This article was originally published on Associated Content at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/295882/tips_on_harvesting_shrimp_in_florida.html by Shadows on July 7th, 2007.
Tips on Harvesting Shrimp in Florida
Your Complete Guide to Catching Shrimp Without a Boat.
If you love shrimp, then you're probably aware of the cost you'll pay at local grocery stores. Well, if you can't afford to buy them, or you just love the outdoors, maybe catching your own dinner is right for you. You don't need a boat, or expensive nets to catch shrimp. As a matter of fact, you don't even need to be an experienced fisherman.
First off, you will need some gear. We're not talking about spending hundreds of dollars here. Your going to need a dip net. The length of the pole is up to you, but anything over 4 ft will do fine. The net needs to be a small mesh, to avoid your shrimp from slipping through. You can find a wide variety of dip nets at any sports store or at discount stores such as Walmart for less the $15.00. Your also going to need some fishing gloves. These will protect your fingers, as shrimp will poke you. These gloves usually run around $2.00 a pair. Head lights are important. These are flashlights that attach to your head with an elastic band. You can expect to pay around $10.00 for the light. And last you will need something to put your shrimp in. A mesh laundry bag with a drawstring works great, and only cost a few dollars. However, a bait buck with lid will also work.
Now that you have everything together, it's time to go harvesting. You can find shrimp in salt water, that has grassy areas. Channels, canals, around bridges, are great places. Shrimping is best after dark, during low tide. You will need to watch the news, and find out what time low tide is, before you go. There is no need to get there at 8 pm if low tide isn't until 1 am, it's a long wait. Walking in water 3 ft or less with your head light on, you will be able to find the shrimp. Actually what you will see if the reflection of the light off their eyes. When you see them 2 red eyes looking up at you, dip the little guy up with your net. It's really easy to do. Once you have the shrimp in the net, using your hand (with glove on) grab the shrimp quickly. They jump around, and will jump out of the net, if you give them the chance. Now put your catch in your bag, or bait bucket, and make sure you have water on them. By pulling the draw string on a mess bag tight, you can drag it through the water, or tie your bait bucket to your waist. Once you take the shrimp out of the water, you will need to put them on ice. Styrofoam coolers cost less the $4.00 and work great. Never put your shrimp directly on ice, instead put them in a zip-lock back, first.
During the summer months shrimp run at 20 - 25 count. This means it takes approximately 20 to make a pound. However, they are delicious, and healthy to eat, as long as your not allergic to shell fish. In the State of Florida you can harvest a 5 gal bucket of shrimp, per person, per night. That's a lot of shrimp!