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Thread: Shrimping North and South?

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Shrimping North and South?

    Wanted to compare styles between WA and AK.

    Down here in the Puget Sound, our seasons are pretty short (at least in the areas where there are good concentrations of shrimp). It's only open for a few hours (9am-1pm) on a few days (first couple of Saturdays and Wednesdays in May) and we're limited to 4 pots per boat and 80 shrimp per person. It's kinda crowded at the boat ramps, but kinda social on the water.

    After reading a bunch of AK shrimping threads, it seems that we must be using different kinds of pots? Ours are made of bent wire fencing, yours are more like framed nets. Alaskans also seem to soak their pots a lot longer than we do down here. We pull our pots every hour, then rebait and reset. In a single day, we pull 4 times. Unlike crabs that are strong enough to push thru one-way-doors and get stuck inside, patiently waiting to be pulled up. Shrimp swim in thru entry funnels, but they are also capable of swimming back out, after they've had their fill of the bait. So before they leave, we pull the pot. We must pull the pots up rapidly, too, in order to keep the shrimp pressed down against the smaller mesh fencing at the bottom of the pot and away from the entrance funnels. If we stop pulling, a lot of shrimp will swim away. Therefore we almost always use power-pullers.

    Two questions:

    How is it that Alaskans can soak their pots for so long and pull them up by hand, and still have both bait and shrimp remaining when they get them up to the surface?

    And would WA style pots work in AK?

    Thanx, Dave.

  2. #2
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    hmmmm......well, I've only been doing this for 3 years, but....we start in Prince William Sound when the season opens in April and Shrimp til August or September, but after July the numbers fall off, the shrimp go a little deeper and a lot of them start having eggs. Some people find the shrimp are less firm when they have eggs, I have noticed that on a few but not as a rule.

    There are a variety of shrimp pots used in Alaska, but most seem to use the wire mesh ones you can see at "Potbuilders" website http://www.alaskashrimppots.com/.

    We can leave our pots soaking for so long because our shrimp are just like the people here in AK, laid back, no big hurry like all those city folks outside in big cities like Seattle Actually, some people pull after a 4-6 hour soak or even shorter, but many do like I do and let them soak about 24 hours. I've tried pulling morning and evening but don't get many more than once a day....and we have NO LIMIT on the number or pounds of sport-caught shrimp. The number of pots in PWS was raised last year to 8 per person or boat. Often, we run 4 to a string. Not many people pull by hand, or at least not many at once. People mostly use either power pot pullers, or they use an anchor pull system, a buoy with a one-way swivel that they pull the pot up to with their boat moving. In the early season, shrimp are often caught in shallower water, sometimes in only 60-80 feet of water, but as the season develops, 250-400 feet deep is more common, try pulling by hand at that depth and you'll likely only do it once.

    We only average 3-5 shrimp per pot per day, so shrimping is hardly worth coming up here for, but anyway that is some of what I know about it!

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    Capn ron, Well said!! You're funny and straight up bang on!!

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    Member Zinker's Avatar
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    I assume you shrimp Hood Canal. Haven't been able to shrimp here yet as I don't know anyone with a boat, but did pretty good in Wa.

    Where ya from there I lived in Sumner/Puyallup for 7 years and am so excited to go home for a visit this July.
    Brad

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I pull 650-700 foot by hand...I like 8 to 10 hour soaks.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have never ran out of bait. My longest soak was almost 3 full days. I use the ladner pots mostly, but the 3 day soak was with the rectangle pots and I had large bait cans in them. Hooligan mixed with shrimp pellets is mostly what I use for bait. I mostly ran 3 pots on a string last year - pulling by hand with 4 is quite a bit more work - but we'll try 4 this year. It takes about 10-15 minutes to pull the string - hafta get some excercise during the weekend!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We've let our pots soak as long as 3 weeks in the past (primarily before the tunnel was open to highway vehicles and fewer people were out there). The bait was long gone when we pulled the pots, but there would still be plenty of shrimp in them. Some shrimp may leave when the bait runs out, but lots of them stay.

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    If you are in a good area 4 to 6 hours is all you need to soak. The shrimp move in and out with the tides.

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    If you are in a good area 4 to 6 hours is all you need to soak.
    This was usually my observation, as well...but I never put away the beaucoup gallon-sized baggies of tails like I see pics posted here (ya bastages!)...however I usually did a little better than 3-5 shrimp per pot/day.

    I never saw an appreciable difference in the number of shrimp per pot haul after 6-8 hours of soaking.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I agree. If you land on them you get them. "Drawing" them in like halibutt I don't think works.

    I have noticed that if I do not space my pots out far enough (more than 40 feet) then I do not get as many shrimp in one pot - particularly the middle pot of 3.

    I run 900 feed of line, but 150 of that is between pots...so really for 700 foot of water I am not near long enough.

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    If you are in a good area 4 to 6 hours is all you need to soak. The shrimp move in and out with the tides.
    CaptainDD....would you bracket a tide change during that 4-6 hours (low or high...probably high?) or plan that soak in between tides???

    Bullelkklr....you must REALLY like shrimp

    MRFISH.....shhhhh! I'm trying not to tell!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Like most things they move in with the tides and like water movement to stir up the food they are eating. Slack tide in Prince William Sound is death flat no movement. I did the commerical openner last year and I just tried to pull them twice during the 12 hour period. Its a lot of work but what else is there to do. It was just me and Wilson. My spacing on the pots was around 50ft and I was using 4 pots per string. I fished from 200ft down to 800ft. When you think you know what you are doing you get proven wrong. I had one set where the lead pot had 390 shrimp in it, the second pot 295, third pot 290, and forth pot 265 shrimp that was a 4 hour set. I figured that I had found the honey hole so I surround the are with 12 more pots and let them soak for 16 hours. When I pulled the pots I had a total of 35 shrimp for the 16 pots. Ended up going back to spreading them out over a larger area. You are really doing good if you can catch 3 pounds of shrimp per pot in a 24 hour period. It takes about 30 to 34 shrimp tails to make a pound or live shrimp would br 15 to 17.

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    MRFISH.....shhhhh! I'm trying not to tell!!!!!!!
    I figured there had to be some low-balling in effect. I'm no shrimp killer, but 3-5 shrimp was comically low!

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