Shrimping has always played a large role in the day-to-day life and culture of the people throughout the Lowcountry.
There are two iconic images of the Lowcountry. During the shrimping season (June 1 to late December or early January) you can see boats off shore trawling for shrimp; their arms spread wide, dragging their nets. Then there is the fisherman in his bateau throwing a huge mesh net to corral his catch.
If you want to get a good feel for what this region is all about, go shrimping. Sign up for lessons that offer a combination of shrimping, cast netting, and crabbing. Adults will feel a particular pleasure in learning to throw a cast net, while children will find joy in watching a net full of shrimp being hauled aboard a chugging trawler.
Nets can be cast from shore, piers or boats. In South Carolina, you need a salt water fishing license to cast net unless you are with a licensed captain or at a licensed pier.
You could also join a boat cruise that is both educational and scenic. You’ll learn about this area’s salt marsh ecosystem and why it is so favorable for shrimp to develop. You can even take a trip the shrimping grounds on a real working trawler.
During the summer months, the “Tammy Jane” has a University of South Carolina Beaufort marine scientist aboard teaching about the lifecycle of shrimp and fish. They even take back samples of different bycatch for study in the Univeristy’s lab.
For a different take, join a photo tour of shrimp boats in action. You’ll be able to see the frenzy of birds and dolphins feeding around the boats.
If you don’t have time for lessons or a cruise, take advantage of the numerous farmers markets and roadside stands that sell fresh shrimp.
For more information, contact:
Dolphin Seafari (843-785-2345)
Live Oac Adventures (843-384-1414)
Lowcountry Wildlife Photo Safaris (843-524-3037)
Outside Hilton Head (843-686-6996)
Tammy Jane (Vagabond Cruises) (843-363-9026)