Page 79 - South Mississippi Living - October, 2021
P. 79

 Brown shrimp also spawn offshore. They stay in the estuaries until they grow to about a 50- to 80-count size, or 50 to 80 shrimp to a pound. They usually begin migrating toward the gulf from mid-May through June. They might go anywhere from five to 50 miles offshore.
Both the spring and fall shrimp migrations create major feeding frenzies among predators. When the shrimp move, everything follows to get their share of protein. Since the fall white shrimp migration lasts longer, moves slower and the crustaceans don’t travel as far, autumn usually provides outstanding opportunities to catch multiple fish species.
Anglers who keep up with the migrating shrimp or intercept them along the way, can put a lot of different fish species in the boat quickly. Seabirds also like to
eat shrimp. Diving birds often indicate a moving school of shrimp. Predatory fish chase the shrimp to the surface where birds dive on them to get their share of the bounty.
“When I see diving birds, I approach from upwind so I can cut the motor off well before I get to them and drift into them,” explained Ronnie Daniels of Fisher-
Man Guide Services of Pass Christian.
“A popping cork tipped with a jig or a suspending bait is very effective. I try to throw around the edges of the bird activity with a popping cork and a Vudu Shrimp.”
A popping-cork rig essentially consists of a float holding up a bait. When jerked, the cork creates a commotion on the surface, simulating a fish striking prey. Besides
live or fresh shrimp, anglers can dangle many other baits under a cork, like live minnows, other baitfish or fish chunks to entice speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead, flounder and other species.
A soft-plastic shrimp imitation, like a Vudu Shrimp, can also tempt several fish species, most notably trout. When the angler jerks the rod, the bait flies upward and then sinks again, exactly what a live shrimp would do when trying to escape a predatory fish.
When it comes to fooling schooling fish during a crustacean migration, no other temptations can compete with a shrimp – live, dead or artificial!
 Steven Felsher shows off a speckled trout he caught on a soft-plastic shrimp while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
migrating shrimp ignite fish feeding frenzies
  Fresh live shrimp
make excellent bait
for many species of fish.

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