In this article, we lay out the case for why you should be using an Ozello Shrimper instead of any alternative method of shrimping. We do this by explaining how to use an Ozello Shrimper and provide a comparison of the Ozello Shrimper with the competing methods. It is our hope that after reading this, you'll join us!
The Ozello Shrimper Method
Catching shrimp with an Ozello Shrimper requires three things: an Ozello Shrimper, a headlamp and a floating bucket tethered to your waist.
Shrimping with an Ozello Shrimper is done at night, just off the shoreline, in sea grass beds where the water is usually no deeper than just below your knees.
Using a head mounted light or headlamp, you can see individual shrimp living in the seagrass because their eyes glow neon orange when the light from your headlamp hits them. All you need to do is pick them up.
Using the Ozello Shrimper is simple. At the end of an extendable pole is a box shaped cage with a spring loaded trap door. A cord runs up the pole that permits you to close the door when it is pulled. Simply lower the opening of the cage over the shrimp, pull the cord and voila! you have caught a shrimp. Once you have caught the shrimp, all you need to do is turn around, place the opening of the Ozello Shrimper above the bucket lid floating next to you and let go of the string, allowing the shrimp to fall into the bucket. Do this repeatedly and you can catch gallons of shrimp in a single night.
No bending over is required, you never have to actually touch the shrimp and it is super fast.
The Ozello Shrimper can be used by children, spouses (yes ladies, you can do it too!) and people of all ages. It's great fun for everyone and perfectly safe.
Now that we have explained how we go shrimping using the Ozello Shrimper, let's look at other ways to catch shrimp and highlight how the Ozello Shrimper is superior to these methods.
Ozello Shrimper vs. Green Fluorescent Lights ("East Coast Method")
On the East Coast of Florida the most popular method of catching shrimp at the moment involves catching them in the channel when they are moving in pods out to sea.
The method requires you either own a boat anchored in a channel or sit on a bridge. Using a long handled sock net and submersible, green fluorescent lights submerged in the water beneath you, your objective is to illuminate the water column in order to see the pods of outgoing shrimp as they make their way into the ocean. Using the long handled net, you intercept the shrimp pods and haul them out of the water. Sometimes you catch a lot, sometimes you catch nothing.
This method works quite well but, there is a high barrier to entry if you are seeking to catch shrimp this way: the price and complexity.
The average price for just one of these lights runs roughly $140. The batteries, weights and net are separate costs altogether. This doesn't even take into account the price of a boat, fuel and related expenses.
The Ozello Shrimper, on the other hand, is $120. A light for your head runs $15. A float and bucket can be had for $36.35 in our online store or you can make one yourself using a spare paint bucket.
For the price of just the light to go shrimping using the "East Coast Method' you can have all the equipment you need to go shrimping using an Ozello Shrimper with less hassle, less of a learning curve and more consistent results.
Don't have a boat? Expect to search for a limited range of bridges where it is possible to actually shrimp. Most are too high, unsafe or simply not in the right location. If you are lucky enough to find a bridge that meets all of these conditions, expect to find a mess of other people out there fighting over the same space to shrimp. Not with an Ozello Shrimper! Grass flats are huge and there is plenty of room for everyone. There are also a lot more grass flats than there are bridges!
Shrimp live in the grass flats all year long, they only migrate or "run" through the channels to get out to sea and spawn a few times a year so, you are limited in the amount of time you can go shrimping using the fluorescent lights method.
Yes, it's true, you can only find shrimp in immense abundance on the grass flats during these times too but, even in the "off-season' you will always find shrimp. Grass flats are their natural habitat and while more or less may be found throughout the year, you will always find them.
During the peak seasons, you can literally catch gallons of shrimp a night, every night, for weeks on end. Compared to the submersible lights method, the Ozello Shrimper ensures that you go home with something each night instead of relying on random luck for a pod of shrimp to conveniently swim beneath your line of sight. Instead of waiting for them to come to you, you go to them.
Ozello Shrimper vs. a Cast Net
Cast netting is extremely popular in the Northern parts of the State, particularly in Jacksonville and along the panhandle.
The cast net method of catching shrimp, also called "shrimp baiting", involves placing balls of clay mixed with cat food (or other mixtures) in the water, marking it with a PVC pole marker and then returning a few hours later to find a congregation of shrimp around it which you then catch using a standard cast net.
This method generally requires a boat. Cast netting requires that you have a place to empty your net and filter through the by-catch that inevitably results from accidentally netting other sea life. Without a boat, this becomes quite difficult and requires you walk back and forth to shore each time you want to clean your net.
The Ozello Shrimper does not require a boat. You can simply walk off the shoreline into the closest grass flat and start shrimping.
Another benefit of using an Ozello Shrimper vs. a cast net is the lack of environmental damage that comes with using a cast net. As mentioned above, cast nets are arbitrary and catch whatever happens to be beneath the net when it sinks to the bottom. Shrimp, crabs, fish, sea grass, other sea creatures, are all uprooted and brought to the surface.
The Ozello Shrimper catches none of these "extras" and causes no harm to the ecosystem. It allows you to pick up individual shrimp, and nothing else from the grass flats.
Ozello Shrimper vs. a Hand Held Dip Net
A hand held dip net can cost a few dollars at the local Wal-Mart. This makes it an attractive option for many and is one of the primary competitors to the Ozello Shrimper by sheer virtue of its price.
Using the same general method as the Ozello Shrimper, hand held dip nets permit users to walk around at night with a light on their head, spot a shrimp and scoop it up into the net. Users then pick through the net with their hands, sifting through a large amount of sea grass, extra sea life and muck to find the one shrimp they "think" they caught. They then remove the shrimp from the net and place it in a bag or bucket floating next to them.
There are three primary benefits to using an Ozello Shrimper compared to this method: speed, ease of use and lack of environmental damage.
The Ozello Shrimper catches shrimp lightning quick. In the time it takes someone using a dip net to scoop up a shrimp, sift through the muck, locate the shrimp and put it in a container, an Ozello Shrimper has already caught five times as many shrimp.
Ease of Use
The Ozello Shrimper is much easier to use than a dip net. A dip net requires that you bend over every time you want to scoop up a shrimp, hurting your back after extended use. It also requires that you get your hands wet, waterlogged and oftentimes, poked by the very shrimp you are trying to catch. With an Ozello Shrimper, you don't have to bend over, never get your hands wet and never get poked by your prey. You simply pick the shrimp up with the trap, drop it in a bucket next to you and then repeat.
Lack of Environmental Damage
A dip net causes a mess of problems on the grass flats, the least of which is the significant disturbance it causes other shrimpers in the area with the muck it stirs up, the worst is the amount of damage it does to the grass flats. Every time a dip net is used to catch a shrimp, it arbitrarily scoops up other surrounding sea life including sea grass, fish and other organisms. All this "by-catch" is direct damage to the environment, uprooting sea grass beds that serve as habitat for not only shrimp but a wide range of fish and other sea life.
The Ozello Shrimper is a unique way of catching shrimp but it's also the best. No damage to the environment, no bending over, no touching the shrimp and rapid fire speed at catching shrimp make the Ozello Shrimper the best shrimping method on the market today.