Steinhatchee/Taylor County Scallop Report, July 23, 2014

The first month of Florida’s 2014 recreational scallop season has been a busy one at Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach.  Scallop season is always the busiest time of the year for these Gulf ports, with record sales at marinas, busy motels, waits for tables at restaurants, and busy boat ramps.  Rental boats are sometimes available on short notice, but for the most part, they’ve been reserved for months.  The same goes for lodging.

kroll 4 300x83 Steinhatchee/Taylor County Scallop Report, July 23, 2014

rentalboat 5 300x127 Steinhatchee/Taylor County Scallop Report, July 23, 2014


scalliops 6 300x134 Steinhatchee/Taylor County Scallop Report, July 23, 2014

Scalloping isn’t hard work.  About all you need to be able to do is snorkel in 3 to 6-feet of water and to scoop them up by hand.  This year, you’ll spend a bit more time catching your 2-gallon (in the shell) limit, but the scallops ARE there.  Scallopers leaving from the Sea Hag, River Haven and Good Times marinas seem to be having the best luck to the north, off Clay Creek, Fishermans Rest, Big Grass Island and Piney Point.  And unlike last year, the scallops are close to shore in very clear water.

The best time to scallop is during the lower phase of the tide, and while the sun is overhead.  The sunlight draws the scallops to the top of the grass, making them easy to spot and the low tide makes reaching down for them from a swimming position easier.

For a general look at scalloping, take a look at “Bay Scallops, The Gulf of Mexico’s Tastiest Treat“.

Looking For Seafood In Your Area? Use the Gulf Coast Seafood Finder APP!

Looking for Gulf Seafood in your area? Check out the Gulf Coast Seafood Finder mobile APP developed by the Gulf Coast Seafood Marketing Coalition.

From their website…“The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (Coalition) was formed by The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. as a result of a grant from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) (NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481). Representing all components of the seafood distribution chain, including commercial fishermen, processors, wholesalers, associations, sea grants, tourism boards, restaurants, retailers, chefs and charter boat sectors, the Coalition has been established to coordinate all efforts and provide a cohesive vision and overarching strategy to showcase Gulf Coast Seafood. Strategies will focus on expanding global market share for wild seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.”

Visit their website … http://eatgulfseafood.com/ … to learn more about the Coalition and the APP.

Fanning Springs Easily Accessed By Boat From The Suwannee River

A short trip up the spring run to the dock at Fanning Springs State Park can bring you the best of two worlds.  One, tour the scenic Suwannee River and two, swim in the cool crystal clear waters of one of Florida’s biggest freshwater springs.  There are good boat ramps downstream from Fanning Springs at Fowlers Bluff (on the south side of the river) and at Yellowjacket on the north side.  Upstream, there’s a good launch near Hart Springs.  And if you don’t want to make a long boat trip (or are launching a canoe or kayak), there’s a public ramp just across the river from the spring run, just downsteam from the north side of the US19/98 bridge.

fanningboating 1 300x216 Fanning Springs Easily Accessed By Boat From The Suwannee River

fanningswimming 1 300x200 Fanning Springs Easily Accessed By Boat From The Suwannee River

There’s not much dockage, but two or three boats can comfortably tie up to the floating dock that crosses the spring run.  There’s a modest charge ($2 per person) if you plan to swim in the spring or use the park’s amenities (picnic tables, rest rooms, snack bar).

For complete information on Fanning Springs State Park, visit: http://www.floridastateparks.org/fanningsprings/



It’s Time To Head West Towards The New and Improved Horseshoe Beach Marina!

In the past few years, Horseshoe Beach hasn’t had lots of attention from outdoorsmen who live outside the Natural North Florida region. That’s bad, as it’s a great place to fish—and to relax! This small town, billed as “Florida’s Last Frontier”, is about 25-miles west of Cross City, at the end of CR351. There are condos there, a couple of (very nice) boat ramps, vacation rentals, a couple of nice eateries, and some terrific fishing. There’s also good access to the scalloping grounds just north towards Steinhatchee. But the “marina situation” has lacked polish for a few years. Now, with a recent injection of interest and cash by Dennis Buckley, the “new” Horseshoe Beach Marina is a welcome addition to the growing attraction of this small coastal town.

hbmarina 3 300x200 Its Time To Head West Towards The New and Improved Horseshoe Beach Marina!

hbmarina 15 200x300 Its Time To Head West Towards The New and Improved Horseshoe Beach Marina!


Located at 262 3rd Street, the marina is on its way to becoming full service. There’s non-ethanol gas, a big boat lift, live and frozen baits, canoe and kayak rentals, wet and dry slips, trailer storage, and more. I stopped by this past Sunday and was greeted by Nancy and Steve, the operators, and given the grand tour. Not only do they have the “usual” marina things, but they also have a couple of nice rental houses, as well as RV spots right on a corner of the property. In fact, the overall impression I got was that they were willing to go out of their way to keep their customers happy at all costs!

Florida’s Gag Grouper Season Gets Underway Today, July 1, 2014

The Big Bend’s long-awaited gag grouper season opens today, July 1, 2014. Recreational anglers will be able to take their bag limit of gag grouper in all Gulf of Mexico federal waters and most Gulf state waters starting July 1 and continuing to Dec. 3. The same day, the season will close in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. State waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf. The Gulf state season, not including the four-county region which was open April 1-June 30, will close to harvest Dec. 3. The Gulf federal season closure date is yet to be determined. The minimum size limit for gag grouper in Gulf waters is 22 inches, and the bag limit is two gag within a four-grouper aggregate bag limit. Monroe County is managed as part of the Atlantic for grouper and is open May 1 through Dec. 31 in state waters, which is from shore to 3 nautical miles.
hinesgrouper 3 300x200 Floridas Gag Grouper Season Gets Underway Today, July 1, 2014

Jackson Kayak’s Kayak Fishing Show: Kayak Fishing Florida’s Levy County, June 29, 2014

True southern hospitality is experienced in Levy County, Florida where Jim Sammons visits the Withlacoochee River and the Gulf of Mexico to kayak fish for some mammoth black drum and redfish.

Watch the preview: http://youtu.be/yYBl9-fWKeM

Jackson Kayak’s Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons episode, Kayak Florida’s Levy County, premieres on the World Fishing Network (WFN) on Sunday, June 29th at 9:00 a.m. EST* and re-airs throughout the week. Check out the full show schedule at http://www.kayakfishingshow.com/show.php.

Now entering its 6th season of filming, Jackson Kayak’s Kayak Fishing Show follows Jim Sammons as he travels the world with his kayak, on the hunt for the biggest and most challenging game fish.

Watch Jackson Kayak’s Kayak Fishing Show trailer and learn more about the series at www.kayakfishingshow.com.

*Visit http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/show-schedule for the list of airings in all time zones.
About The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons presented by Jackson Kayak: Entering its 5th Season on WFN, The Kayak Fishing Show features jaw-dropping action in stunning locations. Every 30-minute episode follows Jim Sammons as he travels the world with his kayak, on the hunt for the biggest and most challenging game fish.

About The Extreme Kayak Fishing Challenge Presented by Seaguar: An exciting and inspiring NBC Sports series, which follows Jim on his worldwide journeys to catch the biggest game fish possible from his kayak.

About Heliconia: Since World Champion kayaker Ken Whiting founded the company in 1998, Heliconia has been a leader in outdoors media production. Heliconia produces 5 outdoor television series that air on NBC Sports, Universal Sports, Outside Television, and The World Fishing Network.  See all of Heliconia’s work at www.helipress.com, or follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/helipress.

Need a Scallop Guide? Hire a Guide From River Haven Marina, Steinhatchee

Charter Services and Guides fishing out of River Haven Marina.

Whether seeking offshore fishing or inshore adventures, we can help you find the right Captain for your needs.

Tim and Shari invite you to call (352) 498-0709 for an Up-to-Date fishing and weather report or to book reservations in one of the many accommodations they have to offer.






scallopergirl 1 225x300 Need a Scallop Guide?  Hire a Guide From River Haven Marina, Steinhatchee


TJ’s Charter Service
Fish the Flats with Captain Tony Jackson.

Captain Steve Kroll’s Pepperfish Key Charters (352) 322-4085
USCG licensed Captain Steve Kroll is your host and guide for a great day of near shore and flats fishing, or scalloping, on the beautiful Big Bend region.

On The Mark Guide Service
Captain Mark Lord, a Florida Flats Fishing Guide, is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, with years of experience fishing and guiding in the Steinhatchee area.

Fin Action Charters
USCG Licensed Capt. Brad Riddle is available for a great day of Florida Flats Fishing or Scallop Trips

Her Tanning Bed Charters
If you are interested in Scalloping or Fishing whether it be inshore of offshore Captain Don Campbell can help have the adventure you are looking for.

Salt Addiction Charters
A USCG Licensed Flats Guide, Captain Mike Farmer is available for inshore fishing and scalloping charters.

Team Williams Charters
Whether you are looking for some good flats fishing or are more into offshore fishing Team Williams Charters has what you are looking for. Scallop trips also available.

Want To Go Scalloping? Don’t Have A Boat? Rent One At Steinhatchee’s Sea Hag Marina!

rentalboatsth 1 Want To Go Scalloping?  Dont Have A Boat?  Rent One At Steinhatchees Sea Hag Marina!

The Sea Hag Marina’s twenty-boat rental fleet is made up of 24’ Skiffs.  Each is powered by a fuel efficient 4 stroke Mercury 90hp outboard.  There is plenty of seating with two large coolers, sturdy dive ladders and bimini tops to keep you in the shade. Complete safety equipment is provided on each vessel and a Garmin GPS with detailed maps to help you through your navigation.  Our rental boats are perfect for a family outing, scalloping, snorkeling, fishing or just enjoying the scenery at Steinhatchee!

To make your “Dream Boat” reservation call (352) 498-3008

Full day rental 7:00am-5:00pm  $199.00 plus fuel and tax

Half day 7:00am-12:00pm or 12:00pm-5:00 $125.00 plus fuel and tax

Sunrise on Wacissa, Join Paddlers for a Tour of Jefferson County’s Beautiful River, June 14, 2014

Join paddlers for a leisurely (two hour) exploration of the
Wacissa River including Big Blue, a first magnitude

Meet up at 7:30 AM at Wacissa headwaters.
Bring sunblock, refillable water bottle, hat, and
towel. Dress to get wet!
For more information including directions and kayak rentals,
Please contact gackerman@ttrs.org

June 14 Wacissa paddle

“Scallopalooza” to open 2014 Florida Recreational Scallop Season

June 9, 2014–

scallopfun 206x300 Scallopalooza to open 2014 Florida Recreational Scallop Season

The opening of the 2014 Florida Recreational Bay Scallop Season has been moved ahead a few days to June 28 to allow scallopers the opportunity to harvest scallops an extra weekend.  That means the crowds will be arriving early at Big Bend ports like Steinhatchee, Keaton Beach and St. Marks.  And even the places that don’t necessarily offer immediate access to the pristine grass flats that are home to the bay scallop will fill up too. After all, when you’re on the Big Bend in the summer, you’ll find it’s not a bad trip from Suwannee, Cedar Key, Horseshoe Beach or Panacea to the “scallop grounds”.

As an example, Taylor County gets in full gear for scallop season, and this year Steinhatchee will kick off the season with “Scallopalooza” on June 28.  This regular event is lots of fun and gets visitors and residents in the mood for a busy, fun-filled summer.

If you’ve not scalloped, you might find the following articles interesting:

Scalloping 101

Bay Scallops, The Gulf of Mexico’s Tastiest Treat

scalloping5boats 1 Scallopalooza to open 2014 Florida Recreational Scallop Season