If you want to avoid the high cost of fresh caught seafood but you still want some, you could try catching it yourself. To catch shrimp, you need to purchase the proper license from the state so you can legally take some home.
If you have a boat, you can set out shrimp traps that are weighed down to the bottom of the ocean. You will need a weighted line, a shrimp buoy, bait and all sorts of equipment to get them set up properly. You could also buy a cast net and fish from the beach.
Casting for Shrimp
If you have never thrown a net, there are lots of videos online that will teach you how. Practice in the backyard for awhile before you go to the ocean to try it. When the net lands on the grass, you will have a good idea of how it will land in the water.
Casting for shrimp is best done at low tide. Study your tide charts so you know what times will be most productive. If you can catch low tide in the evening, this is the best. Next, find a place where you can cast your net. Ideally, you want a place where the net will not get caught on anything. Docks, piers or on a flat beach can be good places. You do not want the water to be deeper than the radius of your net.
Once you have found a great place, toss the net into the water. The net will sink to the bottom. Use the rope attached to it to haul it back in. The net closes around whatever is in the net when you pull on the rope.
Casting for shrimp is not a clean job. You may get wet, muddy, and grimy. Pull the net out quickly but not too fast. You will want to have a bucket or cooler sitting nearby to put the net in.
Loosen the net and dump everything inside into the bucket. Pick out the shrimp and put them in your cooler on ice. Keep casting the net until you have enough or until you are too tired to do it any longer.
Tips on Shrimping
Nighttime is better for catching shrimp. The shrimp tend to stay higher in the water column.
Be sure to clean all the shrimp before you cook them. Cleaning consists of a thorough rinsing in clean water, removing the heads, and deveining.
Shrimp with a row of black eggs showing in their abdomen are pregnant. They should be thrown back into the water.
Watch the sharp points on the shrimp’s head. They can be very sharp and painful.
Some people are allergic to shellfish. Some do not realize they have this allergy. If you find yourself or anyone else breaking out in hives, or feel your throat or chest getting tight after eating shrimp or any other shellfish, you may be having an allergic reaction. Get help immediately. If you have had a similar reaction before, do not eat shellfish.
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