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Mississippi shrimping season opens Thursday; fishermen hoping for best

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:26 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Shrimp season doesn’t open in Mississippi waters until Thursday, but Brian Chester has had good luck in the open waters south of the Intercoastal waterway, where success can be elusive.

“It’s been OK,” he said. “It’s not been bad.”

It’s kept him in business, but when state waters open, he’s hoping to have even more shrimp for more dockside customers lined up at his boat, Lady Sariah.

“It just means more areas of shrimp,” he said. “We might be able to catch more shrimp and people actually know and they can come out and purchase the fresh seafood.”

For Chester, it’s about time.

“Yeah, it’s actually not been that great in the past couple of years. A lot of weather last year, lot of storms. It kind of messed us up.”

Outside Mississippi, Chester is hearing poor reports.

“With regards to Louisiana and Alabama, it’s not really looking that great,” he said. “But we’re hopeful that we might catch some this year.”

The timing is good for Patricia Acklin and family, who are on their first vacation together from Missouri.

“Well, we like shrimp anyway, but this is fresh shrimp,” she said. “We’ve had it from the local restaurants and it was really good. So, we’re 700 miles from here. It’s our first time ever getting a chance and probably the only time we’ll get a chance to get fresh shrimp.”

Chase Crosby of Saucier is here every season.

“I’m hoping for a great season,” he said. “Maybe they’ll have some larger shrimp and they’ll be more available all the time. It’s nice to have fresh shrimp available, especially whenever you go visit and talk about the availability of the real shrimp.”

The season in Mississippi waters north of the intercoastal waterway will be open until 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1.

So far, 375 commercial shrimp licenses have been issued. That is down compared to last year’s 473 and 493 in the 2019-2020 season.

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