Shrimp Trawling

A pouch-like net is hauled behind the boat, again at a desired depth. Shrimp were commonly fished by trawling in San Francisco Bay by early Monterey boats. A boat returning after a day on the Bay would have the net gear piled on the starboard (working) side of the boat, and baskets full of shrimp on the port side.

See Bud Wetton’s recollections here of shrimp trawling on San Francisco Bay.

The small Monterey boats with a “beam trawl” could be worked by one man. The single warp could be rigged to the mast, and the net was small enough to be hauled by hand.


Simple beam trawl

Shrimper’s beam trawl as used in San Francisco Bay, from Scofield, Trawling Gear in California, 1948 (see link on main Fishing Gear page).


Article on SF Bay Shrimp Trawling

Shrimp trawling off Marin County, 1933

Shrimp trawling off Marin County, 1933

The Bud Wetton article speaks of the hard work of trawling for shrimp, but not much about the detail of the gear or the method. I just received an article from 1933, through the California State Library which is referenced in the Scofield (1948) article above. Never before seen on the Web, this article includes rare (but fuzzy) photos of a Monterey Clipper working its shrimp trawl near McNears Point at the mouth of San Pablo Bay. The article includes a detailed description of the net and how it was worked from the boat.

The article was published in the quarterly journal “California Fish and Game”, vol.19, n.4, Oct. 1933.

D. H. Fry article on Shrimp Trawling


Herrera Model

Bob Herrera’s small model of a shrimper,coupled with the articles above, shows that he knew his subject!


Herrera model of a Bay shrimper