Mississippi’s 2014-15 shrimp season will open a week from today, according to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
The state agency announced that shrimping can begin at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, June 18.
There are different closing dates for the recreational and commercial shrimping season, depending on location. The seasons north of the Intracoastal Waterway will end at midnight Dec. 31, 2014. The seasons south of the Intracoastal Waterway will close at midnight April 30, 2015.
Shrimping for live bait is open year-round.
MDMR reminds shrimpers that all regulations set forth by the agency will be in full force and all boats engaged in catching or transporting shrimp from the waters of the state of Mississippi must be licensed or permitted by the MDMR before beginning operations.
For specific information, shrimpers can call the Mississippi Shrimp Information Hotline at (866) 938-7295, MDMR at (228) 374-5000 or write to MDMR, 1141, Bayview Ave., Biloxi MS 39530, or visit the agency online at www.dmr.state.ms.us.
This is good news for Mississippi’s coastal fishermen, who often find some of the best sport fishing around shrimp boats anchored after a night of trawling.
“If you just want to catch fish and have fun, then get in behind an anchored shrimper picking through his catch,” said Bill Jackson of Biloxi, an avid angler who often uses the tactic. “We usually pull up and start catching fish immediately, because they are tossing small fish and crabs overboard and it attracts everything from bonito to jack crevalle, and even an occasional cobia. We do it more for sport.
“One thing I recommend to fishermen is that you be respectful of the shrimpers, and not crowd behind them if they ask you not to. A lot of times they are inside sleeping after working all night and we will not fish around them. When we find one where the guys are working on the deck, we ask if they mind if we fish around the boat. We even offer them cokes, water or even sandwiches.”
Jackson said shrimpers appreciate the respect and often will sort some of their by-catch and offer in trade as bait.
“Depends on their mood,” he said. “Establishing a rapport with them is important, and can lead to some outstanding fishing.”