How to Catch Shrimp

Do you live near the coast? Are you sick of paying $10.99 for a pound of shrimp? If so, you may be able to catch your own shrimp with just a little bit of time, a little bit of effort, and best yet not a whole lot of money.


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    Buy a cast net. If you've never thrown a cast net, go to and watch a video on how to throw a cast net. The best place to practice is your own backyard because the grass will actually show you how your throw would end up in the water.
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    Analyze your local tide charts. Look for the low-tide times on the tide chart. Low tide is the best time to shrimp. Dusk to evening at low-tide is optimum.
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    Travel to a spot that would put you in a place where you can toss the cast net free from getting caught. Banks, piers, docks or by boat are great places. You want to find a place that is no deeper than the radius of your cast net.
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    Toss your cast net into the water and let it sink to the bottom. When the lead weights reach the bottom, use the rope and pull in the net. As you pull on the rope, the horn of the cast net will close in the circle of the net trapping what's inside.
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    Prepare to get messy. When pulling your cast net up from the water, remember you were just dragging this net through the mud. Pull the cast net up quickly (but not too fast). Buy a wide-brimmed bucket to put your net in.
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    Grab the lead-line on the cast net to loosen up the net and dump the contents into this wide-brimmed bucket.
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    Pick out the shrimp you have caught and place in a cooler with some ice.
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    Keep tossing that net into the water until you get your fill of shrimp or your arms get tired, whatever comes first.
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    A very easy and inexpensive way to catch shrimp or prawns, is to use a very fine butterfly net and scrape along a pipe that may stick out of the water and near a dock. they are usually in bays that lead to the ocean.
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    If all else fails try using a cheap butterfly net and scraping along the sides of piers or docks and through the sand.
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    You might catch something interesting.


  • You should clean the shrimp before you cook them. It's probably a good idea to clean the shrimp as soon as you get back from shrimping. If you put them on ice while you catch them, you can probably wait until the morning. Cleaning usually consists of at rinsing them in fresh water, removing the heads, and de-veining them.
  • Nighttime is better than daytime as the shrimp stay higher up in the water column.
  • Shrimp are plentiful when the water is cooler.
  • Low tide is the best of the two tides


  • If you catch a shrimp with dozens of black eggs under its abdomen it is a pregnant female so throw it back into the water as fishing them will result in a decreased population.
  • The horns on the shrimps head are extremely sharp, and can inflict a painful wound. Live shrimp are experts at using them, but even when dead, the horns can do damage to a careless hand or finger.
  • Although rare, some people are allergic to shrimp and other types of shellfish. Some may not even know it. If, after eating shrimp or shellfish, you begin to have symptoms like tightness in the throat, chest or develop hives ( red patches ), you may be having an allergic reaction. It is important to call emergency services as this can become life threatening. If you have ever had a reaction to shrimp or to shellfish, DO NOT risk eating shrimp or shellfish again!

Things You'll Need

  • Cast net. 3/8" mesh, minimum 4'. I recommend no bigger than 8'.
  • Shoes you don't mind getting filthy
  • wide brimmed bucket or a flat platform that you can hose off
  • cooler with ice
  • gloves (optional)
  • spotlight for night shrimping (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Fishing