How to Catch North Carolina Shrimp


Shrimping is the number one fishing industry in North Carolina. It's also popular in nearby states like Georgia and South Carolina. You can shrimp fish for recreational value, for local sale or for personal consumption, but be sure to check your area's regulations and laws to ensure you are within the legal limits of local shrimping and you remain safe while shrimping.

Things You'll Need

  • Shrimping license
  • Casting net
  • Shrimping lantern (optional)
  • Shrimp bait (optional)
  • Shrimping boat
  • Check the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries to find out what kind of license, if any, you need to fish for shrimp in your area. There are different licenses for recreational, recreational commercial gear, recreational fishing tournament licenses, etc. Check the Division of Marine Fisheries' Online License Information Resource page below in the Resources section.

  • Check the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries' size and catch limits on their site ("Recreational Guide" in Resources below) to find how much and what size the shrimp have to be for you to take them home.

  • Decide when you'd like to go fishing. Shrimping is best at night, as shrimp prefer cooler water and will retreat into the deeper parts of the water during the day, making them harder to catch. If shrimp fishing during the day, you might need a full shrimping boat with a state regulation shrimp trawl to drag behind the boat, but if you're just getting started with shrimping it might be easier and cheaper to simply find a state regulated net and fish from the shore.

  • Collect your shrimp fishing equipment. Go to your fishing and marine supply shore to get specific advice on the best equipment for your needs, as the shop will know the specifics of the water source you'll be working from and the location-specific details about the shrimp type in the area. Be sure your casting nets are state-approved, and use a light when going out at night. Shrimp bait should be quite simple, like flour, rock salt or shrimp meal.

  • Be patient as you cast and recast your shrimp net, as such a pastime requires time to get the proper amount and size of shrimp allowed in your area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a partner with you if going out at night to make sure you have extra support and stay safe and legal while shrimping.

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