Don’t forget deep-water SC shrimping

Shrimp-baiting season closed last month along South Carolina’s coast, but that doesn’t mean shrimp are no longer around. In the Lowcountry especially, deep-hole shrimping is effective this month, and it’s perfectly legal.

Deep-hole shrimping involves fewer tools than bait shrimping, but it starts with a specialized net designed to sink quickly and open completely as it sinks. With no set of poles to deploy and no bait balls to make, deep-hole shrimpers rely on their electronics or basic understanding of their waterways to catch their share of shrimp.

“Where almost any place that a river or smaller creek empties into the main channel, there’s a deep hole there. It might range from 25 to 45 feet when the surrounding depth is much shallower. Those are always good spots to try,” said Amy Anderson of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., who catches deep-hole shrimp in Charleston Harbor and the Folly River.

“A depth finder helps you pinpoint the ledge leading to the deepest hole, but some people catch them without electronics as long they are willing to spend some time and the effort to make multiple casts. And you often have to do that, even with electronics, because the shrimp might be in one tiny area on one cast, but it’s tough to find that one tiny area on the next cast just by looking at a depth finder. It certainly helps put you in the right area.”

Aside from a special cast net and depth finder, Anderson said it’s important to have someone driving the boat who can  talks to her while she’s on the front deck preparing to cast.

“You need the driver constantly telling you the depth as you get closer to the hole. And when you tell them to shift to neutral or reverse, you need someone who can do it without throwing you off the deck,” she said.

Anderson said just like fishing, tides play an important role.

“It’s usually not very good at slack tide. It’s much better when the tide is moving, either in or out,” she said.

About Brian Cope 2783 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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