I’ve driven in a drag race, slide down a chute into a salt mine and run a marathon through the vineyards of Bordeaux, but I’ve never been on a shrimp boat or watched fishermen trawl– except for scenes of Bubba shrimpin’ in the movie Forest Gump. That changed recently while I was a guest at the King & Prince Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia. I boarded The Lady Jane in nearby Brunswick for a two hour outing that not only let me see the operation up-close, but taste it, too. And, there was even an on-board marine biologist to explain all the sea-life that came up in the net.
I watched as Captain Larry Credle lowered the nets and commanded the boat at a slow pace, approximate 3 miles-per-hour. The real fun started when the crew pulled in the catch and emptied it on deck. Along with jumbo sized opaque shrimp, the haul included string rays, Horseshoe Crabs, Puffer Fish, Amberjack, Crocker, Blue crab, Skate, baby octopus, some anchovies and jellies. Not to worry, all creatures except the shrimp were quickly released back into the water.
Our first catch also brought up a baby Loggerhead turtle. According to marine biologist Paul Christina from the University of Georgia, they only catch about eight sea turtles each year, so we were very lucky to see one. Captain Credle quickly snapped a photo, took some measurements and filled out a form for a state project following the turtle population. Little Loggerhead was then returned to the marshy water where I hope he continues to grow.
True to Captain Credle’s word, we got to taste some shrimp and it really does’t get any fresher. A plate of beautiful boiled Georgia shrimp was served with a side of crackers and delicious cocktail sauce. I learned that most Georgia shrimp are consumed within the state because of the popularity of the local delicacy.
An excursion aboard the 60-foot United States Coast Guard certified 49 passenger steel-hull boat couldn’t make a better family outing. Adults and kids will be fascinated with this unique experience. The boat leaves from Spanky’s Marshside where you can park your car. The decks are safe and wide, the cabin is air conditioned and bathroom facilities are available. Don’t forget to bring your camera.
Now like Bubba said in the movie,” Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.” Well said.
For reservations and information:
$25.00 child, under 6yrs