All About Scallops
Scalloping St. Joe Bay is so much fun! You must try it once while you are here. I visited CSB for five years before I ever scalloped and you shouldn't do that! If you are 16 years or older you will need a fishing license, which you can get at the Bait & Tackle Shop. A non-Florida resident three day license is $17.50, seven day is $30.50, annual is $47.50. This works for scalloping or salt water fishing. Florida residents pay $17.50 for an annual license. We have everything you need for scalloping. Nets, water shoes, snorkels, goggles, scallop knives, beer, lemonade, and ice.
You can harvest scallops by walking in the water and looking, taking out a kayak, (canoes tend to be unstable) or renting a boat. The scallops travel from different places year to year so if you found the great "mother load" one year, they may not be there the next. We can give you all the details in the Bait & Tackle shop.
Some people wear gloves, others use small nets, but I prefer to pick them up from behind with my bare hands. If you harvest them from the front you might get pinched, but it doesn't hurt that bad, just scares you. The front part of the scallop is the rounded part and the back side is the small square part which you can see in the pictures below. The bottom of the scallop is white and the top is usually a brownish color. Once you "harvest" your prize, you'll put it in a net and later transfer it to a bucket of water.
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|We prefer to wear gloves or some finger protection because the shells can dig into you after a while. Grip the scallop (left handed folks reverse the process) with the left hand and use your scallop knife to pry open the scallop towards the back right side. The bottom of the scallop is the white side.|
|Once you've pried the top shell open you will take your knife and push into the top part of the shell releasing the scallop muscle from the top shell. Run your knife along the top outer shell to release the "eyes" from the shell. Toss the top shell. What you see here is the remaining membrane around the scallop after the top shell has been removed.|
|The membrane is like a coat around the scallop. You will take your knife and circle around the outside of the coat and then pull the top of the coat over the scallop like you see in this picture. Discard.|
|And this is what your final catch of the day will look like. Use your knife to scrape the bottom muscle from the shell and enjoy. Couldn't be fresher than that!||