Shrimp Report: March 2014


Group Hug. The morale has hit an all-time low back in January. Snap out of it, we are right where we should be for this time of year. To me, the season does not officially start in my freezer until February and this is the month where the cold fronts come to an end. Brevard becomes magical Feb-March and to date (Feb), Brevard has been a bust, South wind and all. Things are going to improve this month.

Oak Hill has been enjoying normal pattern harvests yielding between 1 quart to 3 gallons. The sizes have been averaging 4-5”, but mostly 4.5” and up. This is normal for February. The fever ignited at the end of 2013 drew many anglers to the waters in Nov & Dec when a couple reports of 5 gallons resonated throughout Central Florida. The cold fronts dropped and the water temps quickly tanked forcing the shrimp to bury up. Many fear the dead grass in Indian River is to blame for the lack of shrimp migration in Brevard. Let me just say, once the shrimp get 1/2” long, they bury up in the bottom, so the grass is not going to affect the sought after Brevard “beasts” we all have come to love. The eggs cling to the grass in the early development stages, NOT the shrimp. To me the eggs will cling to live or dead grass, it is the mullet that eats the grass that are the #1 threat to shrimp eggs.

Mantis shrimp are being caught in Oak Hill. Can you eat them? People do. Beware they are known for snapping their tail at the speed of sound and breaking the fingers that hold them. Handle with caution. In Oak Hill break your habit of going to your favorite spots and opt for choosing a narrow part of the river until the run thickens up. When the crickets are coming through lean, a wide body of water dilutes the volume and reduces your opportunity of marking multiples in your light field. As the runs get stronger, you can go anywhere you want.

For those at Haulover Canal, best to drop back away from the bridge, and try to set up in the rip lines (where the slow water meets fast water), shrimp love these rip lines in both Oak Hill and Haulover Canal. Faster water flow near the bridge causes too much turbulence. Check Haulover Canal flow chart, and try to step on the crickets during a positive flow 1000-3500+, don’t anchor sideways when flow exceeds 4000.

Best winds in Brevard and Volusia are South and West, sometimes when the winds are dead east or dead west, it shears off the current for those in Oak Hill. Note, we are seeing an influx of more shrimp light builders who used the MacDaddy shrimp light as their gold standard to “cash in” on shrimp fever adding bloated prices to boot. MacDaddy lights are the 2014 award winning duel strip hybrid lights because their LED strip has been custom made to offset any watt loss traveling down the cord. If you are confused about what gear to buy, call Capt Lee at (386)479-4175. Get out and start chasing, enjoy my personal shrimping reports at the Academy where I can dish far more than Joan Rivers.