Sunday, May 2, 2010

Other (Unconventional) Seafood Gathering Methods

Dave Sears, a reader who commented recently on my post about bowfishing, has had some interesting experiences in collecting food from the sea.  He sent these seafood gathering tips via email.  These are new to me, and sound fascinating. Here's what he had to say in his own words:

Not being a writer (I am a retired tug captain with 43 years experience all over the world), I really don't know where one would post articles such as: on catching shrimp with a junniper bush and a cement block anchor. The shrimp are attracted to the junniper for some reason and their whiskers get entangled in the dense shrubbery. It's maybe illegal I think, since it's basically a shrimp trap.   You shake the shrimp out of the bush into your boat. Haven't shrimped this way for 50 years. LOL. 

Or how about a trot line for catching crabs. My uncle used to buy "bull"  lips from the slaughter house very cheap. Theyr'e super tuff as cows actually pinch off grass with their lips, not their teeth as does a horse (which needs de-sanding frequently). These "bull" lips are twisted into a 21 thread line 100 fathoms long, every couple feet. The trot line is deployed along a channel side with anchors (cement blocks) both ends. No buoys for others to steal it as they do crab traps on occasion. Cross bearings enable you to relocate and grapple up the line when you want. A spool such as used for keel rollers on boat trailers, mounted on a bolt welded to a C-clamp affixed to the gunwale of your craft is your line lifter/guide. As the line clears the water, the tenacious crab drops off the bait, but you have sufficient time to see if it's a fat Jimmy or a berry crab (female w/egg clusters). We would flip the desirables into the boat with an old tennis racket while the other person paddled. You don't need to run it daily like servicing traps. The crabs are free to come and go. In Florida it's legal to have one 5gal bucket of blue crabs per person with regular fishing licenses. I suspect my uncle took me along more for the xtra bucket of crabs than any other reason. LOL. 

My dad was a Tampa boy and used to make cochina stew from the tiny cochina clams. He'd boil the cochinas, strain the broth, add milk, butter, and oyster crackers. Only seasoning black pepper.  well, not exactly survival food if you already have luxuries like milk and butter. if you want to use these ideas, feel free. I'm sure you'd write em up better than I can.
Dave Sears


Thanks for the useful tips, Dave.  I look forward to trying that juniper bush "shrimp trap" someday.

Now the cochina clams Dave mentions are something I have tried.  On my long kayak trip down the west coast of Florida and through the Caribbean, I boiled up a pot of these tiny clams on more than one occasion.  On parts of the Florida Gulf Coast, you can scoop them up by the bucketful right at the edge of the surf line.  Boil them until they open, then use a toothpick or sharpened stick to eat them right out of the shell.  It takes a lot to make a meal, but they are great source of easily-obtained protein on the seashore.


By the way, I welcome useful reader tips like Dave's, so if you have something related to Bug Out Survival that you want to share and don't have your own blog on which to publish it, send it my way.

1 comment:

  1. I believe there is a 'ghost shrimp' PVC device that is supposed to be able to 'suck out' the shrimp from their waterline lairs. Looks like a cross between a cane and a trombone.

    I've never seen that advice given above either - Great stuff. Thanks to the both of you for posting it. I wonder if that shrimp juniper trap main attractant is the shrimp using the branch as cover from predators.

    If this is the case, old used monofilament fishing line can be tied onto a stick to do the same thing. Loops not too big or they become a trap for larger fish, maybe even birds if the stick is used as a perch. An underwater 'liming stick' as it were.

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