One of the great things about living in the Ocala/Marion County area, is the fact that you're just a hop skip and a jump from either coast. And this time of year, you'll want to head west to Crystal River for some of the best scalloping available.
Scallop season is one of my favorite times of the summer, and this year the season is open from June 19th until September 10. That means that there are only 4 weekends left, so get your snorkel gear on, because if you're looking for the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day on the water, you just can't beat snorkeling over the grass flats hunting for scallops. And the taste of fresh scallops? WOW! You'll never be satisfied with the ones at the fish market ever again.
I have to admit, despite having lived in Florida for almost my entire life, my husband and I have only gone scalloping for the last two years. And until this season, we never actually ate any of them. You see, the problem is, although I absolutely adore scallops when they appear on the dinner menu, live scallops are kind of well, cute. So we would make a game of seeing who could bring in the biggest haul, and then we'd carefully scatter them all back into the grass, to wait for another day. That ended on our second trip out this year, when my husband pointed out that it was kind of silly to eat scallops that someone else had caught, but not to be willing to, as he put it, "do our own dirty work". So we buckled down and cleaned our catch while we were out on the boat, and cooked them up on the grill the minute that we got back to shore. And boy, was it worth it! So good, in fact, that we've been out catching our limit almost every week since then, and I plan to get out every chance I get until the season closes, too!
If you want to try your hand at scalloping, all you need is a salt water fishing license, a snorkel, a mask, a net bag to hold your catch gloves (scallops can pinch!) and a “diver down” flag. Plus a boat, of course. Just head out to the last channel marker out of Kings Bay and turn left until you see the huge flotilla of boats on the scallop flats. Then just dive in and look for the scallops hiding in the tall seagrass. The limit for scallops is one pint of cleaned meat per person, or 2 gallons in the shell. A boatload of people can have no more than 10 gallons of whole scallops or a half-gallon of cleaned scallop meat. Once you’ve caught your limit, just head in to clean your catch and get ready for some of the best eating you’ve had in quite a while.
So get out and get scalloping, and maybe I’ll see you out there!
Stephanie Frost- REALTOR®, CDPE, SFR
"Certified Distressed Property Expert"
Short Sale and Foreclosure Specialist
RE/MAX Premier Realty
1910 SW 18th Ct. Bldg#100
Ocala, Florida 34471
Direct Fax: 772-872-3111
Office Fax: 352-732-3229
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