CapnRehab goes shrimping with a handnet

I didn’t know this before, but you can catch shrimp by walking in the water and scooping them up with a net.  I heard about this from a friend at work.  He said his friends went out in one night and filled up a 5 gallon bucket.  That’s a lot of shrimp!

The shrimp go up into the Tampa Bay estuary and rivers to spawn in the winter.  Then from Jan to June they drift out to the gulf on the outgoing tides .  When the tide comes back in they hide in the water grasses and hang on, waiting for the next outgoing tide.

To catch them, you walk in the water at low tide at night with a headlamp looking for the reflection glow of their eyes.  Then you scoop them up with a net.    Note: this is not as easy as it sounds.  Check out this if you want to learn more and see a video of how it works.   We might need to get that Ozzello shrimper before next season.

All you need are a net, a floating bucket, a headlamp, and a cooler of beer.

To see where we went, put this into maps.google.com:  27.65769,-82.720549

This is the view.  It is so pretty around here.

2012-06-30 Shrimp hunting grounds

2012-06-30 Shrimp hunting grounds

2012-06-30 Shrimp hunting grounds

2012-06-30 Shrimp hunting grounds

Here is me ready to go out:

2012-06-30 On the hunt

2012-06-30 On the hunt

We only saw about eight shrimp.  Yes, that is 8 single shrimp.  In our defense it is the last day that experts say you could go and expect to catch anything.  Also, I heard that the storm pretty much cleaned out most that were left.  I’m just glad we actually saw them.  I caught two and my buddy Tim caught two.  Only one of them was big enough to keep.   There was another shrimp I had a go at that I didn’t catch.  As I started scooping, this shrimp jumped out of the net and about 6 feet away through the air!  Boy, those little buggers can move quick!

Here is our big haul:

2012-06-30 Big Haul

2012-06-30 Big Haul

Not exactly a rousing success, but we were outdoors drinking beer and having fun.  There is always next season.  Stay tuned for my next harebrained adventure!  It’s a doozy!

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Fishing – round 2

A friend from work and I went fishing this evening near the Gulfport Marina.  It was a great evening, quite relaxing.  There is an inlet for the marina from the bay, and you can fish from the shore all along the inlet. One thing I like about the bay is that there is lots of wildlife around, especially birds.

2012-03-23 Great Blue Heron

2012-03-23 Great Blue Heron

Isn’t google wonderful?  I didn’t know before I uploaded it what kind of bird this was.

When we first got  there, we tried going on the Clam Bayou side of the inlet, but WOW, the no-see-ums were biting like crazy.  I borrowed some bug spray from another fisherman there, but it wasn’t enough.  We left pronto.

While there, I watched yet another beautiful sunset over Boca Ciaga Bay.

2012-03-23 Boca Ciega Bay Sunset

2012-03-23 Boca Ciega Bay Sunset

On the way to go fishing I stopped at Walmart and got a few things.  A bait bucket, an ice chest, beer for the ice chest and a CAST NET!  I’ve been wanting one of these for a while.  Can’t wait to use it.  Expect a post about that soon!

All I had for bait was some frozen fish pieces I kept from the last fishing adventure to Fort Desoto.  I’ve heard the fish are going for greenbacks now (Whatever they are) and live shrimp.  Not having either of those, I went with the frozen fish.  And I caught 3 fish.  I’m wondering if they were all the same catfish that kept coming back.

2012-03-23 Caught a fish!

2012-03-23 Caught a fish!

I don’t know if you can eat salt-water catfish, but I tossed all these back.

On a side note, the guy with me didn’t catch a thing – not that I’m competitive at all.

 

Busy Weekend Part 2 – St. Pete Boat Show

So Sunday morning I scooted over to St. Pete to check out the boat show.  The St. Pete boat show is held in Tropicana stadium in the heart of St. Petersburg.  The stadium is a large landmark visible from the freeway as you come into downtown.

Tropicanna Stadium

Tropicana Stadium

Here is a sure sign that Americans are losing their grip.

Parking $5

Parking $5

My phone camera probably doesn’t show the details well, but here is a picture I took just as I pulled out of my FREE parking spot on the street right in front of the stadium.  It shows parking attendants charging $5 to go to the FREE admission boat show.  Notice there is a line of cars waiting to pay up so they don’t have to walk about 300 yards to the show entrance.  CapnRehab RUNS 3 miles when he goes out for exercise.   There is no way he is going to pay to save walking 300 yards!  (Notice here that CapnRehab is becoming comfortable with talking about himself in third person. He just may quit using first person altogether – or maybe I won’t)

There were also some nice folks from the U.S. Coast Guard auxilliary there and I found out they offer lots of safe boating courses, so I added that to my mental list of things to check out.

Inside the “boat” show, I found lots of power boats, but NOT ONE SINGLE SAILBOAT!!!!!

I think it would have been courteous of them to say it was a motor boat show and saved me a trip.

No Sailboats!

No Sailboats!

They did have several booths selling fishing supplies, so I picked up a couple of sets of hooks, and something called a Sabiki rig.  This is like a little Christmas tree of hooks and artificial bait designed to catch bait fish.

Sabiki Rig

Sabiki Rig

When I was on the fishing pier Saturday a guy told me about them and the very next day I find some on sale!  My total purchases and $$ spent at the boat show was $4 for two sets of hooks and two sabiki rigs.  I’ll keep you posted on how using the rig goes.

As a parting gift, here is a photo of another sunset on Boca Ciega Bay.  Notice the little sailboat with sails up that just went in front of the sun going from left to right.  It’s a hunter 16.5 and is one of the Boca Ciega Yacht Club boats that I expect to be sailing on soon.  Tuesday night races are supposed to start up again now that daylight savings time has started.  Enjoy!

Sunset on Boca Ciega Bay

Busy Weekend Part 1 – Fishing at Fort Desoto

Fishing is apparently a nice skill to have while cruising, so when I’m not working, sailing, or rehabbing, I’ll probably be fishing.

I used to be fish crazy when I was a kid.  Once I joined the Boy Scouts I got to go fishing a LOT!  Got me into trouble sometime when I went when I wasn’t supposed to.

So Saturday morning I went to Fort Desoto park.  It is situated overlooking the water where Tampa Bay joins the Gulf of Mexico.  I arranged to meet a new friend from work there.  I picked Fort DeSoto because my neighbor told me the parking was free.  NOT SO gentle readers.  $5 bucks to get into the park!  Almost as bad as paying for parking on the beaches around here, but not quite.  I’ll figure out how to get beach time without spending a fortune.  I’ll keep you posted on this one.

I originally planned to do some beach fishing, but there is this convenient fishing pier sticking right out into the gulf.  Here is the view from the top of the Fort.

Fort DeSoto Pier

Fort DeSoto Pier

I wound up being on the pier 3 or 4 hours.  In the time I was there, only 1 keeper was caught by anyone on the pier!  It is a mackerel, supposedly good eats.  Someday I’ll find out.

mackerel

mackerel

Here is the fish I caught.  I used him as a bait fish, but it didn’t help.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

I also managed to sunburn the tops of my feet through the gaps in my sandals.  Remember kids, you CAN get a sunburn in Florida when the clouds are blocking the sun. (end public service announcement)