Steinhatchee Scalloping

I went Scalloping yesterday with Captain Steve Kroll of Pepperfish Key Charters. After buying some ice and a cap, because I accidentally left my cap at home, we pulled out of River Haven Marina in Steinhatchee, Florida. We left River Haven around 7am and then after leaving the river entrance a little ways we turned south towards Horseshoe Beach.

The water has been clearing up after Tropical Storm Debby but we still had to run a couple of miles before we got to clear water. By the time we got in the Rocky Creek, Pepperfish Key area the water was clear.

Because it was early, we fished for redfish and trout with everything we had and caught all sizes except legal size fish. We caught some small trout and redfish 16 and 17 inches long, 17 ½ inches long and I caught one that was 17 and 7/8 inches long but we caught no keepers.

As the sun started climbing into the sky we started going into scalloping mode. Basically here’s how we hunted scallops, idling across the flats we would cross a hole that is basically a clearing just a little deeper than the surrounding grass and that has a sandy or slightly muddy bottom with Sawgrass around the perimeter of the hole. We’d then look at the edge’s of the hole for scallops. If we could see a few from the boat that meant it’s time to scallop.

Jumping into one hole Captain Steve went around the perimeter of the clearing one way and I went the other. We collected about three and half gallons on our first hole and then moved to another nearby clearing and picked up another half gallon, leaving the rest for another day. I didn’t keep track of time but I’m guessing it took about an hour or so to get our limit.

You’ll love Scalloping, it’s great fun for kids as well as for adults. One bad thing is that when you’re back at work you’ll find yourself thinking about being in the water and diving into the grass and having to force your mind back to your task.

So go scalloping and build your memories, but you need to hurry, the season ends in early September. Get your friends, family and your boat or find a licensed guide who can show you the ropes, at least for your first time and go scalloping. If you need help finding a guide send me an email and I’ll send you a list of guides that will help you get your limit and teach you what you need to know.

Steve Jones

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