2018 shrimp reports

Does anyone know if there's been any shrimp run yet in the miami area? If not, maybe they'll run soon due to the full moon and the temperature drop coming up in the next couple of days.

I'll be going out scouting the next few nights.
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Replies

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,817 Captain
    I'll be reading everyone of the posts on this thread.... since the shrimp moving really kicks off the night-time small tarpon fishery (if the water's not too cold...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • PoplinFabricationPoplinFabrication Posts: 280 Deckhand
    We went out on 12/30 with a very strong outgoing tide and had a really good push of shrimp. Surprisingly large average size as well, normally there are a lot of small ones. Ended up with a gallon zip lock back full after popping the heads. Could have gotten more but went fishing instead, only shrimped for about 2 hours.
  • BibijawaBibijawa Posts: 33 Greenhorn
    I drove by Rickenbacker last night around 10:30 and only saw 3 commercial shrimp boats.
  • evernicevernic Posts: 729 Officer
    We went out on 12/30 with a very strong outgoing tide and had a really good push of shrimp. Surprisingly large average size as well, normally there are a lot of small ones. Ended up with a gallon zip lock back full after popping the heads. Could have gotten more but went fishing instead, only shrimped for about 2 hours.

    where were you?
    2802 Trophy WA, 2x225Merc EFI's...sunk unamed storm 12-09looking for boat #10
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Lots last night around Rickenbacker. Huge haul, but be careful and don't get run over by all the lobster boats pushing wing nets. Should be a zoo tonight as the word gets out.
  • BibijawaBibijawa Posts: 33 Greenhorn
    At what time did they run? I must have been there to early. I think I was there at the beginning of the outgoing
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    After midnight. There were boats that arrived at 2:00 and got 2,000 lbs. Many times a good night like that is followed by a lousy night, so you just need to be out there. The lobster boat have nothing to lose since it's a short run from the river. If they run, great. If they don't, they just come back in. Not as easy for the rest of us to be out there every night.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Ran good again last night. From what I've heard they were thick.
  • BibijawaBibijawa Posts: 33 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the report. I'll be out there all night. I hope they run again.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Good luck. I also heard the size was not as good as the previous night, but that could change with location. If they are small in one area don't be afraid to look elsewhere.
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,322 Officer
    Just picked up 20 lbs from a friend that
    commercial fishes he got 1000 lbs last
    night.Decent size.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Spoke to one lobster boat that had 500 lbs last night, but he dragged all night so it's definitely slowed. Said the size was small the last couple nights.
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,322 Officer
    Friend got 600 lbs Sunday night were smaller than
    Friday night.
  • loligopelailoligopelai Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    I am curious, do the "wingnetters" fish under power in Miami, or on anchor? Or do some do one or the other?
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Power. The nets are secured to the sides of the boats via tubes that allow them to be quickly raised and lowered as needed. When the shrimp are running good it can get pretty crazy with boats crisscrossing back and forth over the same area.
  • loligopelailoligopelai Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    xenia wrote: »
    Power. The nets are secured to the sides of the boats via tubes that allow them to be quickly raised and lowered as needed. When the shrimp are running good it can get pretty crazy with boats crisscrossing back and forth over the same area.
    But, do all of them fish under power or do some anchor?
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    The commercial ones all use power. I don't see the advantage of anchoring.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,817 Captain
    Wingnetters not only power drag their nets - they've usually pushing a good sized wake - and more than a few of them are perfectly willing to drag their outrigger equipped nets all too close to whatever bridge they're working. When you're set up under a bridge sight-fishing tarpon in a small skiff they're more than a nuisance - another of those "ask me how I know" propositions.... If you complain to anyone about it you quickly hear phrases like "gear conflict" etc.

    The truth of the matter is that wingnetters working Biscayne Bay at night are really hurting the fishing in the Bay - and have ever since their numbers began to swell in the early eighties... The last time there was any public hearing about it there were only three of us that spoke up against it - compared to the several hundred that showed up in favor.. The crowd included the netters and all of their extended families -and the politicians that supported their "right" to earn a living.... On that night the state agreed not to enforce the laws on the books about the size of the shrimp being killed.

    Fish are pretty simple animals.... they'll happily go where the most food is and heavy wingnetting is taking far too many shrimp each winter -when shrimp are the staple food source for everything that swims down here. If commercial shrimping was not allowed in the Bay the fishing here for everything from spanish mackeral to bonefish would come roaring back, period. I don't think the state or anyone else has any idea of just how much shrimp are being taken each night by commercials - but it is substantial and has been going on ever since that first wave of folks showed up here in south Florida and were willing to do anything to make a living.... If commercial shrimping were not allowed in the Bay it's more than able to re-generate that crucial food supply... These days most simply weren't around when the macks and every other inshore specie were present here in great numbers - but unless things change... those days are simply gone forever. Wish it weren't so - and this isn't the first time that I've spoken up about this. The last public meeting (almost twenty years ago now... I was accompanied by Carl Leiderman, who runs Capt Harry's - and Jeff Weakley from Florida Sportsman...). and so it goes...

    When I first came to Florida, just out of the military in 1971, any family could dip up a five gallon bucket of shrimp standing on a bridge down here on almost any night during winter in just a few hours - and you'd see lanterns hanging from many of our bridges each night... All of that is gone now - and we're not better off in any way....

    I'll get down off of my soapbox now...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • spear40spear40 Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Agreed. The fishing has gone down hill since. I remember the days in the 70’s and 80’s when you could go in the bay and have constant action of mackerel in the winter....even the party boats like the Blue Sea 2 would some times be seen fishing in the bay. They need to eliminate the commercial shrimping in the bay.
  • BlueRacerBlueRacer Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    (To make a long story short) FWC applied severe restrictions to commercial shrimping in Tampa Bay and fish stocks improved substantially.
  • baccaracbaccarac Posts: 62 Greenhorn
    Bob You ride that soapbox all day and all night. Let us all know if there's another meeting on this I'll bring all of Broward County with me
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Not just fishing, but the size of the shrimp has greatly decreased as well. The last full moon saw some commercial boat catching over 3,000 lbs in one night, but only one night had decent size shrimp. The 3-4 nights that followed had only small shrimp unfit for consumption. It reminds me of what one lobster guy said on a night when small shrimp were running. "If you have an enemy, don't harm him. Give him 5 lbs of shrimp." The wingnet fishery began around 1985 and quickly took off. Shrimp would start running on the moon in Dec and go on through May, but by March the size was too small to make it worthwhile. Back then those of us that did it would sell the shrimp directly to the public, which meant they had to be decent size. The state started clamping down on this and some regulations came in, but they never enforced the size limits which are on the books. If they did, most of the shrimp caught these days would be illegal. For example, I got 40 lbs from a friend on the last moon. I was able to pick out about 1 lb that were big enough to clean for a meal. The rest were too small so I saved them for bait. The shrimp these days are sold wholesale to fish markets for .90 - $1 a lb. I have no idea when they do with them. These bay shrimp, in such numbers, must be an important food source for many fish species in our area. I can't believe that taking so many lbs of them out of the bay isn't hurting at least some other fisheries. Someone mentioned Spanish Mackerel in the bay. I remember when macks were so abundant in the bay that they were sometimes gillnetted. But, they used to be very abundant offshore too, much more than they are today.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,817 Captain
    Our state has greatly increased the protections for our fisheries compared to the days when commercial fisheries were busy putting themselves out of business...

    The next level of protection would be to protect their food sources. Unfortunately I’ve not had much of a response from CCA or anyone else about this.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 534 Officer
    The fish follow the bait. Talking about the 70's, the Mackeral and Kingfish would school off of the major inlets and gorge on shrimp. When we filleted them their bellies would be full. Pilchards were so thick along the beaches and in the bay that at times I couldn't lift my net into the boat without first letting some go. Imagine a headboat coming in with over 150 Kingfish. It was common.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    I don't have to imagine it! My dad and I did it regularly off Miami and Haulover. Days of 400+ kingfish strikes and 150 in the boat were common. At times the catch was only limited by how much our boxes would hold. But, one gillnetter could catch as much in a single day and one hooh-and-line boat would catch in a season. I heard on catches at large as 68,000 by one gillnetter off Key West in a single haul.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,817 Captain
    I heard about this from one of my mentors way back in 1972 (Tim Murray was his name and he taught me the basics when I worked at the old Reef Tackle on 79th St that year....). In the 1950's there were so many shrimp in Biscayne Bay that drift boats working out of Miami or Miami Beach had live shrimp tanks aboard - their standard load each day was 10,000 on board for their anglers...

    We'll never see those days again - but we can bring back the Bay's main food supply if we choose... Just think of all the migrating fish that come by our shores each winter (and again in summer..) - if the shrimp flow was re-established at each cut the big fish would have a reason to stay and be available all night long until the runs stopped... I'm not advocating putting the shrimpers out of business - just that they should not be allowed to shrimp in the nursery, which is exactly what the Bay is (although terribly diminished by our own actions..).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,126 Officer
    I agree completely to the above statement by Capt Lemay.

    Back in the mid 1960's i would catch so many kings on a drift boat (The Trade Winds in Islamorada) over the weekend that when i went to school on Monday at Coral Gables High my right arm and hand was so swollen i could not pick up a pen or pencil. When i told one of my teachers the reason i could not write, she accused me of fabrication and sent me down to the Dean of Boys for making up such a outlandish story. When i was sat down in the dean's office all he wanted to hear were my fishing stories, since he evidently was an avid angler. LOL
    Giimoozaabi
  • pk911pk911 Posts: 236 Deckhand
    CaptJ wrote: »
    The fish follow the bait. Talking about the 70's, the Mackeral and Kingfish would school off of the major inlets and gorge on shrimp. When we filleted them their bellies would be full. Pilchards were so thick along the beaches and in the bay that at times I couldn't lift my net into the boat without first letting some go. Imagine a headboat coming in with over 150 Kingfish. It was common.


    I agree 100%. Fishing in the 70s was incredible. You could get bait everywhere and kings on the reef off PE were a given. I remember the days when they were dumping kings offshore because they could not sell them. It was inshore as well in Broward. The snook fishing off the bridges were great and big tarpon on out going tides. Although I am a yankee, I feel more like a Floridian and miss those days of fishing.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 534 Officer
    Sometimes the answer is so simple that we tend to ignore it.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Here's a photo of a boat with 58,000 lbs of kings off Key West in 1985. If only 100 net boats fished in a year, and they only caught 10,000 lbs per trip, and only went out 50 days....do the math. The number of kings alone that were caught or killed in a year was much higher than anyone realized, especially the managers. Our baseline for a healthy population of most species is much lower than where it should be.
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