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We decided the other day that if our friend Jim Lewis was going to spend time visiting us here, he needed to experience all of the delights this part of the Florida coast has to offer. So one evening we loaded our nets into the back of the pickup and drove down to our fishing pier to introduce him to dipping shrimp.
When I first mentioned it, Jimmy thought he was going to be dipping shrimp into cocktail sauce and enjoying a tasty treat. I think he was a little disappointed when he found that first he had to dip a net into the water to catch the shrimp. Yeah, this is strictly a do-it-yourself project!
The best time for shrimping is when the tide is moving, and we got down there about an hour early so he could learn how to do it. According to local folk here in this part of the country, there are about 501 ways to catch shrimp, and any of them may or may not work on any given night.
One method is to watch for the shrimp in the water and, hopefully, scoop them up with a net. Their eyes glow in the pier lights, and you have to be ready because those little critters can really move fast!
Another method is to just put the net down into the water and hope that the current carries something into it. And it usually does. Anything from jellyfish to leaves, to crabs, occasional small fish, and if you’re really lucky, shrimp.
There were some people fishing when we arrived, and they seemed to be doing pretty well, catching everything from sea trout to skate, and even a small shovel head shark. It wasn’t very big, but since some of the people in the fishing party were from Pennsylvania and had never seen a shark of any kind before, they were impressed.
They would have been really impressed to see this one we watched somebody catch at Sunglow Fishing Pier in Daytona Beach back in May. It was close to four feet long.
Unfortunately, the fishermen were doing much better than the shrimpers. Jim and I each got one very small shrimp and let them go so they could grow up and come back. About the time the tide was starting to turn and things should be picking up, Jimmy got another one, this time a decent medium-sized shrimp.
And then it began to sprinkle. No big deal, we can take a little water, right? Within minutes the sprinkle had turned into a full-fledged deluge. We didn’t want our shrimp to get wet and catch a cold or something, so we called it night and made a run for the truck. Of course, by the time we got there all three of us were soaking wet.
But, at least Jim brought a shrimp home. One little shrimp. But that’s okay, it got added to a few others we already have in the freezer, and sooner or later we will have enough for a meal. Or at least a nice breakfast of Miss Terry’s delicious shrimp and grits. I’m a patient man, I’m willing to wait for as long as it takes.
Thought For The Day – Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.