All about the lowly shrimp

Thursday (Yes I know it’s Friday) long post:

Forrest Gump made a million off of the humble shrimp. Shrimp cocktail, shrimp stew, etc. I have not met many people in my life that won’t scarf one down. Seeing what happens in the water when there are lot of shrimp around will really make you appreciate just how good they are. Everything eats them! From the glamour species; redfish, bonefish, tarpon et al, all the way down to the lowly pinfish and sand perch. To sit in a boat and watch the water practically boil with the explosions that feeding fish make when shrimp are thick is one of the real spectacles of angling.

When poling a skiff across a mudflat or through a marsh creek it quickly becomes obvious when shrimp are around. They skip and jump in all directions. People who have never seen this wonder what they are looking at. When you tell them, “Shrimp jumpin” they always say the same thing, “I didn’t know they could jump like that!” I have watched schools of redfish move down the shoreline like a pack of hounds trying to flush rabbits. The reds will be right where the water meets the land. The shrimp go in the grass and try to hide. The reds spook them out. When the tasty crustaceans jump out they are often met with the last sight of their lives Being faster is always better. I have watched very large bull sharks in shallow water when shrimp are heavy. Stingrays the size of a living room carpet will flap their wings and create a vortex to pick off the ones that take a wrong turn. Speckled trout sit under dock lights all summer and wait for shrimp to float past. It’s a fair bet that fish think they are as delicious as we do.

There are a lot of people tying flies to imitate shrimp. Some are so realistic they would be good with cocktail sauce. If you look at what most guides across the country are putting together when the shrimp are running you will see something different. Seaducers and flies tied in the same manner. Splayed hackle tails. Palmered material of some kind; hackle usually, but anything with long fibers that stick out when wrapped. ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ is the mantra of the guy out there fishing all the time. The most simple? Find Shrimp, Find Fish. Pretty Easy.


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