WINTER SHRIMPING DIP NETS
The law specifies your dipping net hoop can not be more than 30” in diameter. Dip nets can be bought in both 24” and 30” hoops. These nets are hand made and the hoop opening can vary between 24-30 inches. If possible, ensure you buy a dip net that has a 30″ hoop.The handles come in 8 or 10 ft lengths. You can have them made in 2 sections if you want to dip from relief bridges or piers.
You can cut down the handle, if necessary. Be careful when buying new dip nets from local bait stores. Some nets have different mesh sizes. When you buy your dip net, ask them if the net is 3/8″ mesh. Dip nets are rarely made with larger mesh, but we have seen consumers accidentally end up with a mesh size that culled out the small shrimp. Some prefer to keep the small ones for bait.
The newest concept to have on your dip net is a “fence” (brought to market in 2010). This mono-filament fence knocks down the back flipping shrimp who try to get out of the net sock. You will NOT find the fence on dip nets in any bait or hardware store.
During full and new moon events, the Earth tilts 3 degrees pushing water deep into the flats. When the tide changes the water moves out with a vengeance pulling the shrimp out.
The pressure of a strong current stresses out the neck of the hoop and can cause it to bend backwards. Over time this can weaken the neck leading to snapping the hoop off.
These nets are designed to be light weight. We “sweep” the shrimp as they enter our light field by laying the hoop on its side in the water.
99.99% of the market has the inexpensive nets that run $50-$85 retail. Sometimes you will have to buy what you can find and not what you want. Try to get the longest sock you can find, ask for 6 or 7 foot sock. That is the most important feature of buying a dip net.
Capt. Lee is trying to source builders for the fence option. It is a nice feature but sometimes it can work against you. If you see a fenced net, pick one up but do not get crazy looking for one, its not that important.
For women and children, you may prefer a standard net with 1″ handle vs. the power dip net handle (1.25) handle with the re-enforced neck. Sometimes a smaller hoop circumference is desired. The men can generally pull through the stronger current easier than women and children. A fence is also recommended because if you cannot pull thru the strong current causing the to shrimp escape.
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