Shrimpers who fail to use a shrimp net properly can find themselves heading home with an empty cooler, causing them to sit down to last night's leftovers. Those who handle a net skilfully can sit down to a big plate of sweet, juicy shrimp. Proper shrimping involves adhering to local laws. Finding a good spot to search for shrimp is also critical to success. Similar net handling procedures apply to catching minnows, salmon and other fish.
Select a handheld net that is appropriate for your strength and arm length. It is important that the net is manoeuvred correctly. A net with a long handle may be appropriate for one shrimper and inappropriate for another, similar to the way that two golfers may elect to play the same shot with different-sized clubs. If a net handle feels uncomfortable, try one with a shorter handle. If a shorter one is not available, hold your hands nearer to the middle of the handle, similar to the way a baseball batter "chokes up" on a bat to gain greater control.
Decide on an appropriate place and time to use your net to catch shrimp. It is best to shrimp when the tide is scheduled to come in, as this is a condition in which shrimp concentrate together. Locate weed beds, which are a likely place for shrimp to gather, or an area where a tree has fallen. Walking with the current will help you to avoid fatigue. Shrimping after a storm is ideal as shrimp tend to congregate during bad weather.
Prepare a place to store the shrimp. Pour ice into a cooler or bucket until it is half-filled. This helps to keep the shrimp fresh and preserve their sweet taste. Shrimp that is not chilled may develop an oily taste.
Place fish meal into the net to help attract the shrimp. Lay the net in the water for two hours or until it is full of shrimp. Lift the net out of the water in a scooping motion, as if you are shovelling sand. It is critical to keep the net level to prevent any shrimp from spilling out.
Check local health advisories before eating shrimp.