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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
May signals the start to our long shrimping season here in the Seattle area. Yep, all 4 days of it.-O,- I shrimp in the Hood Canal area and as always it is a zoo at the launch ramps. We always arrive several hours before we can start fishing and get the boat in the water. Much easier than trying to fight the unpracticed hoard that desendfs an hour later.

So many people are out there in boats they have not even looked at in several monbths. Lots dont even start when they try them and thus plug up the ramp. The radio was alive with reports of people in the water and boats sinking. I heard no less than five rescues.

We travel south on the "canal" past Bangor sub base. Its fun "riding the line" where restricted water begins. The "go fast" guard boats,(this year it looked like Marines in the boats) come out and shadow you along out of their area of concern. I like coming into the area at about half speed, 30mph, and by the end I am wide open pushing 55 mph. As we exit the area they wave and so do we. Glad they are there.

Since we have left way early, once at our spot we get out the BBQ and cook up some breakfast hotdogs. A few boats come over to see what we are doing and we share the unusual morning breakfast. As the eating winds down it is time to start getting pots ready and baited up. You never want to start baiting the pots before people are done eating. The bait we use is a malgamation of organic matter that can choke you out if too many scent molocules enter your nose.

At 9am the pots hit the water and we are shrimping. We get four hours to shrimp each day. And only four days to shrimp. It takes about a half hour to get all the pots in the water. I can often see the clouds of shrimp on the bottom and so try and drop right in there.

Shrimping was great for us this day and we were done with only 6 pots pulled getting us our 80 per person limit. We had to dump several limits back as we pulled our pots to store them back on the boat.

Now its time to race back and again beat the crowd to the launch and get the boat on the trailer. The launch we use for shrimping is not the best and the dock is full of fiberglass damaging surprises. Then there is the ever present cross wind blowing there. And add the 7 mph cross current, well somertimes it is best not to have too many people watching. My boat is well known and if it looks too bad gettiong on the trailer I will never hear the end of it.

Yesterday was worse than normal and I had to try 5 times before getting on the trailer. We had a lady trying to tell us what and how to do it with a annoyed gritty attitude. It was with great pleasure when this same lady and her husband finally gave up and were waiting for the tide to go slack. I smiled and waved as we left the area. I knew I would be eating fresh caught shrimp long before she even got out of the water!



My wife. Son and his wife and a growing grandchild. Up top is my daughter on the left and her friend.



My daughters friend was the official counter. We always make the new person on the boat be the counter. We also make sure that they are aware that it is $50 per shrimp if they mis-count and we are over.



My daughter and her friend dumping the extra shrimp out of the pots once our limit was reached.



The whole crew. Minus myself. two daughters and one son. A daughter in law and a son in law and of course the owner of the boat, my wife!
 

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Cool report. Why are the regs so stringent on shrimping up there? It doesn't sound like the public harvest is even a drop in the bucket. They sure look tasty too. |-O-|:EAT:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You need a shellfish license to harvest them. A one day license is about $15 or so for a non-resident. Different areas have less days and a few have a couple more days.

As you stated, the sportfishermens catch is a drop in the bucket. But there is a commercial harvest by our "native" friends-O,- that trumps. This pressure to shrimp on less than good weather days creates a situation where people are out in boats on days they should not be. Our area was great as to weather, but over in the main part of puget sound, there was small craft advisories and as I said, I heard at least 5 rescues over the radio. Thats several boats over and people in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Family time and the sound of lips smacking at the table that afternoon are well worth the effort!
 
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Sounds very cool and like a fun time (except the launching and trailering part)!
 
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