Florida is one of the best places to go to when you want to go shrimping, whether during the summer or winter. Not only is it fun to do, but there are a ton of shrimp available so you can go home with bait or a lot to eat!
But if you’re not familiar with how to go shrimping in the first place, where can you start? Read on as I talk about the main method and things to know about when learning how to catch shrimp in Florida!
How to Catch Shrimp In Florida
Shrimping is a bit different compared to fishing, as you don’t use your typical rod and reel. I’ll be showing you the main method on how to shrimp and some things to prepare for before doing so.
Follow these tips and know the details on the state’s shrimping seasons to learn how to catch shrimp in Florida:
1. Learn the Rules and Get a License
Before anything else, you have to familiarize yourself with Florida’s rules and regulations. You will also need a shrimping license because of overfishing concerns. If you plan to use additional equipment such as shrimping pots, you will require a permit as well.
In Florida, the bag limit is up to five gallons per day and there is no size limit. Furthermore, there are closed shrimping seasons and areas, so you will need to contact your local area’s FWC Law Enforcement office for the local rules and restrictions. Typically, in some Florida counties, the closed seasons are between April to May.
Be sure to be acquainted with Florida’s catching regulations and the permitted equipment. It differs from state to state, and in Florida, there are restrictions with the traps, baits, and even the nets you can use. You can check out their recreational shrimping regulations here for more specific information!
2. Where and When to Shrimp
Once you have a permit, the next step is to look for the ideal locations to catch shrimp.
While you can find shrimp in various bodies of water, you can best catch them in areas such as rivers, creeks, bays, ocean shores, lakes, as well as estuaries. These are all shallow and easier to access, so you can net a lot of shrimp while they move around.
It isn’t just where you plan on shrimping, but when! You need to go shrimping when the time is low, as the lower the tide, the better your catch will be! Research about the area you plan to go shrimping in, scheduling it when tides are furthest out to catch shrimp in intertidal areas.
You can catch them in groups when they start swimming back out to the sea, which is a good technique. Other times, you can go shrimping during a full moon! You can purchase tidal charts or tables from local bait shops to measure the right times to go out shrimping and where you should go.
Besides this, consider the type of shrimp you’re targeting. There are different shrimp species that live in different water types and depths.
For instance, pink shrimp live in clearer waters while brown shrimp live in deeper and murkier waters. White shrimp may be found in shallow and less salty waters compared to waters pink and brown shrimp live in.
If you shrimp at night, use a green light to roam around to prevent scaring shrimp away. You will want to go on overcast days compared to sunnier ones, as shrimp are closer to the surfaces.
3. Use a Shrimp Net
Get a casting net that has a mesh size opening between 3/16 to 1/4 inches across. Then, prepare the shrimp baiting poles so you can cast your net on it. Use PVC pipes that have a one-inch diameter and secure a metal pole on one side, so it can be your anchor when digging your bait pole to the bottom of the waters.
Next up is to prepare fish bait and clay to attract shrimp. Mix cups of fish bait and clay with a ratio of 2:1 respectively, then add water until the mixture thickens enough for you to mold it into patties. Dry it under the sun and use it when they are completely dry.
Place the bait poles in areas allowed by Florida, placed within a set distance, and far enough from other poles of shrimp catchers, docks, boat ramps, and landings. Do not leave your poles unattended or it may be confiscated!
Coil the net rope with one hand and create several loops you will reel in with. Then, hold both sides of your net by the net’s lead line and swing the net out. Throw the sides away from one another when doing so, as the net needs to open wide before it hits the surface.
Once on the waters, cat the direction of your poles or between two poles. You can start practicing how to cast your net before going out to the waters so you can cover a wider and farther distance.
Now, reel your net back in and wrap any excess rope around your arms while doing so. Tug the net through the water and pull it out, preparing yourself for any sudden movements. Now store the shrimp in an iced cooler to let it stay fresh, and repeat to catch more!
Do you want to learn more about how to catch shrimp in Florida? Then check out this helpful video for more tips:
Wrapping It Up
Shrimp can be quite expensive when bought in the market or restaurants, so why not catch them on your own? You’ll be surprised that it’s just like fishing, and with the right equipment and patience, you can catch as many as you can. Just be sure to be knowledgeable on shrimping techniques AND Florida’s rules and license requirements!
I hope this article on how to catch shrimp in Florida gave you an idea of where to start. If you’re planning to go shrimping in Florida, start looking into what you need to prepare for now!