Here in Oak Hill we usually shrimp using a technique called Dip Netting. To dip net you will need nets, lights, a large anchor and a boat. The Shrimp/Dip Nets are usually 36" hoop nets with long handles and small 1/4" bar mesh. You will probably need a couple of these, too many people shrimping can get dangerous with those long poles. The lights need to be submersible, 12v (unless you have a small generator), and halogen or led for bright lights that consume the least amount of power. Anchoring your boat in a fairly strong running current requires a large anchor and anchor line at least triple the depth of water with a few feet of heavy chain on the end. Some people like to anchor up their boat with the bow pointed into the current which will only need one anchor with line . The way I like to anchor up when shrimping is to anchor sideways (perpendicular) to the current with one anchor off of the bow (front) and one off the stern (rear) of the boat. Placement of the boat is critical. Usually, you will want to anchor on the edge of the channel where the current might push the shrimp up toward your lights. A tip for finding that special spot is to first pay attention to where everyone else is anchoring up. Another thing to try is to keep a light in the water and move around in the area you think might be a good place to setup (make sure the tide is running) and look for a higher concentration of shrimp. An outgoing tide is a must. The best times to go shrimping is a few days before a full moon until a few days after. A good south to southeast wind helps with the shrimp run. Usually from November through May are good months to go find some of these Intracoastal Waterway Pink River Shrimp.
See our Shrimping Tide Chart in the slideshow above.
One of the most asked questions at Oak Hill Fish Camp is, "What are the tides for shrimping in Oak Hill?" And with good reason. Hitting the tides at the wrong time means waiting for sometimes what can be hours. The perfect time to be setup and ready is after high tide and then at the end of the slack tide. The slack tide can last for an hour or more. When the tide starts ripping out is when you will see the most shrimp.
Capt. Lee Noga has some great information on shrimping in the area.
The Shrimp/Dip Nets are usually 36" hoop nets with long handles and small 1/4" bar mesh. You will probably need a couple of these, too many people shrimping can get dangerous with those long poles.
Don't forget Ice to keep them cold.
**Green or White Lights usually work best for spotting the oncoming shrimps gold beady eyes.
Recreational Shrimping Regulations
Bag Limit: Individuals can take 5 gallons, heads on, per harvester per day. Possession limit of no more than 5 gallons, heads on, per vessel at any time regardless of the number of persons onboard.
Size limit: None
Closed season: April and May closed in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties.
Closed areas: Contact your nearest FWC Law Enforcement office for local restrictions.
License requirement: Recreational saltwater fishing license (resident or non-resident), unless a recreational saltwater fishing license exemption applies.
Allowable recreational nets for the harvest of shrimp:
◾Landing or dip net with an opening no larger than 96 inches around the perimeter.
◾Cast net with a stretched length (the distance from the horn at the center of the net, with the net gathered and pulled taut, to the lead line) no greater than 14 feet.
◾Push net - "Push net" means a mesh net or bag attached to the outer edges of a triangular or rectangular rigid frame with a handle attached that is fished by being pushed across the bottom by a person wading.
◾A beach or haul seine with a mesh area no larger than 500 square feet, mesh size no large than 2 inches stretched mesh, and may not be made of monofilament.
◾One frame net with an opening no larger than 16 feet around the perimeter, if deployed from a vessel or from a structure other than an operational bridge or causeway or catwalk attached to such bridge or causeway. "Frame net" means a net in the form of an elongated bag kept open by a rigid frame that is buoyed by floats and is not fished or dragged along the bottom. A Frame net that is dragged or towed is considered to be a trawl, which is not allowed for the recreational harvest of shrimp. Frame nets cannot be used to harvest shrimp in any waters of the Southeast Region in Dade County.
Shrimp Trap Guidelines
◾Harvesters can use up to four shrimp traps.
◾Shrimp traps cannot exceed the following dimensions: 36 inches long by 24 inches wide by 12 inches high. Shrimp traps also cannot have external or unattached wings, weirs or other devices intended to funnel shrimp into the trap.
◾The harvester's name and address shall be securely affixed to each trap. Any trap not having proper identification is subject to confiscation by the commission.
◾Any shrimp trap on public property which is not attended by the person whose name is affixed to the trap is subject to confiscation by the commission.
A person recreationally harvesting shrimp may use a cast net in conjunction with nonmetal poles to bait shrimp while adhering to the following rules:
◾No more than five poles shall be set at any one time by any person.
◾Each pole may not exceed one inch in diameter.
◾Poles shall be driven into the bottom, set no closer than 10 yards apart and the distance between the first and last pole shall not exceed 50 yards.
◾Poles shall only be set, fished and retrieved during daylight hours. The term "daylight hours" means the period beginning 1/2 hour before official sunrise and continuing through 1/2 hour after official sunset, each day. All poles shall be removed each day by 1/2 hour after official sunset.
◾Each pole shall be marked with white reflective tape.
◾No pole shall be set within 50 yards of any dock, pier, public boat landing or ramp, seawall, jetty or bridge.
◾Poles shall be tended at all times. The term "tend" means that the harvester is within 100 yards of the nearest pole at all times.