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Author Topic: Scallop hunting tips write up  (Read 3429 times)

Online MATT MATTISON

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Scallop hunting tips write up
« on: May 26, 2015, 11:08:12 AM »
Howdy Everyone,

In this write up I plan to go over some of the tips and tricks  I have found useful when scallop diving. Also, I would like to share some general information on scallops.  Personally, scallops are one of the best table cuisines we have in our California waters.  Free diving for rock scallops in California is probably the most challenging of all diving endeavors.  This statement may sound obscure to many; however, for those who have tried this sport know what I mean. In short, it is far from easy to pry them off their perch.  Most times an underwater jackhammer would be nice!!!!  I have dove for scallops in Southern California and they seem to be easier to pry off and much more abundant.  This is just my opinion and not a fact.

  Most California divers use SCUBA for the arduous chore of removing the bivalve from their environment.  The CFW regulations state that one must use only an abalone iron or a dive knife to remove the rock scallop; however, I believe an underwater jack hammer would be much better as stated before, LOL.

  If you have ever tried to remove a rock scallop holding your breath at any depth you must know how incredibly hard it is.  SCUBA divers sometimes just slip their knife between the two parts of the shell and clean the scallop leaving the bottom shell attached to the rock.  They drop the meat (button) into a sack and continue on the hunt.  FYI, keep in mind if using this method and you accidently cut one button into 2 pieces DFW will count that as 2 scallops thus why I prefer taking the complete shell.  If the DFW ever does put a size limit on the scallop, then you will have to take the shell for proof.  CA DFW regulations state the Legal California limit for a diver is 10 scallops a day and no size limit.  Just remember, if you want to take scallops free diving, two things are necessary; stamina and stamina.

Facts about Rock Scallops



Giant Rock Scallops have coarsely ribbed shells called valves.  The upper valve is usually scallop-shaped but the lower valve takes the shape of the substrate to which it's attached.  The thick, heavy valves are brownish on the outside.  Inside, they're pearly white with a dark purple blotch on the central part of the hinge.


Picture provided by Eric Anderson

“The scallop has numerous blue eyes and sensory tentacles around the margin.  Juvenile Giant Rock Scallops are unattached and swim by clapping their valves together repeatedly and spurting jets of water outward on either side of the hinge. 
After attaining a diameter of about 1 in. (2.5 cm), the scallop cements its right valve to the rocks and thereafter grows and lives as an attached or sessile organism.  Like other bivalves, Giant Rock Scallops filter plankton and tiny organic particles from seawater.”



http://aquarium.org/exhibits/rocky-shores/animals/giant-rock-scallop


Scallop Range and Habitat
“Rock scallops are common from the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia and all the way to Baja California.  They live in rock crevices along exposed outer coast, underneath floats and on pilings in bays from the low intertidal zone to subtidal depths of 164 ft. (50 m).” http://aquarium.org/exhibits/rocky-shores/animals/giant-rock-scallop
   Scallops can reach sizes of 10 inches in diameter though usually less than six inches.  FYI – The world record is held by California native, Eric Owen.  His scallop was recorded at/about 10 5/8 inches And Eric Anderson with a 9 3/4 - 7.5 pound Scallop





Pictures provided by Eric Anderson

Gear Needed and Recommended for Scallop Diving:

1.   A CA DFW fishing lic
2.   Your standard free diving gear
3.   Flash light
4.   Abalone/Scallop bar (as per Sport Fish and Game Reg. 29.60)
5.   Float line


Recommended Tips for Scallop Diving.

Here are the tips and tricks I use when I go Scallop diving and I am not saying these are the best tips or the only tips that work but they have worked well for me.  The biggest tips I can give you for Scallop diving is watch for the right Ocean conditions and swell. Those are of the utmost importance and a requirement. Meaning you need to have calm conditions, to be able to reach and dive the area’s where scallops like to inhabit.  I like a swell that is 4ft or less and minimal wind.  Which tends to create a nice lake like conditions and little surge and white water?  Scallops are filter feeders so that is why you want to look in areas that have a lot of water movement and surge on most days. 
I look for wash rocks and pinnacles and rock piles.  Once I find a nice wash rock I start looking for any under cuts, horizontal running cracks or holes.  I usually find all my scallops in those areas.  In this you tube video it shows what I mean.



 Once I have found a scallop or a crack I want to take my time and look at. I drop my scallop bar or spear gun that is attached to my float line to mark the hole or area. I then take my time and pan my flash light the length of the crack and I make sure to go up and down it a few times. There have been many of time(s) where on the first pass I did not see the scallop till the second or 3rd pass of the crack. The key is go slow and then go slower don’t rush when your checking those cracks and holes.  One of the other things I look for is the orange lips and smile that a scallops makes when opened up.




Pictures provided by friendsoflajollashores.com


Picture provided by monkeyfacenews.typepad.com - Picture provided by www.goldenstateimages.com

Once a scallop is located then becomes the fun part!!!! Some scallops come off by just whacking them with the palm of your hand but most will be an underwater battle to get off.  The trick is to find a spot where you can slide the Scallop/ab bar behind the scallop and pry it off.  Sometimes I found that instead of prying up like you would on an abalone try twisting/wiggling the bar, I have found that works as well.
 As stated before they can be quite hard at times.  That is why I think Scallop diving is one of the hardest endeavors to do as a free diver. 
Well I hope this information was informative and the tips useful.  Now you have some tools in your diving skills to get out there and start your own scallop adventures.  Words to remember!

These words are worth remembering.  To be a successful scallop diver you must possess Dedication, Motivation, Location and remember always dive safe and in safe conditions.  Below are some scallops catch pictures to get you going, ENJOY!!!



Written by
Matt Mattison


« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 10:36:21 AM by MATT MATTISON »


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Offline DG

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 11:34:49 AM »
Good write up.  Makes me want to go get some.  What if we get an underwater jackhammer but put an ab bar label on it. 

Offline Scallop shooter

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 04:40:38 PM »
Great as usual,Matt
I really like the banks board photos,great for scale
Chuck
Stay calm and dive on

Offline smilee

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 05:06:16 PM »
Thanks for the write up. It is one of the things I have set as a goal. To get 1 scallop. Along with a lot of others being new to the sport.

Offline Chet

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 09:02:49 PM »

Free diving for rock scallops in California is probably the most challenging of all diving endeavors.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D


LOL. Laughing was classic.
BTW, where do you get that orange float? Does it float with 3 abs in a bag attached to it?
Dive and Fish.
San Jose, CA

Offline Chet

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2015, 09:20:15 PM »
I am Looking for a hard float. It's pain to swim back to kayak every ab, scallop or fish.
I think that will help decrease my leg cramp and give me more time hunting instead of long surface swim.
Dive and Fish.
San Jose, CA

Offline Trevor Larsen

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 10:52:03 PM »
Awesome write up Matt!!!! 

Online MATT MATTISON

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 10:21:01 AM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol 


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Online TheKeeneroo

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 11:21:25 AM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol

I'd like to be prepared if/when I see a scallop to harvest it. My imagination leads me to want to make an ab iron with a sheath that can connect to my calf/belt similar to my dive knife, just longer. Then when I see one, I drop my gun by it, pull out the iron, and go back down. Any thoughts on a better way to do this? I primarily want to spearfish, but want to be ready when I find one.

Thoughts? Ideas? products?
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline ryang85

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 12:07:26 PM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol

I'd like to be prepared if/when I see a scallop to harvest it. My imagination leads me to want to make an ab iron with a sheath that can connect to my calf/belt similar to my dive knife, just longer. Then when I see one, I drop my gun by it, pull out the iron, and go back down. Any thoughts on a better way to do this? I primarily want to spearfish, but want to be ready when I find one.

Thoughts? Ideas? products?
I carry a 8 inch aluminum scallop bar i made,  it tucks into my weightbelt and  i forget its there until i need it. A lot of people up here use little bars for scallops especially while spearfishing.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


Online MATT MATTISON

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 12:32:56 PM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol

I'd like to be prepared if/when I see a scallop to harvest it. My imagination leads me to want to make an ab iron with a sheath that can connect to my calf/belt similar to my dive knife, just longer. Then when I see one, I drop my gun by it, pull out the iron, and go back down. Any thoughts on a better way to do this? I primarily want to spearfish, but want to be ready when I find one.

Thoughts? Ideas? products?

I tuck my small ab iron behind my back in between my weight belt


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Online TheKeeneroo

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 04:58:58 PM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol

I'd like to be prepared if/when I see a scallop to harvest it. My imagination leads me to want to make an ab iron with a sheath that can connect to my calf/belt similar to my dive knife, just longer. Then when I see one, I drop my gun by it, pull out the iron, and go back down. Any thoughts on a better way to do this? I primarily want to spearfish, but want to be ready when I find one.

Thoughts? Ideas? products?

I tuck my small ab iron behind my back in between my weight belt

What size and metal are you using? Aluminum seems like it might get messed up faster with how stubborn those anchors are.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline ryang85

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 08:56:09 PM »
Figured since abalone diving is closed, What other tasty shell fish is there to hunt ? the Answer would be ROCK SCALLOPS. At the top of this page and beginning of post is a Scallop hunting tips write I did awhile back to help divers out.  Hope people find this useful and not to boring lol

I'd like to be prepared if/when I see a scallop to harvest it. My imagination leads me to want to make an ab iron with a sheath that can connect to my calf/belt similar to my dive knife, just longer. Then when I see one, I drop my gun by it, pull out the iron, and go back down. Any thoughts on a better way to do this? I primarily want to spearfish, but want to be ready when I find one.

Thoughts? Ideas? products?

I tuck my small ab iron behind my back in between my weight belt

What size and metal are you using? Aluminum seems like it might get messed up faster with how stubborn those anchors are.
.33"  7075 aluminum.  Ive never  bent my little bar and have popped many scallops and attempted a lot.

But i have a 35" ab bar i carry sometimes and i have bent that thing into  a U  which always results in the scallop shell exploading.  Usualy it snaps right back straight.

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Offline Sir Rob IV

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 05:29:29 PM »
Am I the only one who leaves it in the yak and just marks them with a gun and float? Its not like they are going anywhere. Unless I am specifically hunting for scallops then Ill tuck it in the belt like others have said.

Offline Rob102

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Re: Scallop hunting tips write up
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 08:58:42 PM »
Am I the only one who leaves it in the yak and just marks them with a gun and float? Its not like they are going anywhere. Unless I am specifically hunting for scallops then Ill tuck it in the belt like others have said.

Here’s a video of how Sir Rob tucks his iron away.


 

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