Reports, Shellfish

Hood Canal Spot Shrimp Report – May 2016

It’s been a busy month, but I’m finally catching up with everything.  Back in May my friend Tracy invited me to join him and his father for some shrimping out on Hood Canal.  Our mutual friend Anders also joined in the fun.

His family owns a home right there on the beach and they have been shrimping for generations.  Tracy had shown up before hand and launched his boat, then tied it off to their private dock.  So we just had to show up in time to load the boat up, since we didn’t have to deal with the lines at the boat launch.

If you are interested in becoming an expert shrimper, then check out Tracy’s shrimping guide.

We gathered up all the pots, rope, buoys and bait, then took them down to the boat.  We then pushed off and slowly motored the 200 yards to the fishing zone.

All ready to start shrimping!
All ready to start shrimping!

I was surprised how many boats were out there just hanging out waiting for the 9 oclock pot drop.  It seemed like hundreds as I looked up and down the canal.

Tracy’s dad used the landmarks to gauge if we were in the right position.  He’d say “go a little deeper” or “head south a couple hundred feet.”  We found a satisfactory spot and the first pot went into the water.  We kept lowering pots until all four were in the water.

Lowering pots in 250 feet of water isn't as fun as it sounds
Lowering pots in 250 feet of water isn’t as fun as it sounds

We then motored back to their dock to pass the time until the pots were ready to pull.

Low tide coincided with our wait time, and we got a good luck at the private beach that is part of their property.  I could see hundreds of oysters down there.  Tracy said his family doesn’t like oysters so they never harvest them, but I was free to if I wanted.  In a flash I had some rubber boots on and my oyster knife in hand.

Oyster bed
Oyster bed

The look from above was accurate, it was easy to find good sized oysters.  My favorite way to eat them is raw, so I cracked open a few and slurped them down right on the beach.  They had a nice sweet taste to them.

Yummy oysters
Yummy oysters

Following that we pulled out the family grill and had a hot dog lunch.

It was then about time to head out and pull the pots.  So we gathered up some buckets and got back in the boat.

The long poles on the buoys made them easy to see and grab.  Pulling the pots up would normally be hard work, but the electric pot puller worked awesome.  The one Tracy has is the Brutus Ace Hauler, and it mounted right onto his Scotty downrigger mounts and plugged into the same outlet.  I think love that modularity, and it would be my choice if I ever buy a pot puller.

First pot in the boat
First pot in the boat

The first pot was in the boat and Anders was our designated shrimp counter.  The first bucket quickly filled up with a limit of eighty shrimp.  The other pots were likewise full of shrimp and we got our combined limit of 320 shrimp.  We had to throw back about another 200 shrimp which were also in the pots.

Bucket of 80 spot shrimp
Bucket of 80 spot shrimp

We were quickly back on the dock to start the process of cleanup.  They have a system down for how they do it, and we each started on our various parts – one person washing down the equipment, another coiling rope and others cleaning the shrimp.  The time went fast and we were done.

A little while later Anders and I were back on the road with our share of shrimp in the cooler.  Very fun time, and something I’d like to do again.

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