What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

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impulse
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What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

I just got back from my morning jaunt to the Sea Isle (Galveston west end) beach and was surprised to see half a dozen shrimp boats, with 3 of them being almost within casting distance from the beach... Normally, if we see boats at all, they're miles and miles offshore. I don't know what it means, I just report what I saw and maybe someone else knows.

Sadly, the water was still quite brown, with no green water interface within sight.

But maybe someone can make some sense of all the shrimp boats so close in, and parlay it into catching some fish off the beach. I'll be going back in awhile and if they're still there, maybe kayak around them.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by bigfost »

That's usually the time to get out your castnet and catch some shrimp. It's not unusual for the white shrimp to move in right next to the beach during the summer. The shrimpers will follow them as close as they can get.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by SWFinatic »

I've seen this a lot in Matagorda in the summer. After shrimpers hitting the beach for a few days it will take the water a while to clear up.
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impulse
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

I wasn't sure if some season didn't open up, but apparently it's just that the shrimp move closer to the beach and the boats follow them?

I wonder how much trouble I'd get into if I dragged a 2' diameter net behind my kayak for a mile or 2. Just to get some bait and a shrimp cocktail...

I recall using seine and cast nets to catch bait, with no special requirements. But I'm not sure about dragging a small net behind a manual powered kayak.

Anyone know the exact laws? Perhaps by sad experience or maybe watching too much Lone Star Law?
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

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impulse wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 1:25 pm I wasn't sure if some season didn't open up, but apparently it's just that the shrimp move closer to the beach and the boats follow them?

I wonder how much trouble I'd get into if I dragged a 2' diameter net behind my kayak for a mile or 2. Just to get some bait and a shrimp cocktail...

I recall using seine and cast nets to catch bait, with no special requirements. But I'm not sure about dragging a small net behind a manual powered kayak.

Anyone know the exact laws? Perhaps by sad experience or maybe watching too much Lone Star Law?
The way I understand the netting rules that could be considered illegal means and methods but since there is no definitive written language regarding dragging a net by a manual powered kayak (not for retail or resale purposes) to me it would be up to the discretion of each game warden. I'd bet you ask 3 different wardens and you'd get at least 2 different answers :lol:

That said not sure how effective that concept would be. I would be interested to learn though :)
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impulse
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

SWFinatic wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 1:40 pm
That said not sure how effective that concept would be. I would be interested to learn though :)
I'd be interested, too. But not enough to pay $500 for a shrimp cocktail...

Too many times, the GW's on Lone Star Law point out that "it was just a minor infraction and the guy meant well", and they "only" get fined $500.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by Neumie »

Cast Net, Seine or individual bait shrimp trawl: Click

This guy has got it figured out:
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impulse
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

Neumie wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:33 pm Cast Net, Seine or individual bait shrimp trawl: Click

This guy has got it figured out:
This is the requirement that has me bamboozled...

Mesh size must not be smaller than 8-3/4 inches over a consecutive series of five stretched meshes.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by Neumie »

I think that means when you stretch the mesh the measurement from the nodes of 5 holes (6 nodes) must be longer than 8.75".
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

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Neumie wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:07 pm I think that means when you stretch the mesh the measurement from the nodes of 5 holes (6 nodes) must be longer than 8.75".
Okay, makes sense... The first net I got in is too small at 7" for 5 links (advertised 20mm mesh). I ordered a 2nd one that advertises 1" mesh. It arrives next week, and I'll see if I can stretch it to 8.75" for 5 links. If not, they sell 1-1/4" mesh. Next step it to make a ring out of 3/8" steel rebar and drag it around West Bay. Technically, the season for eating shrimp is closed so I'll be trolling for bait until it opens again. Seems like the difference is 2 quarts per day with no closed season in the bay for bait vs 15 pounds of eating shrimp a day during the season. That's with a $37 shrimp license, and all for personal consumption...

But I'm still perusing the rules. Don't want to get fined even if it's the cutie that patrols Galveston on Lone Star Law.

On a fishing related note, if you're not here in Galveston this week, you're not missing anything off the beach. Brown water and rough as far as the eye can see. We can't seem to catch a break this year on the wind. Had maybe 10 decent days and 3 real good ones all year. Guide buddies are having a blast putting their clients on lots of sharks at the SLP.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

Quick update on my little shrimp project... I got the 1" mesh net and it is over 8.75" in 5 loops so I threaded it on a bent piece of 3/8" rebar and it ended up 25" in diameter. Now all I need is a $37 bait shrimp license and I can keep up to 2 quarts of bay bait shrimp a day until the season kicks in on August 15 and the limit goes up to 15 pounds of eating shrimp a day.

While I was putzing around making the net, my new neighbor motored by on the canal and told me he has a maximum legal size sport shrimp net he bought years ago and never used. He's gonna bring it down next time he goes to his Houston house and I'll see how it's really supposed to be done.

It'll be fun in any case, dragging my tiny net in West Bay behind my motorized canoe. If it looks promising, I'll fire up my brother's 24' BlueWave bay boat which uses about 20x the gas per hour that my little 7.5HP putt-putt uses. Maybe we can beat the high cost of bait and seafood for awhile.

Photos to follow if they're not too embarrassing... And I don't end up afoul of some technicality and get dinged by TPWD. It'd just be dumb to post photos of criminal activity online.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by SWFinatic »

impulse wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:16 pm Quick update on my little shrimp project... I got the 1" mesh net and it is over 8.75" in 5 loops so I threaded it on a bent piece of 3/8" rebar and it ended up 25" in diameter. Now all I need is a $37 bait shrimp license and I can keep up to 2 quarts of bay bait shrimp a day until the season kicks in on August 15 and the limit goes up to 15 pounds of eating shrimp a day.

While I was putzing around making the net, my new neighbor motored by on the canal and told me he has a maximum legal size sport shrimp net he bought years ago and never used. He's gonna bring it down next time he goes to his Houston house and I'll see how it's really supposed to be done.

It'll be fun in any case, dragging my tiny net in West Bay behind my motorized canoe. If it looks promising, I'll fire up my brother's 24' BlueWave bay boat which uses about 20x the gas per hour that my little 7.5HP putt-putt uses. Maybe we can beat the high cost of bait and seafood for awhile.

Photos to follow if they're not too embarrassing... And I don't end up afoul of some technicality and get dinged by TPWD. It'd just be dumb to post photos of criminal activity online.
Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. You might just start a new fad.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

In the continuing adventure. That's what I euphemistically call my wild hair idea... An adventure.

I found out that the individual bait shrimp licenses are only available at TPWD LEO locations. Not online, not at Academy. So I went to LaMarque and got in line with all the guides who are renewing their licenses for 2023, apparently on the first day they can (Aug 15).

Individual bait shrimp tags and licenses all expire on August 31, so I would have needed a 2022 to pull my tiny net in the next 2 weeks. So I opted for a 2023 and I'll wait 2 more weeks to get mine wet... I suspect I'd have been out of luck had I showed up before August 15.

License cost $37 and came with a metal tag that needs to be attached the the trawl. I guess that's why you can't order them online- the metal tag. Also came with a paper license on the same form as my fishing license. So I'm licensed and not the trawl ( I can't just loan the trawl to someone without a license). The metal tag's a good idea so they can track down anyone that abandons (or loses) a trawl in public water. They are butt ugly and would be an eyesore if left behind.

Speaking of trawls, my neighbor dropped off his "maximum legal size before you go commercial" trawl, and what a monster it is. Gotta weigh 80Lb and looks like I'll need to find a YouTube to figure out how to use it. It looks like someone made it in their back yard and it did not come with instructions.
It's got flaps and lines and nets and a bunch of plywood parts. Probably too big to haul behind my Sport Canoe, but I was planning to test the waters with my tiny homemade net anyway. If I do any good, I'll fire up the big boat and burn some $5 fuel to pull the big honker.

To be continued when I'm legal on Sept 1.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by TexasJim »

impulse and all: I got my next year license today at the TPWD office in Rockport. There, too there was also a short line(3 ahead of me) renewing licenses. And, like impulse, my regular all-water license is good now thru Aug. 2023, but my sail line(saltwater trotline) endorsement isn't effective till 9/1, so I had to keep my old license for that. No problem. It only took about 45 minutes. I'm glad the office is convenient, as I have to go there, due to the endorsement. When I registered and titled my skiff, the Rockport office was still closed due to Harvey damage(two years rebuilding), and I had to go to the Corpus office, in far west Corpus, nearly out to the airport. AARRGGH! Keep us posted on the shrimp trawl. When I lived on my sailboat in Kemah decades ago a part-time shrimper told me I should buy a "try net", but I never even saw one. TexasJim
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

At LaMarque, they had a sign on the door apologizing for being short staffed, so I dreaded the wait since it's a tiny foyer with no seating. For some reason, they moved the folding chairs outside in the heat.

But I was in line for less than 10 minutes, and pretty disappointed it was that short. Yakking with several guides also in the queue, I could have happily stayed another hour or so...
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by shoffer »

I really like this thread and your get up and go, Impulse. It's fun to read about your "wild hair" adventure, so I hope you keep us updated! And maybe those who throw live bait can pop by your dock to pick up a quart using the TKF Kayakfishing discount!
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

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shoffer wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 8:12 am I really like this thread and your get up and go, Impulse. It's fun to read about your "wild hair" adventure, so I hope you keep us updated! And maybe those who throw live bait can pop by your dock to pick up a quart using the TKF Kayakfishing discount!
Thanks for the words of encouragement. It's been a learning process, especially since the details are pretty sparse in the online regulations. I still have 2 key legal questions:

1) My neighbor claims his net was the biggest he could legally pull without a commercial license, but I want to confirm that with a Game Warden. I'm afraid the rules may have changed since he bought it, or the guy he bought it from (new) may have been telling porkies.

2) I have a license and the "trawl" has a tag. If I take anyone else in the boat to help me out (and share the fun), do they also need a shrimp license? Seems like that would be a waste since their license would also come with a metal trawl tag and we only need one trawl.

I've got about 2 weeks to track down a GW before my license kicks in on Sept1 and I'll post back with the answers. In case anyone else wants to give it a go.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by mwatson71 »

I’m half tempted to get a license just to trawl with you.
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Re: What just happened that there's half a dozen shrimp boats?

Post by impulse »

My plan (open to suggestions) is to pull the small 25" net behind my powered canoe for an hour or so. Then there's the decision tree:

If I get nada, I'll reevaluate the location I tried and maybe try some different area types.

If I get even enough for a shrimp cocktail, I'll fire up the big boat and pull the monster net. I already have neighbors putting in orders for free shrimp.

If the small net catches any behind the canoe, I can pull it behind a kayak and try it out that way. Though I won't get the range I get behind the putt-putt, the small net should tow okay behind a kayak. Then I'll test a paddle kayak (T160) against a Hobie for towing capacity.

I may also have to buy some netting and make a much deeper net to keep the shrimp from being able to beat the kayak speed.

Can't wait for Sept 1.
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