Florida Travel: Harvesting Bay Scallops in Steinhatchee

– [Narrator] This “Howto do Florida” segment is presented by VISIT FLORIDA.

– We're here in Steinhatchee, we're gonna show you how to scallop.

If you're looking for a family friendly adventure your kids will never forget, come to Florida's Steinhatcheeriver during scallop season.

From July to Septembercharter boat captains and recreational scallopersdesecend on select areas off Florida's Gulf Coast, in search of some of the richest deposits of bayscallops anywhere in America.

It's about a three hour drivefrom Orlando to Steinhatchee, a tiny fishing village westof Gainesville on route 19.

Steinhatchee may be smalland quiet little town, but come scallop season, this place comes to life.

Captain Bob Erdman was waiting at the dock to take the family and I out scalloping.

Captain Bob runs Something's Fishy Charter and is an expert on scalloping this area.

– [Bob] Ready? – [Chad] Let's do it.

– [Bob] Here we go.

Basically, we're going after bay scallops.

– [Chad] Okay.

Bay scallops are notthe large sea scallops that you would buy in some restaurants.

They're small.

– And they're good.

– Oh yeah, very good.

– And what is it about scalloping that draws people here year after year? – It's just fun.

– They're really stinkinggood to eat right? – Yeah.

– [Chad] All those deliciousscallops are just waiting for recreational scalloperslike us to scoop em up.

– We're gonna go outand just pick scallops.

They're all gonna be the same color, greenish brown on one side, turn it over, it's gonna be white on the other side.

– And what's inside of it? – That delicious meat, thatyou can put on a skewer, put some seasoning onit, lay it on the grill.

You can put them in yourlinguine with a little olive oil and maybe somespinach over your pasta.

– I'm getting the chills.

– Fried scallops.

– Alright that's enough.

– Okay.

– Let's just stop right there.

– Okay.

– Let's get them first.

Okay, so that was enoughtalking about eating them.

I was ready to get in thewater and start catching them.

Captain Bob moves us over the grassy flat, and it wasn't long before we begin to see scallops from boat.

– They're all in here, guys.

Let's get the gear on, let's go get 'em.

– [Chad] You ready Casey? – [Casey] Mmhmm.

– Here we go.

Got our fins, and our mask snorkel, bag, ready? – Mmhmm.

– One, two, three.

(splashing) – Whoa.

– Typically, what I like to scallop in is, what I call the (mumbling) grass, the pencil grass, sometimes it's mixed in with the thick grass, but you'll find the scallops, they're going to be lyingon top of brown moss.

– [Casey] I see it, right there! – Girl, you can see these things so much better than I can.

They're kinda hard to seecause they're so camouflaged.

But man, they are justin here really thick.

And we're just cruising along, and you just see 'em andyou just pick 'em up.

– Dad! See right there! – You ready to go? – [Casey] No! – She wants to scallop some more, so.

And there's not a lot that I can remember from being eight, but I remember my parents taking me scalloping.

She's really good at seeing 'em.

I mean, she's pickin''em up right and left.

– I found one! – [Casey] This is fun.

– It is fun, isn't it? And now, the moment I've been waiting for.

Yummy.

This is the best Florida has to offer when it comes to Bayscallops, would you agree? – I agree.

– You would agree.

Bay scallop, going down, right here.

Wow.

– Sweet as sugar.

– Sweet.

I can't get enough of these things.

Most folks will want to cook their catch, but after a long day, you might not want to clean them yourself.

Steinhatchee scallops.

We're here! – Nice.

– You can take your catchto a local restaurant like Fiddlers, and they'llprepare it to order, and provide all the trimmings.

Wooeee! – That's exactly what y'all caught today.

– What we caught istasting pretty dang good.

Right about now.

While we dig in, take a quick look at some must do's for scalloping.

Be sure to book a well known captain with an established charter company.

You'll expect to pay about $300 per day, which includes the boat, fuel, and fishing licenses for up to four people.

And if you're coming on your own, make sure you have amap, and become really familiar with the area.

Bring your own snorkelinggear, food, drinks, don't forget the sunblockand protective clothing.

It gets hot out there.

– This is good.

– [Chad] What a great way to cap off a day in the Florida outdoors.

Feasting on seafood we plucked ourselves from the beautiful Steinhatchee.

Captain thank you so much.

– You're more than welcome.

More than welcome.

Glad to have you on the boat.

– Really enjoyed it, thank you.

– High five.

– There's an old saying up here.

With this weather, if youdon't go, you don't know.

– Amen.

So go.

And do Florida.

And create memories your family will always remember.

Learn more about scallopingwith your family.

Go to our website, at howtodoflorida.

com.

Key word.

– Scallop.

– Scallop.

– Scallop.

– Scallop, you say scallop? – I say scallop.

You say scallop? – I say scallop.

– Scallop.

– [Narrator] This “Howto Do Florida” segment was presented by VISIT FLORIDA.

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