GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– Whether preparing them fried, buttered or seared, scallop lovers can plan to hunt for and enjoy the shellfish fresh from the St. Joseph Bay starting August 16.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set the 2022 Bay Scallop Season to remain open through September 24, and Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses are required to scallop.  

News 13 this Morning rode along with T-Man’s Charters to learn all the rules and regulations scallop seekers need to know.

“It is best to ride along with a charter vessel as we know the waterways, and those who ride in our vessel are not required to carry a Florida Saltwater Fishing License. You’ll also need your red dive flag to put up signifying someone is in the water. Not having one results in a heavy fine,” said Capt. Tim Wilder of T-Man’s Charters.

Wilder said this season is a huge boost in business for local charters.

“It all helps. It’s good for this community after the hurricane four years ago, you know, rebuilding this and we’re alive, we’re good we’re doing well right now and our resources are great here,” he said.

Scallop seekers will be allowed to keep two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of scallop meat shucked. For those in a vessel or boat, they can keep 10 gallons of whole scallops or a half gallon of scallop meat, but those guidelines do not allow individuals to exceed their personal limit.

According to the Gulf County TDC and FWC, the scalloping region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. 

Scallop seekers will be allowed to keep two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of scallop meat shucked. For those in a vessel or boat, they can keep 10 gallons of whole scallops or a half gallon of scallop meat, but those guidelines do not allow individuals to exceed their personal limit.

“We want people to enjoy this season, and to keep them coming back so please respect our waters and leave no trace,” said Gulf County Executive Director, Kelli Godwin.

Many local restaurants also provide catch to cook specials for scallop seekers. A link to that can be found here.

To book with T-Man’s Charters call 850.227.5802 or visit his website here.