Shrimp Report

Capt. Lee Noga

Scott Conyers from Orlando had a great 5 gallon pull night in Oak Hill, FL
Scott Conyers from Orlando had a great 5 gallon pull night in Oak Hill, FL

Shrimping season is winding down but expected to continue into May for Volusia and Brevard Counties. This season has been epic for Oak Hill and Edgewater. Brevard was shut down most the season but reports finally emerging that Railroad Bridge giving up full buckets. Brevard County struggled most of season (Nov – March) and had to come to Volusia to cash in on the big shrimp run. Oak Hill was NOT the land of smalls this season. The average shrimp size remains 5” and up and that is the size April continues spitting out. Brevard seems to be have returned back to their waters which are giving up shrimp inconsistently. There has be no signs of the summer whites that dominated our winter waters last season. The problems facing shrimpers in these late spring months is catfish, bait fish and murky waters. The catfish in Volusia are in the hundreds and they hover over the lights causing black outs. There is nothing you can do about this. The MacDaddy smart lights are the hero this season. The flash strobe feature blows the catfish off the lights & boils shrimp to the top water. If you can overcome the biological nuisance you will full pull. So many leave their spots early due to catfish black outs. Oak Hill has hundreds of boats out heavily populating the river that its a battle just finding any real estate. Brevard is still investing in Railroad Bridge and Titusville pier for some pay off. We know the season is coming to a close over the next 6 weeks for Volusia and N. Brevard. Albeit, bad news for us but the great news is S. Brevard and the Causeways will be looking to start their season. Riverbreeze boat ramp has been full many nights and you have to come very early to lessen the chaos at that ramp. Lopez boat ramp is closed to the Public this season, open for residents only. This puts all the pressure on Riverbreeze boat ramp. The shrimp sizes continue to be on the “great” side of the conversation. We should be culling out 3-4” baby shrimp in April and we are freezing 5” and larger. These are sizes we chase in Jan and February in Oak Hill. Then March is smalls to mediums and April more smalls than any other size. This year things are backwards, so it would not surprise me to see Brevard pull consistently this month, and the sizes will cross the May 1st starting line BIG. In April Oak Hill was pulling 60% of the bucket 5-7” range. The snow birds may be leaving, but the locals snow no signs of retiring their nets. The frame nets this year have not been producing for Volusia County. It is more net design problem and material choice now that mono is an illegal frame net since 2015. For daily intel changes, visit the Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks on Facebook.

Capt. Lee Noga
Academy of shrimping
www.leenoga.com

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