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THREAD: Shrimp and Prawn Techniques

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Jan 22, 2008 3:18AM Post #1
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I have just moved to Kitimat, BC this past Aug 2007. I have had the chance to hit the salt chuck for excellent bottom fishing, coho and lots of crab through September and October. Just last week, my wife, son and I have decided we would like to invest a few dollars into prawn and shrimp fishing. So after hearing this, like any normal male would do... I dashed off to the local fishing store and got right down to it. I picked up the new Brutus Ace Line Hauler, which looks great as it mounts of my Scotty riggers, and 2 pots and float arrangements for each of the 3 of us. I was wondering if anyone out there can assist in some shrimp and prawn techniques. I have been looking for publications that might help a coastal rookie like me at least get the goods out to the correct location, rather than soaking the pots in an area that will product boots and tires! I have been told that I should look for areas from 200-300 ft with rocky bottom for prawns and 150-200 ft with mud/sand bottom for the other 4 variety of shrimp available in the Douglas Channel. How long should I let the pots soak? If anyone could lend a thought or two on their techniques, or even a few titles to books that may help us become more knowledgable, it would be greatly appreciated. I guess the worst case senerio (actually, best case senerio as I am not at work) would be to hit 250 ft,....let the pots fly and hope for the best! Thanks everyone.

Best Regards,
Rick
Jan 22, 2008 4:30PM Post #2
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Ive never been in your area but I do catch plenty of prawns in the 300 - 350ft marks. Dont be afraid to drop your traps down 300+. Most guys will not give away their secret spots and guard them with their lives!cool I think its something you will have to figure out for yourself but you are on the right track on where to find them. Bait is pretty important, try canned cat food. Soak time varies for me depending on where I drop them because my biggest concern is having the traps stolen or raided. So I usually go somewhere where I can keep an eye on them and pick them up after several hours of trolling.
Jan 23, 2008 4:53AM Post #3
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Thanks Gopher,
I would figure most hot spots would not be offered up. I do appreciate the heads up as to the starting depths (300-350ft). This should allow for a lot of testing and trial by error. Thanks for the choice of food as well, a few locals have commented on the same, but fill the food pack with 3/4 of the most oily dry food and crack open a can of wet with a fork or knife edge. It's all about trying something new and seeing what will work.

Last year when I started crabbing, I put a few salmon heads, and the traps were 6-8 keepers, but I tried everything pots side by side, with pork rindes, chicken scraps, turkey necks and the big hitter, beef liver - only pennies a pack and I have left one trap on the same liver bait (very tight mesh on bait cage) for 5 consecutive soaks, over a two week period and every lift had the pot 3/4 full.

Thanks again for your assistance. I will put your ideas and knowledge to the test this season.

Rick
Jan 23, 2008 2:59PM Post #4
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I might have to try the beef liver for crabs, good idea. I've always tried to find trenches when looking for the best prawns. Take a look at your chart and mark them out 200 - 350 ' deep and give them a try...
Edited: Jan 23, 2008 7:00AM
Jan 23, 2008 10:58PM Post #5
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I do the exact same as gopher! Take a can of cheap catfood and poke a bunch of holes in the top of the can. Then put it into a mesh sleeve secured to the trap. The prawns wont fill up on anything and leave the trap but will stick around trying to get at that catfood aroma. AND Make sure you throw back the egg-bearing ones.

Chovy
Jan 24, 2008 4:10AM Post #6
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bit off the topic but since you live in kitamat what is your snowpack this year? We fished the work channel last year in june and when we came out we were not able to get home because the river was too high, 3 extra days before we could get home. Whats the salmon fishing like in the douglas,I here its very pretty and quite protected. JETHRO
Jan 27, 2008 3:05AM Post #7
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Hello Jethro,
First winter in kitimat, but at present the snow is about 4 ft. We just had a warm up the last week and a half so the snow dropped a few feet. I know it snows alot here, and I have seen the pictures to prove it. In 1974, kitimat was recorded as BC's greatest snowfall-five-day period with over 8 feet dropping during this period. The last few winters (knowledge from the locals) the snow was deep and heavy. But show me a place that wasn't from kitimat to prince george through the interior. This is what forced the extreme high water levels and land slides. As for the douglas, I was out fishing winter springs last weekend, while soaking a few crab traps. The boat hooked 7 and kept 3, ranging 11 to 15 lbs. I didn't know they were smaller this time of the year. This was my first chance to fish winter springs. The crab pots (with liver) did exceptionally well. Had to actually throw back keepers!
In the spring, the large tyee's are packed in the channel ready to hit the tide swings to enter the kitimat river. Before I moved here (why I moved here!) i fished the douglas each spring of 2005 and 2006 (may and june) on vacations. My wife, son and I did well, catching springs in the high 20's to 37 largest. I find the fall more fun with the coho's. Man what a wild fish.... lots of runners under the boat snagging anything and everthing in it's way. My son lost a beaut of a coho this fall, looked over 20! During the kitimat derby, when the winning coho was 14+/-. Oh well next year is just around the corner. Oh yeah... it does get ruff, but it has many protected bays and areas to sight see and fish. The tides affect the size out here. When the north wind is in the channel is like glass, but when the south starts howling, look out, the douglas is like a carburator, with the engine being the Terrace valley to Smithers and the fuel source being the pacific. Once the wind moves, it funnels hard down the channel. I did get caught, 1.5 hours down the channel at Harty Bay, 5.5 hours back, waiting for the right time and condition. Maybe I will see you on the chuck.

Rick

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Jan 27, 2008 3:08AM Post #8
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Thanks Gopher, Skunked and Chovy for your words of wisdom and experience in regards to prawning techniques! I will be testing these this spring, once the winter winds calm down a bit.
All the best,
Rick
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