Scouting for Scallops – Steinhatchee and South
June 26, 2010
We started the day at 3:30 am..Ugh. Leaving Tampa that early we knew we would be on the water before it got too hot. I can honestly say I have not been out at that hour in years. If you are looking for some comic relief all you have to do is sit in a 7-11 parking lot at 3 am – you will find it! After I fueled up with gas and coffee I was off to meet Robin and Bob and Mocha, from Good Time Kayaking. We all planned to ride up to Steinhatchee together to scout out the scallops. We were hoping to not only find a good place to take groups for this year’s season, but we also wanted to find a place in shallow water, easy to kayak to and have a “not so crowded” atmosphere.
Once we arrived in the general area we pulled out the gazetteer and looked at all the forest roads trying to find the best access for what we were needed over the next 2 months. We went down a few roads that just ended at some rough looking trailers, then we hit a home run and found a fantastic spot. Robin and I gathered our nets and snorkels and soon were paddling out to the gulf. Within 2 hours we had not only found the scallops but caught nearly our limit! We headed back to the beach watching Mocha swim out to meet us. After loading the kayaks up we checked out more of the local spots. We visited Horseshoe Beach that had neither horseshoes nor a beach… then went even further south to a lovely spot called Shired Island. This area is within the Lower Suwannee Refuge and is a protected site.
There was wildlife all around us and it was such a beautiful place. We were told that later in the scallop season you could walk right out on the grass flats to just waist deep water and collect scallops! There was a nice primitive campground right down the road to!
After a bit more exploring we decided it was time to head back to the truck; there was a storm approaching and we did not want to be caught out in the open! The next day we were off to spend the day fishing and hiking the islands off Dunedin, Florida. Anclote Key and Caladesi Island were to be our next stop….but that story is for another day!