With a dire forecast of showers and choppy wind waves the previous evening, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about embarking on my first shrimping trip on Puget Sound yesterday. But, being a shrimp lover and not having shrimped before, I really wanted to try harvesting these tasty crustaceans from the deep. I was relying on meclizine to keep motion sickness away but I didn’t need it after all. The Sound was unexpectedly calm and peaceful in the morning and the sun came out to welcome a productive harvest.
Shrimping in Puget Sound is only open for a few days every year and highly regulated. After baiting the shrimp pots with a pasty concoction of cat food, fish parts, and pellets, we dropped them into the deep green sea. The weighted pots dove to about 300 feet to the bottom and we waited for our spiny friends to check them out. Less than an hour later, it was time to see if we could harvest our dinner within sight of the shoreline.
As the rope was slowly retrieved with the help of a pot puller, I gazed down hoping to see the first traces of the pot as it came to the surface. As the first pot came into sight, I could make out spot prawns swimming inside the pot. A haul of 60+ prawns from the first pot! And more soon followed. We had limits of prawns for everyone on the boat within a few hours.
Even without having to manually pull the pots (impossible unless you lift weights), shrimping is hard work: baiting and dropping pots, finding and hauling them up, sorting the catch, cleaning the boat. Later that evening, after enjoying a feast of fresh shrimp cocktail and peppered shrimp with garlic sauce, the effort was clearly well worth it. Yet another reason to be grateful to live on Puget Sound!