Homosassa 7/26 7/27 Scallops Up close and personal

Taking a break from the fish for a few days put the the other Big Bend seafood on the menu, scallops. North,South, East and West they seem to be everywhere this year. Of course everyone has their secret honey hole but flying that flag will sometimes attract a crowd. Crowds are what scalloping seems to be about and it certainly can be fun. A couple weeks ago I tagged along with a neighbor and his fleet of friends. They were having a bit of trouble filling their limit so I wrote down a number and off we went 3 boatloads of folks with snorkel gear. We stopped once dove and moved once more and found our quarry. We had grills going great conversation fantastic food and a lot of laughs! That was a great floating party and the best part was everyone remained sober! This party took place in 6-7 feet of water. A good amount of diving to get to the little critters but great exercise none the less. The past 2 trips were in shallow water. By shallow I mean from less than 2' to 3' of water. This was the up close and personal part of scalloping. In that super skinny water your field of view is very limited so I made the best of t by slowing down and enjoying the scenery. If you are diving deeper you get a great look at a lot of marine life down there but it seems they are always swimming directly away form you. In a couple feet of water one can exercise stealth and sneak up on fish like the 30" gag grouper that lives under a ledge in 2' of water. Mangrove snapper from 6 to 16 inches will swim right up to you then go about thier business. Crabs. coral. seahorses,starfish and much more! Fish and plant life beneath the surface take on a whole new form when you get very close to them. This amazing place we call home never ceases to toss a new surprise at me. Just another of the Big Bend's trademarks!

Do some of this.......
Scallopdive.jpg
To find some of these.......
Scallops.jpg
And before long you will have this!
scallopcooler.jpg
This place Rocks if yer a crabber

Replies

  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,962 Moderator
    Great haul. Finally got out and did some myself Thursday.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,461 Captain
    To give you an idea of how shallow scallops can be found, Kyle's skeg was touching bottom when we left the last spot yesterday and the tide was still dropping. We had to put out for over a mile before we could get up on plane.

    I need to get bifocals for my mask prescription. I can't see those buggers up that close. :huh
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,929 Captain
    I am headed out to Homosassa next Saturday to go scalloping with Jesse. Should be a good time. I think he might have chatted with you about where to find them. Hopefully we have good luck like you did.
  • angler18angler18 Posts: 2,037 Captain
    nice cooler full Kyle. It is a fun time of year to get out on the water with all ages, and really feels good when it's 98 degrees out.
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 830 Officer
    I'm heading over there next weekend with the family for our annual trip and was wondering where you are finding those snapper. We have no trouble getting our limit of scallops, but would like to bring some poles and see whats biting. Last year we had poles with use and got some snook over by the St martin keys but i would like something the family could eat along with those tastey scallops. If you could just point me in the direction i need to go that would be awesome.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,461 Captain
    The mangroves are over most of the yellow hard bottom patches around the St. Martin Keys. Most are too small to bother with. There are some bigger ones around the ledges and springs that you come across. But they might be hard to get to bite during the day.

    The best bet for putting fish in the boat is to run out to 8'-10' and drift the grass flats for trout and seabass. If you come across any rocks at those depths, you'll likely also find keeper sized grunts.
  • PONCEPONCE Posts: 5,943 Officer
    Now thats a huge haul , WTG Kyle & Co
  • ripnlipsripnlips Posts: 2,535 Captain
    I would like to know how they keep coming back after the 1000 plus boats every day, day after day, and they are still plentiful and large. One of natures mysteries I guess :shrug
  • keywest1720keywest1720 Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Nice catch! Wife and I went out saturday out of Homosassa filled limit in 4 leasural hours. HUGE scallops just south of Gomez ....
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,461 Captain
    I would like to know how they keep coming back after the 1000 plus boats every day, day after day, and they are still plentiful and large. One of natures mysteries I guess

    Most of them are down deep in the turtle grass areas where they can't be seen. During each slack tide, many of them flap around and some end up on top of the grass and/or get washed into the open or mixed grass areas where they are easier to find.

    Back in the old days when you could scallop off of Tarpon Springs, we would clean out an area and then go scuba diving offshore. We would return to the same spot during the next tide and there were lots of scallops again. No limits in those days. I remember filling up 154 quart coolers during good years.

    You can find them in the thick turtle grass as long as the tide isn't running so hard that the tops of the blades are blown over. But you need a completely different search image. You have to focus on the blue eyes looking up between the grass blades. There isn't enough room for them to lay flat. If you are looking for the typical Shell Oil symbol scallop profile you'll never see any scallops buried in the grass.

    It's the same reason fish won't see a particular bait or lure once they become focused on a particular type of prey. All vertebrate brains seem to work the same way. We have to be looking for a certain thing or else we don't see it.
  • huntentailshuntentails Posts: 1,697 Captain
    Nice report T.M.
    Looks like I need to get wet after
    I chase some reds the next couple times out
    Thanks for Great Report :beer
    58c3c16f-8a45-4d30-b16f-bc3107cf4657_zpsplzwx9u1.jpg0af8c5e9-faa1-4c9d-81d3-c711ee6ce6e3_zpsojsft7fc.jpg
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    :beer:beer
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
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