Sunday, July 17, 2005

Steinhatchee Scalloping Adventure

Yesterday morning our little flotilla of boats headed north out of the Steinhatchee River in search of scallops. The recent storminess had dumped a lot of fresh-tannin stained river water into the Gulf, so we had to run farther to get to the clear water.
We ran north about 20 minutes until the water changed from tea color to clear green. Unless you happen to be the very first boat on the water, the basic plan is go to where the other boats are and begin your search there. Each boat is flying a dive flag and will have a group of snorkeling scallopers swimming around, so you have to approach slowly and watch for snorkels and bobbing heads as you enter the scallop zone.
Like most things in nature, the scallops seem to cycle through years of abundance and years of scarcity. Scarcity was the word today as we probably only gathered a gallon between our three boats. Each boat is allowed 5 gallons of scallops (in the shell) so you can see our haul was pretty low. Still it was a fun day with great weather. The real treat here is snorkeling in the beautiful Gulf with friends and family. The scallops are just a bonus and an excuse.
The season runs through early September, so there's still time to find the mother lode.
I am going to post some pictures and some tips in case you are considering a scallop expedition.

2 comments:

Hick said...

Oh, boy! I love, love, love scallops. I hope you get a huge take as the summer goes on. Make sure you post recipes and pictures.

Floridacracker said...

Hick,
We are going to hit it again, so maybe we will have better luck. I'm afraid the most popular scallop recipe in our house is not very creative...just good. A light dusting of flour and a quick dip in hot oil seems to be choice number one for my crew. These scallops have such a sweet delicate flavor, you can lose it if you get too fru-fru with 'em.
I know we're southern, but we really don't fry EVERYTHING...it just seems that way.