s parking lot, but boy does it need some work.  The trailer almost got hung up in the potholes!

Rain was around us, but no thunderstorms.  On Sunday, we had to go through a rain shower as we were heading out the channel.   It wasn’t pleasant.  Connor and I huddled under a beach towel to keep the rain from pelting us since we were in the front of the boat.

rain

The boat traffic was wasn’t bad, we have seen a lot worse.  Sunday had less boaters than Saturday.

After exiting the Crystal River channel, we headed south and searched for a cluster of boats – usually a sign that scallops are prevalent.  After a few scouting forays in the water, they found an acceptable spot.

Here’s what they are looking for.  The shells are usually 2-3″ in length and the actual scallop is about the diameter of my thumb.

crystal river

Since Eric’s had the lasik eye surgery, we joke about his ‘bionic’ eyes.  He does seem to find a lot of the little buggers along the bottom in the sea grass.

Upon anchoring, a dive flag is needed to let other boaters know people are in the water.

dive flag

Throwing out the anchor is not something I love, mostly because I’m not very good at it.  It was nice giving up that duty to someone else.  Rich or Connor took over this responsibility on the trip.

connor_anchor

Eric did really well.  Each time he came back to the boat, he had a healthy amount of scallops in his mesh bag.

 

scuba eric

eric

Here’s a bag of scallops that Eric gathered on Sunday.

eric 2

Both of the boys got into the water, but Connor spent a good amount time on Sunday finding the scallops.

 

hunter

connor

Rich also was successful at finding the bi-valves.

rich_connor2

rich_connor

rich_connor done

There was some down time while on the boat.

both

connor 3

At the end of each day, we had a live well of scallops to share.  Between the two days, we probably ended up with 5 gallons unshelled.

scallops

Saturday night’s dinner started with two appetizers. First was a raw scallop with a bit of soy sauce, crunchy cabbage and a drop of hot sauce.

scallop fresh

And who can resist broiled scallops with cheese and bacon.

scallops cooked

We did a little fishing after scalloping both days, but only caught a few silver trout and one sea trout before heading back to the ramp on Sunday.

We always need a selfie before the end of the trip.  🙂  We may not look our very best, but after being on the water……………..who cares.

all

Yep, that’s right.  Not a single photo of me with a snorkel.  Had a bad experience back in the 1980s during a snorkeling trip in the Keys and putting on a mask brings back that time.

Funniest story on the trip…………………..

The guys always miscounted the number of scallops in their mesh bag, usually having more than they expected.  The scallops were then counted as they dropped into the live well.  On Connor’s last snorkel, he gathered 13 scallops.  Eric had one.  Connor asked if Eric had any trouble counting!

I saw this sign as Rich was waiting to back the trailer down the ramp.  While it specifically calls out airboats, the code of ethics applies to all.  Too bad that most boaters have probably never seen this let alone read it.

boatinh rules

Glad we were ale to get in a weekend of scalloping. This is uniquely Florida.  And, it’s always more fun with friends & family.

5 thoughts on “Gulf Coast Scalloping

  1. I haven’t gone scalloping since I was in middle school — with my friend Carolyn Moore’s family . . . looks like real Florida!

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