Are you looking for a fun and unique way to spend your time in Tampa Bay?
Why not try your hand at catching shrimp?
With its warm waters and diverse marine life, Tampa Bay is a great place to go shrimping.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to catch these delicious crustaceans.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best spots in Tampa Bay for shrimping, as well as some tips and tricks for making the most of your experience.
So grab your nets and let’s get started!
Where To Catch Shrimp In Tampa Bay?
One of the most popular spots for shrimping in Tampa Bay is Fort DeSoto. This area is known for its abundant shrimp population and can be accessed without a boat. Simply wade into the water with your net and start scooping up shrimp.
Another great spot for shrimping is the Tampa shrimp docks off of Causeway Boulevard. Here, you can buy fresh shrimp directly from the businesses at the port or try your hand at catching them yourself.
If you have access to a boat, there are plenty of other areas in Tampa Bay to explore. The Gulf of Mexico is a prime location for shrimping, with many boats heading out from Tampa in the evening to begin their search for shrimp.
Other popular areas for shrimping in Tampa Bay include the Melbourne bridges and SR 192 in Brevard. These spots are known for their large shrimp populations and are great places to set up your traps.
Introduction To Shrimping In Tampa Bay
Shrimping in Tampa Bay is a popular pastime for many locals and visitors alike. The area is known for its abundant shrimp population and offers a variety of locations for shrimping, both with and without a boat.
The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan (FMP) was implemented as federal regulation in 1981 with the aim of enhancing yield in volume and value by deferring harvest of small shrimp to provide for growth. This plan established reporting systems for vessels, dealers, and processors to ensure sustainable shrimping practices.
Individuals are allowed to take up to 5 gallons of shrimp per harvester per day, with a possession limit of no more than 5 gallons per vessel at any time regardless of the number of persons onboard. There is no size limit, but there are closed seasons in April and May in certain counties. In the Big Bend closed area, harvest of shrimp is allowed with a limit of 2 gallons per person and 5 gallons per vessel using cast nets and dip nets only.
If you don’t have access to a boat, Fort DeSoto is a popular spot for shrimping, where you can simply wade into the water with your net and start scooping up shrimp. The Tampa shrimp docks off of Causeway Boulevard offer another option, where you can buy fresh shrimp or try your hand at catching them yourself.
For those with a boat, the Gulf of Mexico is a prime location for shrimping, with many boats heading out from Tampa in the evening to begin their search for shrimp. Other popular areas include the Melbourne bridges and SR 192 in Brevard, which are known for their large shrimp populations and are great places to set up your traps.
Best Spots For Shrimping In Tampa Bay
If you’re looking for the best spots for shrimping in Tampa Bay, Fort DeSoto and the Tampa shrimp docks are great places to start. However, if you have access to a boat, there are many other areas in Tampa Bay that offer great shrimping opportunities.
One of the most popular areas for shrimping is the Gulf of Mexico. Many boats head out from Tampa in the evening to begin their search for shrimp in this area. The shrimp are typically caught using try-nets that are lowered into the water and regularly checked to see where the shrimp are. Once the nets are full, the shrimp are sorted by hand from the crabs and anything else that got snagged.
If you prefer to stay near shore, the Melbourne bridges and SR 192 in Brevard are also great spots for shrimping. These areas are known for their large shrimp populations and are perfect places to set up your traps.
When shrimping in Tampa Bay, it’s important to keep in mind that the darker the night, the better your chances of catching shrimp. Shrimp typically don’t like light and will bury down into the sand if there is a full moon or too much light. Therefore, it’s best to go shrimping on a dark night with minimal light.
Tips And Tricks For Shrimping In Tampa Bay
If you’re new to shrimping in Tampa Bay, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you increase your chances of success. Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind that shrimp are most active during low light conditions, such as early morning or late evening. This is when they are most likely to be feeding and moving around.
When using a cast net, it’s important to have the right technique. Start by holding the net with both hands and making a circular motion over your head. As you bring the net down, make sure to close it quickly to trap the shrimp inside. It may take some practice to get the timing right, but with time and patience, you’ll soon be catching shrimp like a pro.
When setting up your traps, it’s important to use the right bait. Shrimp are attracted to strong-smelling bait such as fish heads or chicken necks. Make sure to secure the bait inside the trap so that it doesn’t fall out before you have a chance to catch any shrimp.
Finally, it’s important to pay attention to the tides and currents when shrimping in Tampa Bay. Shrimp are often found in areas where there is a strong current or tidal flow, so make sure to position your traps or nets in these areas for the best results.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to catching plenty of shrimp in Tampa Bay. Happy shrimping!
Regulations And Safety Measures For Shrimping In Tampa Bay
It is important to note that there are regulations and safety measures in place for shrimping in Tampa Bay. These rules must be followed to ensure the safety of both the shrimpers and the ecosystem.
Individuals are allowed to take up to 5 gallons of shrimp per harvester per day, with a possession limit of no more than 5 gallons per vessel at any time. It is important to note that these limits apply regardless of the number of people onboard.
There are also size limits for shrimp, but none for Tampa Bay specifically. However, it is important to check for any closed seasons or closed areas before heading out to shrimp. For example, Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties have closed seasons in April and May. The Big Bend area also has specific regulations, with a limit of 2 gallons per person and 5 gallons per vessel allowed for cast nets and dip nets only.
It is crucial that each participant follows the guidelines and regulations for each shrimping style, whether using a trap, net or bait. Failure to do so may result in property confiscation or license revocation.
When transporting live shrimp intended for human consumption, they must be transported in a watertight tank with continuously aerated saline water. The revised rule no longer requires food shrimp to be dead and put on ice when transported from the docks to stores. However, bait shrimp were already allowed to remain alive when shipped from the docks to a shop.
Conclusion: Enjoying Shrimping In Tampa Bay
Shrimping in Tampa Bay can be a fun and exciting activity for anglers of all levels. With the right knowledge and equipment, catching shrimp can be a rewarding experience that provides a fresh and delicious meal. Whether you choose to wade into the water, visit the Tampa shrimp docks, or venture out into the Gulf of Mexico, there are plenty of opportunities to catch shrimp in Tampa Bay. Remember to always follow local regulations and guidelines when shrimping and to be mindful of the environment and other marine species. So grab your net, head out to your favorite shrimping spot, and enjoy the thrill of the catch!