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Thread: After you catch the shrimp?

  1. #1

    Question After you catch the shrimp?

    Don't they have to be cooked right away? How is the best way on a smaller boat? How long will they keep on ice? What is the best way to clean them.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska

    Talking Shrimp

    In early spring when the water is still cold, we clean them right away, bag them, and place the bag in a mostly full 5 gallon pail of fresh sea water. The water is cold enough to make it back to port for the trip home. On occasion, I may wait until I get home to clean them but not often.

    Placing them on ice after cleaning is best in a bag.

    Cleaning is not hard but takes a little practice. Grabbing the head of the shrimp in the left hand, take your right thumb and press down firmly just behind the head / shell seperation. The tail section should snap off. Throw the piece in your left hand away. (You will at some point throw the tail away and keep the head.) Tails go into a pail of fresh sea water. After they are all cleaned, drain the water in the shrimp pail off and refill with fresh water. Then take them and bag them up.

    Shrimp are actually best cooked in salt water. But some bays have better water than others for this. You do not need to cook right away. If you leave them in the refrigerator for 2 days prior to cooking I think they will be more tender for you.

    I bag about 25-50 in a gallon bag and fill it with water. Be real careful of the two tail spines, they puncture bags realy easily.

    Any more questions?
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 02-20-2007 at 17:01. Reason: too many oooo's
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  3. #3
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Aberdeen WA


    Why clean 'em?

    Keep 'em live on ice... slows their metabolism to almost nothing, but still alive.

    Get 'em home and steam them whole, just long enough til the taiuls are opaque. Do NOT overcook

    Peel off the carapace... suck all the good creamy stuff out of the bodies.

    Dip peeled tails into melted butter.

    Wash down with favorite fermented beverage.

    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
    The KeenEye MD

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the info! I bought a pot puller and replaced some electronics in my boat this winter, I can't wait for spring!!!!

  5. #5
    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Default Shrimp care

    I always peel the heads right away. Then I put them into gallon size Ziplocks and rinse them with cold water. The Ziplock acts like a strainer if you close most of the bag and only leave open a corner. Then I put them on ice. I leave them in the bags, but make sure they are covered.
    Usually on a two day trip I will get way too many to eat right away. To freeze them I will wrap them in freezer paper in about 1 1/2- 2 pound packages making sure that I have at least two/three wraps of the paper around them and then I will vacuum pak them. If you don't wrap them well with the paper, the spines on their tails will puncture the vacuum bags. I keep enough shrimp in the freezer to eat all winter long, until I start catching them again in the next few months. Even after 6-7 months they still taste great. Hope this helps. Good luck shrimping.

  6. #6


    We remove the heads and clean them right away, on the way to the next species harvest location . We save what we want for the on board evening meal and boil them in shrimp boil. Nothing is better than an evening meal of freshly caught shrimp. What we don't need for the evening meal, we put in ziplock bags and put in the onboard freezer, no water. Although we already ran out this winter, what we kept from last year were very good after being thawed. My wife has some amazingly good recipies which caused us to run out prematurely this year (my shrimp pot locations could not have been the culprit!).

  7. #7
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States


    Have to agree with FN on keeping them alive as long as possible. When we are done with shrimping then we start to clean then. Or if we staying over night on the water then we clean them at the end of the day.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Eagle River/ Juneau


    we'd rip off their heads then put hem on ice
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    Two things I miss the most about living in Texas are castnetting shrimp and flounder gigging, also catching redfish/red drum at night and coming home to cook them up and into po-boys. You can always catch some shrimp when throwing the net for bait, but certain times of years the BIG shrimp would come into the shallows, and man are they tasty. Shrimp is my favorite thing to eat on the planet. I just got about 5 pounds of Gulf of Mexico shrimp shipped to me for me b-day. But to answer the question, pull their heads off and put them on ice or in the freezer in freezer bags (and like the one fellow said, in about one pound quantities....or two if you're hungry like me). The best thing would be to keep them alive as long as possible. Remember, don't cook them too long. You also want to pull their intestines out, and the easiest way to do that is by running a sharp paring knife down their "spine area", beginning where the head used to be. I've got something against eating poo.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  10. #10
    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    I tried keeping them alive in the livewell on my old boat a few years ago but even though they were still kicking 14 hours later they were soft and mushy. Now I just pull the heads and ice.

  11. #11


    We pop the heads after we pull the last pot, clean with cold tap water when we get home. Then we put them (20-30) in a zip-loc bag and fill with tap water. Leave just the corner of the bag open to purge all the air, then zip it closed when full. Put them in the freezer. So far, so good...haven't come across any problems yet and they are still firm and have their flavor. Did one multi-day trip last year and we just popped the heads, put them in zip-locs and harvested a piece of an iceberg. That worked well. That ice lasted all week in the cooler...probably because it's so dense??

  12. #12
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default how i do it

    i agree with EGGY. when i pop mine, right out of the pot into a baggie and into ice. but i grab the head in left hand tail in right hand and instead of putting thumb and pushing down and pulling apart i put my right index finger under the joint-tail and head meet, and pull the head down pushing the tail down and pull apart, that de-turds then also in one motion. every now and then it don't quite work and might see vein after you shell them. I grill most of mine with nothing and eat with nothing on them. so awesome why cover the flavor. cook with shell on, otherwise they can cook into a tiny shrimp. peel and enjoy. putting whole on ice might work but they will not survive in water, coming up from that depth pretty much kills them. water is a lot colder down there. tried it a few time with a couple and never works, even with glacier ice in the water. the pressure change from 550 feet to surface does them in mostly.

    what is the deepest you have gone for shrimp? My deepest is 720', only got 20 in one pot but they were monsters. gotta love those 8 tail to one pounders too. can't wait to get back out there, april 15th is coming fast.


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