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There's nothing quite like a fresh scallop sauteed in butter --and if you agree with that statement then you'll be glad to hear that today marks the start of scalloping season in Crystal River, Florida --a beloved time of year for locals and tourists alike. If you're not familiar with scalloping season, it's basically scallop "hunting season" --the only time of the year when it's legal to harvest local Bay Scallops.
While you can expect to see the muscley delight on many restaurant menus soon, you don't have to wait for someone else to cook them up for you to enjoy a taste!
Scalloping can be done across many Gulf Coast counties as south as Pasco County and as north as Gulf County, but Crystal River/Homosassa (Citrus County) is one of the most notable hotspots. I got introduced to Citrus County's scalloping traditions a couple of years ago when one of my favorite bands, Tantric, played a show at the annual Crystal River Scallop Festival. They take their scallop traditions very seriously around those parts!
Besides the annual festival, there are many scallop-themed food and fishing events to keep an eye out for in the area. If you really want to be adventurous, get on a charter and catch your own fresh scallops right from the source! Not only is it like treasure hunting, but it's a great way to cool down during the hot summer months in Central Florida.
If you can't make it out during prime time, that's totally fine because scalloping season runs from July 1-September 24 in Citrus County. The daily harvest allotment varies by county, but you can find that information here.
Will you be going scalloping this season? I know I will!