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Fishing behind shrimp boats etiquette

blackcloudblackcloud Posts: 202 Deckhand
Never fished behind the shrimp boats but wanna try it this year.  I have no clue about etiquette such as getting chum from them, how close to fish to them, nets in the water or out etc.  anyone ?


  • poncedoradoponcedorado Posts: 625 Officer
    I've never gotten chum directly from the guys- when they dump it floats so just scoop it up in a landing net. IMO you're fishing the floating bycatch, not the boat itself, so I often fish behind shrimp boats without ever even getting within 100 yards or more of the actual boat.

    if the boat is pulling the nets, they don't seem to care if you get pretty tight in behind them. Bonitos often will follow right behind the boats. Just don't put any baits deep as the nets will be angled back a ways and you don't want to snag their gear. Also don't get beside of in front of them such that the captain would have to worry about you. If they're anchored with the nets up I don't think they care at all, and if they're traveling with the nets up don't bother fishing around them anyway
  • blackcloudblackcloud Posts: 202 Deckhand
    Thanks for the reply. I have not been able to log in here for some reason for a few days to respond 
  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 911 Officer
    edited June 2020 #4

    Have not done it in years. But I would take a big mesh laundry bag. Attach a fender to it. You put $20 inside and wave it at the shrimpers on deck. If they wave you over, pull up to the boat forward of the riggers and throw the bag or bags with the money up on deck. They will fill with the bycatch and throw over the side. The fender keeps your bag floating and you pick it up. I would buy two bags from them for a day of fishing. When we would tarpon fish we would throw over the croakers and other fish and save the silver trout for bait. We would inflate their stomachs with a hypodermic needle so they would float on top with your rig. You would see the tarpon working the floating fish behind the boat getting closer and closer. Sometimes the shrimpers ask if you have beer instead of money. Used to be $5 a bag in the old days, last time I did it, it was $20. To fish without buying chum, just drive up to the back of the shrimp boat, put it in neutral and put your baits out. If you don't have bait, cigar minnows or ballyhoo from the bait ship works fine. When the shrimpers are done culling there catch, they will shovel the rest over the side. You will see the million seagulls go crazy at this time. If you drift near the floating bycatch you will see sharks feeding on them.

  • blackcloudblackcloud Posts: 202 Deckhand
    Thanks for the info pangaman.  That was pretty detailed and what I was looking for 
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    If the Captain is asleep, you can also get Ziploc bags of shrimp for beer as well...
  • MtgMamaMtgMama HoweyPosts: 29 Deckhand
    12 pack of pearl light got us a 40 lb onion bag over half full once..We always carried cheap beer for trading

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