This morning Linda, Boomer and I walked down to the beach. There is a nice boardwalk at our end of the park that crosses the dunes onto the beach. Folks were out walking, jogging, fishing, and just hanging out. We stopped to talk to three guys who were fishing. They were catching whiting, which from the looks of their bucket, were biting really good today. We asked what they use for bait and they said “ghost shrimp”. They use home-made “suckers”, made out of PVC pipe, to get them out of the sand. You look for a mound of sand, where there are air bubbles coming out and you put the tip of the sucker over the spot and start sucking. The plunger pulls the sand up inside and then you dump the sand out on the beach to see if the shrimp is in there. You usually have to do this 2-3 times because these little buggers dig like crazy to get deeper in the sand. The tide was pretty high so he wasn’t sure he’d be able to find one for us but he finally did. They don’t really look like shrimp but are probably distant cousins to the ones we like to eat. They are very delicate so it’s hard to keep them on the hook when you cast out into the surf. They wiggle for a long time so that, and their smell, attract the fish. Here are some pictures of a ghost shrimp.
Those flat things on their bellies act like paddles and help them to dig down into the sand really fast. This is a really small one. They can be as big as six inches or so, he said. Those they break into pieces to bait their hooks with. The guy we were talking with is from Ohio. He’s been coming down for the last eight years and he enjoys the relaxation of fishing in the surf and listening to the waves. I can’t blame him at all. We’re really enjoying it !
I also saw this thing on the shore. It looks just like a red onion so not sure if there is something that grows in the ocean that looks like it or if someone threw one on the beach, thinking someone like me would come along and wonder about it. If they did, it worked. Hope you learned something new today and were amazed by something simple or complex. Ain’t life grand ?