This past weekend, I indulged in a fun activity where I went shrimping aboard Lady Jane, a United States Coast Guard certified vessel in Brunswick, Georgia. The 49 passenger boat took me for a two-hour cruise through the marshes of Saint Simons Islands, for an unforgettable fishing experience! The experienced team was led by Captain Larry Credle. I looked forward to an an experience where I could enjoy the calm water, learn about the marine life, and eat some delicious shrimp.
Once we left leave the coast, the crew lowered the trawlers that were attached to large nets. The idea was to allow them to reach the ground of the sea bed where the crustaceans like to hang out. As the boat moved forward, it caught shrimp, crabs and any other low lying sea life that came on its way. A half hour of trawling was enough to get a good catch and the shrimp boats lowered a few times during our cruise.
Aboard Lady Jane, marine biologist, Phil Flournoy gave an ongoing narration about the marshes of Georgia, the shrimping mechanism and the marine life. He said that the shrimp found in this area are particularly sweet and clean as they feed on the rich plant based nutrients. We got to judge that for ourselves, as First Mate John Tyre boiled the shrimp on the boat itself and served it peel-and-eat style with cocktail sauce.
The kids in particular, were fascinated by this entire experience, especially when the nets were emptied out onto the boat’s deck. Everyone went “ooh” and “aah” when they saw the contents of the catch – a lot of shrimp, a few blue crabs, and an occasional shark. Yes, there are lots of sharks in this area and sometimes, the baby sharks get caught in the trawlers. Phil actually allowed people to hold this 14 inch shark, while it fought back in its true aggressive nature. After some souvenir snapshots, the shark was let back into the water. They say it can survive for 30 minutes without water, so we wanted to make sure we don’t expire that.
Shrimping is a fun activity for the entire family and I recommend you try it at least once. It’s not just about catching the shrimp, but learning about how a food you enjoy every day makes its way from the ocean’s floor on to your plate. And who knows, you may get to see a surprise visitor too!
Watch a 3 minutes video of the entire shrimping and shark catching experience in Brunswick.