The Hood Canal Shrimping Frenzy

This has been on my bucket list of for me for the past decade ever since I heard about it.  I just did not know very much about shrimping and the area.  So when Trevor called and said he had a friend that could teach us, I jumped at the opportunity.  I grabbed Big Wayne and the boat and we headed North to the Olympic Peninsula.

Loaded and Ready to Roll.
Loaded and Ready to Roll.

Trevor’s buddy Jason told us we had to have the right cat food, some Shad fish, and some herring for the “Chode”.  The “Chode” is the shrimp bait and that is all they talk about up there for the shrimp season.  The first thing we had to do is get the boat in the water and check into our hotel.

Beatiful day on the Hood Canal.
Beatiful day on the Hood Canal.

We found this cute little hotel right at the dock, Summertide Resort and Marina.  The best place tomstaynin the Hood Canal.  The rooms awes great and the people are awesome.  The owner Bev is so nice thatn

3 bedroom, with a living room and a deck with a million dollar view.
3 bedroom, with a living room and a deck with a million dollar view.

Then it was time to get to work.  So Jason and Trevor showed us how to rig the shrimp traps, and get the buoys correct (Washington has stupid rules like you have to all use yellow buoys?  Imagine a million yellow buoys out there). You have to rig 300 feet of lead rope, then build your bait holders that will hold your magical chode. Shrimping 075This takes a lot of time, but is a necessity to get it right.

These are the bait holders Trevor built for the Chode.
These are the bait holders Trevor built for the Chode.

I cannot divulge the Chode Recipe because I was sworn to secrecy.  I can tell you that it had cat food in it as one of the many ingredients and that it smelled really really bad.  However, with that being said, we seemed to be slamming the shrimp with 80-100 per pull and others had 10-20 shrimp in it.

Just take a look at Ricky "Choder" here in the boat.  He is on the verge of puking.
Just take a look at Ricky “Choder” here in the boat. He is on the verge of puking.

Trevor does not know that Wayne took this picture, but he is so close to puking in this photo it is not even funny.

Wayne using the new pot puller from 250 feet.  Makes a huge difference.
Wayne using the new pot puller from 250 feet. Makes a huge difference.  He was the pot retrieval man.

These guys are deep, and having a power puller is essential to getting them up off the bottom of the sea.  My job was to make sure we did not float into another buoy or boat.  There are a lot of them, trust me.

Successful Chode brings in a lot of Big Shrimp
Successful Chode brings in a lot of Big Shrimp.

Each person has a legal limit of 80 shrimp.  This seems like a simple task counting and recounting shrimp to make sure you do not exceed the limit.

Here is one limit of 80 in the bucket and ready for the ice.
Here is one limit of 80 in the bucket and ready for the ice.

They are pretty good size in the Hood Canal.

Nice shrimp ready for the bucket
Nice shrimp ready for the bucket

After we limited out in about an hour (one series of pulls). We headed to our friends private property to go get some oysters.  I have never seen this before, It was like I died and went to Oyster Heaven.  The oyster beds I have seen are muddy and under sort of nasty.

This is OYSTER HEAVEN
This is OYSTER HEAVEN.

We picked a cooler full of prime oysters.

This is Trevor trying to break apart three stuck together.
This is Trevor trying to break apart three stuck together.  That is one big glow bug in the background!

We got about 30 each, which we later ate in two days.  They were amazing.

Perfect oysters, both large and small.
Perfect oysters, both large and small.

We packed up and headed home that day. It was a long day of cleaning the boat, driving home, cleaning the shrimp, etc.  However, all I could think about is how I wanted to go back. Shrimping 111 There is no better oyster in the world I found to be as good as these, and I have had them all.

I always like to get back and find a good oyster shucker
I always like to get back and find a good oyster shucker!!

Always train and recruit a good shucker, it saves your fingernails and gouges to your hands.

This is Grover's Bomb
This is Grover’s Bomb

I learned this technique from Grover for BBQ Oysters.  Butter, Garlic, and a slice of pepper jack cheese.  BBQ until the cheese is melted, and let cool so your mouth does not burn and get ready for the taste rocket ship.

Cleaned and ready for the vac pac freezer treatment
Cleaned and ready for the vac pac freezer treatment.

A wonderful search and destroy mission in the Hood Canal. I learned a lot and packed a lot of information into the brain learning the system.  Thank you Jason for the 30 years of Intel packed into a 24 hour system.

Trevor "Dale Ernhardt" showing you the big shrimp
Trevor showing you a nice Hoody Canal spotted shrimp.

I want to finish off with saying, the best tasting product I have had from the wild in a long time.  I really enjoyed the experience.  We learned the code and broke the code in the kitchen.  I hope the place I go when my heart stops beating is a place like this. The Hunting Chef.

A Great Day!
A Great Day!

11 Comments on “The Hood Canal Shrimping Frenzy

  1. My jaw was basically on the ground throughout this post. I will eat damn near anything from the ocean, and am dying to try oysters. And I love shrimp, and miss them horribly. I live with someone who is allergic to them. I had the misfortune not to be born near a coast. Seafood here is a once-in-a-while treat, as it can be pricey for anything worth having. I can’t imagine just going out and catching it. It doesn’t compute.

  2. Amber get busy living or get busy dieing is my tag line. I see you like turkey hunting. I used to go every year and harvested 100 turkeys. I still love the calling and hunt but the eating is not so great. If you get the chance to go to the Olympic Peninsula jump on the opportunity it is amazing.

  3. This is actually my first turkey season, and my tags are up tomorrow :P. I want to ocean fish pretty bad. Maybe I can tack that onto the list of trips we want to make 😛

  4. I think you should make a trip to Alaska the last frontier. I think every outdoorsman should fish Alaska in their life. Hope you bag your gobbler today. Rememeber they get wise to decoys late in the season and good calling and less calling gets it done now.

  5. Why do you always pick on the good looking redheaded guy? It seems like he always finds you the cool stuff to do.

  6. Jason, I am only 3 hours away and all I have been thinking about is going back to fill my cooler full of oysters and shrimp!!!

  7. Great story. You stayed at Summertide Resort and Marina in Tahuya,Wa. Thanks for coming and please pass the word. Our web site is summertideresort.com Bev

  8. Very nice article on our fishery up here. I cannot remember where it is on the Canal. See you next season. Jason’s other Daddy

  9. Thank you Bev for finding the site and reminding me the name of your place so I can book the hotel again. I cannot wait to visit you again!

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