The warm winter of 2012 will soon be in our past as we near the approaching 2012-2013 winter shrimping season. We got robbed twice in Central Florida, and both the winter and summer shrimping was pathetic. The sizes were backwards and the quantities discouraging. But, El Nino is a shrimping addicts friend, and we will be in a 2013 El Nino season. The summer shrimp are still being caught at Dunn’s Creek, Georgetown, Palaka and Welaka in the Jacksonville area. October is still ringing in full pulls with sizes between 5-6 inches. Things should be winding down as the weather cools but the Northern season may extend due to the warm water temperatures. Many of us are inpatient and anticipating a banner winter season in Central Florida. My freezer is empty and my friends are grumpy. The month of November is a early pre-season scouting month so I can look for signs the river crickets are moving around into new nurseries. This will give us some indications of what to expect in 2013. Shrimp grow 2 to 2.5 inches a month.
Thinking you might want to be a night time river warrior? My annual fall free BBQ and 1⁄2 day outdoor winter shrimping seminar is Nov 3rd, with a free shrimp tourney (with cash/prizes) to follow from 6pm – midnight, Oak Hill Fla. You have to be an Academy member at LeeNoga.com (free membership). Where do you buy gear? It will be at the seminar, or you can get all that info at the Academy (LeeNoga.com). The winter hot spots are Oak Hill, Edgewater and Titusville (Haulover Canal, and Railroad Bridge). Please ensure you navigation lights are in working order, start your boat at home before towing to the ramp, get to the ramp early because the ramps are a mess. Make sure you have a ladder on your vessel, people get reckless reaching for a shrimp and end up in the drink. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all.
Captain Lee Noga
Academy of shrimping