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Thread: Tell me your shrimping secrets!!!

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    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Default Tell me your shrimping secrets!!!

    Ok, Not really. I am however looking to figure out how to do it.

    I think I have the basics.
    Put 2 to 4 pots on a longline setup. (how far apart?)
    Make sure pots sit flat on the bottom. (easy enough, weight them properly)
    Bait with cat food/halibut carcasses/shrimp bait/ or whatever flavor du jour... (the list is endless)
    Soak for 2 to 24 hrs. (any amount of time better? or is that personal preference)
    Pull and reap the rewards of 90lbs of shrimp!!! (Yeah, maybe one day)


    The real question I have is:

    Where? No, I don't want secret spots. How deep? what kind of structure? Bottom type? current?

    I will be in Ketchikan when I start...


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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Put 2 to 4 pots on a longline setup. (how far apart?)......50' to 100' works
    Make sure pots sit flat on the bottom. (easy enough, weight them properly) ..... a couple ponds, the more the better usually
    Bait with cat food/halibut carcasses/shrimp bait/ or whatever flavor du jour... (the list is endless)........shrimp bait, easy, cheap, proven, lasts.
    Soak for 2 to 24 hrs. (any amount of time better? or is that personal preference)....overnight seems to produce better
    Pull and reap the rewards of 90lbs of shrimp!!! (Yeah, maybe one day).......I wish ti that were much!


    The real question I have is:

    Where? (PWS for us)
    No, I don't want secret spots. How deep? (PWS 450-600' typically)
    what kind of structure? (Rocky, uneven, steep and deep)
    Bottom type?(see above)
    current? (Not necessarily...try in front of glaciers)

    BK

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Get a chart and try to set your traps on the side of a canyon, learn the bottom so your set is up hill and your pull is away from the top of the canyon wall. I put up to 5 traps on a single 600 foot line, fishing in about 400 feet of water. To pull by hand is a long hard pull, pull with a crab davit electric or hydraulic, or you can pull with a oneway ball puller. If you pull with a ball, be careful when you get the traps up to the ball or they will all slide together, use real good halibut clips, did I say real good clips, yes the heavy duty ones, just in case you bunch the traps together, do not ask me how I know. Have fun and enjoy the spots.

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    Start out in Clover pass, run pots from by the inside of Clover Is all the way up to Salmon falls Resort right down the middle. When I lived down there I would pull my pots every day and would get any where form a half gal of tails to a five gal bucket a day,and all the octo you could use for halibut bait. Try the octo for fritters they are great, just take the legs and blanch them in boiling salt water to remove the skin then grind in a meat grinder and make fritters. I think they are better than clam fritters As for your bait I would buy a bag of shrimp pellets then dump a half gal of herring oil on them and use that in a bait jar and put in a hanging bait of slamon or what I could get.

    Good luck, I was on the Naushon twice!

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    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Twice on the Naushon huh? I got the Chandy (WPB 1319). It is moving up from Miami. I only get two to three weeks in Ketch from mid June until they send me to pick her up. Trying to get a headstart, so I am not wasting what little time I have before I make the trip from Miami to Ketch.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I have been told when in South East Alaska to set pots shallow, like around 100'. PWS is it's own fishery and pot need to be set deep. Deeper close to Whittier and shallower close to Valdez. Ask some locals to get some good info on that area. I have used all kinds of bait but the best is what I get from Steve the pot builder. I soak for about 2-3 hours and pull unless the fishing is keeping me to busy to do it.
    Good luck

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I've used everything from hooligan and salmon heads or carcasses to items bought at the grocery and finally settled on Steve the Potbuilders shrimp bait. It all works but hooligan has to be refrigerated or frozen, salmon heads tend to bring up lots of sand fleas ( or whatever the heck they are) into the boat and make a mess, store bought stuff isn't any cheaper than bait and shrimp bait requires no maintenance and lasts. The best pull I had was after a 30 min. soak believe it or not. I have played with soak times from 30 minutes to 14hrs and longer is not necessarily better. My biggest issue is that I don't usually just go shrimping and hunting or fishing usually dictates my soak times. Look for cliffs, steep banks, glaciers or waterfalls. Flat sandy areas don't produce as the shrimp like structure.

    There have been many threads posted on this topic and although I haven't had alot of luck figuring out the search function you could find alot of info on this subject.

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    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    I've done a bit of searching. This by far is the most productive thread for me. Most of what I find is "round or square pots?" or "cat food or salmon or shrimp bait"

    I think if you get down to the nitty gritty it all comes down to "where." Not specific spots per say, but the type of area you need to look for. Depth, bottom, etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trappnguns View Post
    I've done a bit of searching. This by far is the most productive thread for me. Most of what I find is "round or square pots?" or "cat food or salmon or shrimp bait"

    I think if you get down to the nitty gritty it all comes down to "where." Not specific spots per say, but the type of area you need to look for. Depth, bottom, etc...
    Throw'um into the biggest ugliest rock pile you can find, in PWS that would be somewhere in 500-700 ft(in my opinion). After 3-5 hours go see if your hauler(if you have one) has enough balls to pull the gear out of the rock pile, empty gear, repeat if good or if it sucks move to another rock pile.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Everyone always says to drop them in the rocks on the steep and deep. I pull by hand, and hooking a rock and having to leave my pots on the bottom doesn't seem to appetizing for me. Mostly we set on flat semi-muddy areas and in one area that we fish we usually get 5 gallon of whole shrimp per 3 pots. Not great, but not too bad either.

    You don't have to set in the boulder fields to get shrimp for dinner.

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    All of the advice given so far seems good. The one thing I would add is break up your pots into different strings when you are starting out, and run one pot per line. Two reasons for this; if you screw up, you don't have all of your eggs in one basket, and then you can also cover more test areas quicker than if all of your gear is in one string. With 4 pots in 4 different strings and 4 hour soaks, you can cover a lot of different areas and different depths. The best depth can vary by area and by time of year, and it can be anywhere from 150' to 1000'.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Have you caught shrimp in PWS at 150 foot depth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Have you caught shrimp in PWS at 150 foot depth?
    Yes, but that is on the shallow end. My experience agree's with AlaskaBliss' statement that they are deeper on the Whittier side and shallower on the Valdez side. I thought that was just me, but
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    (how far apart?) I've tried 50' and 100' apart and haven't seen a difference in how many shrimp per pot based on spacing. I run two shots of line, and can put either 2 or 3 pots 50-100' apart or all five at 50' apart. I'm probably going to shorten them up before this season and just have one shot with 2 loops 50' apart, and one shot with 3 loops 50' apart. Cutting 100' off of each shot doesn't sound like much, but the added time to drop the shots, pull the shots and coil the line adds up. I'm also debating running a 3rd shot so that I have two lines with 2 pots and one line with 1 pot. More time to pull, but it allows me one pot to try new things regarding prospecting depth and general location while I drop the other 4 pots in locations I either expect to work well or have worked well in the past. Plus breaking things up softens the financial sting should one string go missing.

    Bait with cat food/halibut carcasses/shrimp bait/ or whatever flavor du jour... I've found commercial shrimp pellets augmented with a salmon head or whole herring hanging in the pot seem to work best. If you have some salmon skeins, throw them in the bait pot with the pellets. A handful of pellets seems to work as well as a container full of them. Don't skimp on what you use for bait, it makes a big difference in how many shrimp you catch, and given the trouble and expense of dropping pots, you want everything going in your favor.

    Soak for 2 to 24 hrs. I've yet to go out on a shrimp specific trip, it's always suplimental to fishing or exploring on shore. Hence my drops and pulls tend to be at the beginning of the day or the end of the day and anywhere from 8-24 hours. I'd say dropping in a productive location is more important than a prolonged soak.

    The real question I have is:

    How deep? Around Whittier I've found 400-450' seems to work best for me. These might vary considerably in your location.

    what kind of structure? Dropping them on the side of a fjord or the side of an underwater glacial morane seems to work best. Also it seems like being near a glacier is preferable. Not sure if the nutrients from the glaciel silt are a food source for the shrimp, a food source of the shrimps prey, or if the silty water provides the shrimp protection from predators.

    Bottom type? Not sure it matters but I seem to be mostly dropping in mud and gravel.

    current? Can be a real PITA because where you think you're dropping your pots and where they end up can quite different when dropping in a current. Some current should certainly help spread the bait scent, but I've never paid paticalur attention to the current or tide changes in regards to when I set my pots.
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    In my one year of shrimping experience in PWS I found that the bait pellets work way better than cat food. Any fish (salmon or otherwise) seems to bring the fleas. Set in 400-800 ft of water near a fresh water source (waterfalls or glacier). I set my pots 100 ft apart, 3 on one line, two on the other. Put some weight in each pot, but I always try to put more weight in the pot closest to the bouy so the bouy does not bounce the pot around too much. This year I am going to try a mushroom anchor about 50 ft up from the pot closest to the the bouy as that pot always seems to fish the worst in my strings. I have to say that in PWS you can probably catch shrimp anywhere you try, the trick is finding a good spot that produces good numbers all the time. My first couple of tries netted me about 40 shrimp total, by the end of the summer I was getting at least a gallon per pot, and lots of time more. I usually soak for 8 hours or so depending on what I am doing. In the spring we are usually just exploring and dumping the pots on the way to look around, then check them on the way back to or anchor spot. Check them again first thing in the Am on the way out.... rinse lather and repeat.

    I only have about 4 packages of shrimp left in the freezer.... cannot wait to get some fresh ones.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I honestly haven't seen a difference regarding fleas whether or not a salmon head or herring is hanging in the pot in addition to the pellets or if I'm just running pellets.

    I have noticed that when a pull a pot that has the salmon head pretty much stripped to the bone and the pellet pot swarming with fleas that I have more shrimp in the pot then when I pull the pot and the head is almost untouched. I don't know if the fleas stir up the bait which attracts more shrimp, or the areas that have the fleas have more shrimp around. Whatever the deal, I don't see fleas as a bad thing, just something else to spray off the deck.

    Our shrimp is long gone, can't wait to get back out!
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    2 hour set and here's what i had for fleas, shrimpin' sucked when they showed up. I even tried some treated cowhide bait and that was gone in 4 hours!!
    Fleas on gunnel.JPG

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    i set in foul pass on the north end of knight and got fleas like that. not one shrimp.

  19. #19

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    That is a LOAD of fleas!!! Wow!

  20. #20

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    Why the hatred for fleas? Fry some up in garlic butter, they taste like lentals!

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