Sometimes you get that sinking feeling when the local bait shop says they are out of live bait and won’t replenish for the remainder of the day. No reason to worry; catching live bait shrimp in Georgia can be simple, save money, and fill up your baitwell with more than you will need. Here are steps to finding and netting bait shrimp in coastal Georgia.

What Are The Georgia Shrimp Regulations


First, know the state of Georgias shrimp regulations:

  • A cast net must have a minimum bar mesh of 3/8 of an inch.
  • Shrimp can be harvested in all Georgia waters at any time of the day.
  • Cast netters who are catching live bait shrimp in Georgia are required to take at most two quarts per person in a day and no more than four quarts per person per day, or a maximum of four quarts per group at any time or eight quarts per day.
  • Attracting shrimp by baiting them is against the law.
  • Bait shrimp season is open year-round.


What equipment is needed for catching bait shrimp:

  • One 3/8″ inch cast net. The wider the diameter of the net, the more difficult it will be to throw. Keep it small in the beginning.
  • A bait bucket that can be placed in the water, the water flows through the bucket and keeps the live bait shrimp in Georgia alive 
    Or
    A bucket, preferably with a lid combined with a battery-operated bubbler that pumps oxygen into the water.


If you plan to move fishing spots frequently over dry land, the second of the two is what you will need. The bait bucket that’s meant for sitting in the water will cause the live shrimp to die.


Where to find the gear you need for catching live bait shrimp in Georgia


Shop around online by searching 3/8″ cast net and the bait bucket of your choice and compare prices.


Visit chain stores in your areas like Bass Pro Shop or West Marine.


Take a drive to local tackle shops; not only will they typically have what you need but also can provide insight into local knowledge. 


Where and how to catch shrimp from a dock (Step by Step Guide)

Step 1: Finding A Spot

Find a local boat ramp or public park with dock access to the water.

Step 2: Know The Tides

Study a tide chart for your region and try to pick an outgoing tide for better results and preferably close to the end of the outgoing tide when the water is low. 

Step 3: Get Setup

Fill the bucket with water and turn on the air pump to avoid forgetting once you start catching. 

Most often, the shrimp will be in shallow water between the dock and the shoreline.

Look in the water for any obstructions the net can be caught on. The last thing you want to happen is entangling your net on the sea bottom and lose or rip a hole in it.

Step 4: Throwing A Cast Net

The goal when throwing a net is to make it open to its fullest extent. Here are some tips for throwing a cast net:


-First of all, make sure that your hand is through the loop at the end of the line. One long throw, and you may be kissing it goodbye.


-Extend the ring at the top of the net up.


-Loop the line carefully in your hand as if you’re coiling up an extension cord. Be sure the line is not tangled up.


-Depending on what had you throw with, let’s describe this as a right-handed thrower. 


-Hold the line in your right hand, and while holding it pull about six of the weights into your right hand and hold them.


-With the net laying flat on the dock, hold a weight that is farthest from the weights in the right hand. 


-Stand up while picking up the net.


-The goal is to spin the net, which opens it to its fullest extent. Rotate your body’s torso from left to right and release when your arms are extended in front of you.


-The line will spool neatly off your hand with the net.


-Obviously, if you’re throwing with the left hand, reverse the body’s rotation, the grip on the net, and the loop placed on the arm.


-Let the net fall into the water and sink until it’s on or near the bottom (don’t let it hit bottom if an oyster bed or obstruction is beneath you).


-Pull the net up swiftly and place it on the dock. It would become apparent quickly if you caught bait on the throw.


-If bait was caught, pull up on the top ring while the bottom of the net is over the bucket. 


-Repeat until you’re limited out or have enough bait for the day.


Catching your own live shrimp can be a rewarding experience and save you money in the long run. The cost of buying shrimp week after week from a local store will add up to much more than the equipment needed in a short time frame. Also, the shrimp will be in better condition than transporting them from a bait store. Follow those simple steps and have fun catching them up.