May 3, 2010: Shrimping Out Deep

Posted by Adam James on December 05, 2014 4 Comments
We just about got skunked last weekend during the first recreational shrimp opening of the year.  Normally we shrimp at about 150 to 200 feet, and normally we do really well. There were 10 of us shrimping in the same area this year, but at 11 am, when we pulled our first pull, not a single one of us had caught a single shrimp. Zero. Zip. We panicked, and moved the pots as deep as our rope allowed, but when it was all over only one of us had limited. Another couple caught 20 to 30 shrimp each, one person pulled up a pot with only 1 shrimp in it, and two people lost pots altogether after dropping them too deep.

ayock1

Hood Canal during shrimping season

Question: Did other people notice that the shrimp were deeper this year than last? Any ideas why? One idea we had is that maybe there's more oxygen in the Canal this year, so the shrimp aren't crowding into the shallow areas. For those of you who haven't ever taken the opportunity to catch your own shrimp in Hood Canal, here's a brief recap of how the recreational season works: you can have pots in the water from 9 to 1 pm. Shrimp season opens the first Saturday in May and continues the following Wednesday, the second Saturday, and then the second Wednesday. It's a four day season, so there's lots of pressure to catch your limit of 80 shrimp per person per day. For more info on regulations visit the WDFW  page here.

no-shrimp1

No shrimp, no smile

Note: this was a recreational shrimp opening, not a commercial one, so we don't have fresh Hood Canal shrimp to sell.

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Comments (4 Comments)

Posted by Oyster Fan on December 05, 2014

Apparently all the shrimp are on your side of the Canal… a friend of ours went out shrimping near Holly and had 300 shrimp in one pull!

Posted by Bruce on December 05, 2014

I went out with a buddy yesterday morning—he did not have a shellfish license and that worked out because with 4 pulls we got 64 of those bad boys. We went farther down the cove from our place and we were about 250 to 270 feet. On the second pull, the trap was really really heavy. Visions of a mega shrimp haul! Then after several minutes of pulling we see an old barnacle encrusted crab buoy attached to a yellow line. OK! An old crab trap we thought. Turned out to be a trap…but it was a real nice shrimp trap. The bait container was full of broken clam shells. It was all crusty and had been down there a long time.

Back at it Saturday!

Posted by Oyster Fan on December 05, 2014

Well, it looks like next year we might go with 400 feet of rope, just to be safe. Lost pots are a bad thing all the way around. Most of the people who caught shrimp last Saturday did so at 300 or 350 feet. Our shrimp seemed big enough, but they definitely aren’t as big as the prawns we buy from the Coast. Good luck tomorrow!

Posted by Bruce on December 05, 2014

We kept to Frenchman’s Cove. It took us until 12:30 but we almost limited out between 5 of us. It appeared to us that there were not nearly as many boats this year for Opening Day and we thought we would limit in a couple of hours. Not! The largest pull we had was 36….one pull had nothing but a flounder in it. Our pots had 300 feet of line….we dropped at different depths between 175 to 250 feet. Probably our imagination, but we thought the shrimp were not a large as last year either. Plan to give it another shot Wed. Good luck!

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