HOMOSASSA, Fla. — With the key in the ignition and the anchor hoisted, Captain Jim Lemke and crew prepare to journey out through the winding waters off Homosassa to the far-reaching waters of the Gulf Coast. 

What You Need To Know

  • Scallop season lasts from July 1 through September

  • Charter captains can help with finding the best scalloping spots

  • They usually hide in grass flats with 6 to 8 feet of water

  • Captain Jim Lemke runs a charter into the Gulf out of Homosassa

Lemke, who grew up in Tampa, moved away and worked as an electrical engineer for a major corporation before he decided to turn it all in for something more on the adventurous side.

He moved back to Tampa and started up a business where his family had spent years vacationing, the quaint town of Homosassa. 

“You get to meet so many great people, between Tampa and the Homosassa area," Lemke said. "This place, you can't beat it. An hour north, and you are in a whole different land." 

Thirty-four years later, he hasn't looked back. Lemke takes out guests all year for fishing charters and other excursions, but this time of year, his days are mostly spent in the grass flats of the Gulf helping people find something they can only dive for this time of year — scallops!  

Lemke and his crew are seasoned when it comes to knowing where to dive and how to search the grass flats for scallops. In about 6 to 8 feet of water, these critters can be found hiding and swimming through the warm Gulf waters that sit comfortably in the mid-80's. 

Plenty of time remains to get out and experience Lemke's charters and a fun day with his team. The scalloping season got underway July 1 and runs through the end of September. Depending on the time of day you go, you can bring back quite a haul to serve at the dinner table.