Who said shrimping was a good idea?

A slight change of scenery this weekend and it was quite interesting, but fantastic! We decided Friday afternoon that we were going to go shrimping for the Hood Canal opener. This is something that we do almost every year, except it’s his dad’s “thing” and we just hop on his boat and let him be the captain. This year, his dad wasn’t going to make it and didn’t know where or what condition the shrimp gear was in. That should have been the first indicator that we should not have gone…….

We decided to go and try to just get everything ready. His dad hasn’t had his motors serviced this year, so we had to take Jeff’s boat in the saltwater and find a way to mount the pot puller on his boat. Jeff, the “do it yourselfer” kind of guy, decides that we need a trip to Home Depot and he’s got a great idea! But first, we have to take care of some other things. There was 300 feet of line missing from one of the pots so we had to swing by Sportco.

The adventure began at 6:30 PM

6:30 – Sportco!!!!

Luckily, they had some oars that I ordered 4 months ago in so that was nice, but I wasn’t quite expecting them to be there nor was I budgeting $400 for oars that won’t be used until probably next fall. We got in and got out quickly and Jeff decided, a trip to Kent is most definitely in order!

7:30 – One Red Bull down and we arrive in Kent

It’s beautiful outside and I certainly have the energy. Who doesn’t love a good drive to Kent?!

8:30 – Our final destination – Home Depot

We weren’t sure if we had the right parts, but they didn’t close until 10 so we have some time to figure it out.

9:00 PM – We’re not quite there yet – mom and dad to the rescue!

When we FINALLY get home, Jeff realizes that he doesn’t have the drill at his house. So I make a quick run to my parent’s house to borrow their drill and stop and grab some dinner and coffee, much needed coffee.

9:30 PM – The work begins….

Jeff is not in the greatest mood and I’m trying to quietly and patiently watch him try to find a way to mount the pot puller on a rod holder so that we don’t have to drill new holes in the boat. Jeff accidently drilled my new shoes and tore up my brand new sneakers! After a few seconds of frustrating tears, we start thinking about the bait and realize we also need a trip to Fred Myers!

10:45 PM – Fred Myer, please don’t be closed!!

Frantically running up and down the aisles, we find everything that we need and get ready to prepare the bait!

11:15 PM – Can’t I catch a break?

The blender was the cheapest I could find and I got exactly what I paid for. I could only mix about 1 cup of bait at a time before it started smoking. I decided to put on some gloves and mix it with my hands. Jeff is out trying to mount the pot puller and I’m covered in old fish and cat food up to my elbows.

12:30 AM – Jeff has given up for the night

 He comes in and helps me finish up the bait and we debate on mixing more, or hoping that we have enough and going to sleep. We chose the latter.

1:30 AM – Time to catch some zzzzz’s

Perhaps all that Red Bull and coffee wasn’t such a good idea.

5:00  AM– It can’t be time to get up!

Since we didn’t finish the pot puller, we had to get up early to try again but unfortunately, I turned down the spare battery to the drill because I figured we just needed to make a couple holes and certainly wouldn’t need the spare battery or charger!

6:00  AM– Man, I’m glad my parents live close!

I’m glad they were excited to see that it was me that made the dogs bark and wake up the entire house as I stand over their bed trying to only wake up my dad. They really were very happy to see me (that must mean I don’t come over often enough) so that was a positive start to my day however, those tears of frustration must not have gotten any sleep, because as soon as I got to my car, they just started screaming out of my eyes. Man, sometimes I hate being a girl!

7:00 AM – Right on schedule!

Our friend arrives just on time and we hit the road! WOOHOO we’re gonna be able to toss the pots right at 9 AM! We fill up the truck and boat, get some snacks, energy drinks, beer, and sunscreen and turn up the radio!

9:05 AM – First pot is successfully on the bottom!

9:15 AM – Second one didn’t go so well

Our buddy, who has never been shrimping, is letting out the pot and he doesn’t feel like he hit the bottom. Our depth finder is still set on shallow water so we aren’t sure how deep we are or how much rope is on that pot so I go check, and sure enough, we’re at the end of the line and never hit bottom. I hand him the buoy to hold and he TOSSES IT! We watch the big yellow ball sink deep until we can’t see it anymore and we’re down one pot. Well, we have 2 more and that should be fine right?

10:45 AM– It couldn’t get any worse, could it?

We had 40 shrimp in the first pot and 50 in second. We set the first pot back down and were extremely optimistic on getting our limits with pulls like that. Our buddy is setting the second pot again and he says “Oh, I hit the bottom!” Great! Jeff goes and checks just to make sure and when he pulls up, he can’t feel the pot. So he pulls and pulls and pulls another 15 feet of line in and still no weight. He pulls all 300 feet in only to find the end of the rope with no pot.

Our faces were long, we were tired, and even beer didn’t sound good.

1:30 PM – Does anyone know how to drive these days?

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I can back the trailer up typically without a hitch. The boat launch was an absolute nightmare and I swear these guys only take their boats out once a year. After waiting for an hour, we get the boat up and head to Skok to see if we can rinse off the salt water.

That plan didn’t work AT ALL; too little water, too much boat. So we head home and decide to stop at the next river or lake sign we see.

4:30 PM – And it finally comes to an end

We finally get home, put some stuff away and cook the shrimp and its nap time! I’m out like a light. We decide to go out for beers and relax instead of trying to get fishing gear ready for Sunday. We’ll take the day off clean the garage :)

The garage turned out great; I washed and waxed the boat, and did a little shopping with my sister and mom. We had springer, shrimp cocktails, corn on the cob, and raspberry pie for dinner and hit the sack EARLY! I don’t think we’ll be shrimping again this year, especially because we now only have one good pot, but we’ll stick to what we like and go fishing next weekend.