A friend from work recently retired. I hope to stay in touch because he’s always been a lot of fun to hang out with and has taught me a lot since meeting each other. In the past he’s taken me out crabbing and we got to cook it fresh the same day we caught it. There’s something intimate about eating the very food you harvest. A direct relationship with nature is formed. With so many added preservatives, hormones, fillers and other ingredients in meats purchased from our grocery stores, there’s something almost majestic about catching your own food and preparing it for consumption.

I don’t always get such a special opportunity so since this one was presented, I wanted to share my gift with you. Today’s post will let the pictures do the talking.

Shrimp “season” lasts only two days in Washington State. The earliest you can throw your shrimp pot in is 7 am and all pots have to be out by 1 pm. Each licensed person is allowed to catch a maximum of 80 shrimp.
Shrimp pots are dropped. We had a 300′ rope so ideally we are looking for a depth of around 250′ to allow for wind and tide movements.
Before I go any further, allow me to introduce you to the gang. Starting from the left you have our Captain, retiree, and friend, Mark. In the middle is Mark’s good friend Jerry, who I had the pleasure of getting to know more too. And on the right is the bearded wonder, me.
It was a busy day out in the sound and one thing I thoroughly enjoyed was observing all the interesting vessels and watercrafts out there. I’m sure many people would have found the expensive yachts more appealing but I’m drawn to the simpler structures that seem to radiate more charm.
Our first catch! The bait used was cat food, maceral and tuna. It seems like they liked it…
The mother lode. In total we were collecting 240 pieces. The only time I’ve ever seen shrimp was in the store they were all gray in color so to see such a vibrant red color with white markings I was quite surprised by their natural beauty.
Some people call them the “cockroaches of the sea”. They most certainly play a key role in keeping our waters clean. This is the first time I’ve ever held a shrimp and I’m so fascinated by it’s alien-like appearance. They have big black eyes that look like they’re barely attached and in the shadows they begin to glow. There is also a spear-like contraption on their face that seems to be their only defense against predators.
First cleaning. This is where the shrimp is prepared to take home to cook. It’s just like when an angler guts his fish, a shrimper has a process that prepares his catch for consumption.
One way to put an ear to ear grin on my wife’s face is to show her the bounty. She wasted no time cleaning, removing the shells and adding her favorite ingredients.
Garlic, lime, and cilantro were added.
Wifey placed all the prepared shrimp on skewer sticks and then handed them off to me. Great presentation, yeah?
Letting them cook on a charcoal grill. Most people have a preference and say charcoal tastes better than NG or propane. I’ve never noticed. This is what we have though and it works great. Oh how I’d love to save 20 minutes of waiting for the charcoal to burn and just push a button to light an instant flame. Some day.
Nearly finished. This was my first time cooking BBQing shrimp and I must say, it was a lot of fun. While waiting for them to cook I enjoyed an ice cold Coca-Cola, but only the ones made in Mexico. I can’t stand the American variety with the sugar cane swapped out for high fructose corn syrup. Oh yeah, the shrimp is ready now.
Viola! Dinner is served, grace is said and momma is fed on Mother’s Day Eve! What an incredible experience to take place in just about 9 hours from the first drop of the shrimp pots in the sound to serving them freshly BBQed. Bon appétit!