Pass Christian shrimpers hopeful about 2010 season - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pass Christian shrimpers hopeful about 2010 season

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) – The earlier than usual opening of shrimp season had fisherman scrambling Wednesday to get their boats ready for the big day. The Pass Christian Harbor was bustling with activity Wednesday morning as shrimpers prepared to drop their nets.

"We're just hooking up the net now getting ready we're fixing to fuel it up getting everything ready so in the morning we can pull out and give them a try," said fisherman Hank Schmidt.

"We've had to come down here and convert it from where we were oystering, get the decks painted and get our nets on," fisherman Brad Stapleton said.

Stapleton has been fishing the Gulf waters all his life. He said the early season opening might be an advantage to local fishermen.

"It may help us on the out of state boats, being that it's last minute notice, they ain't got time to get over here."

Rudy Toler is a fourth generation shrimper. He's just happy to get back to work.

"It gives us a chance to make a little money here," Toler said. "We're sitting around hurting with no money being made. They've got a bunch of boats that's been hired by them, but this boat ain't been hired. When it closes, what are we going to do? Sit here and wait for BP to call? That don't pay the bills."

The hope is the upcoming catch will help pay some of those bills.

"We expect a decent crop this year," Stapleton said. "There have been a lot of shrimp reported and we've got a decent price on shrimp, so we're hoping no oil, no tar balls, and just a good crop."

The shrimpers are hopeful that the rush to open the 2010 shrimp season is due to sizeable shrimp, and not impending oil that could shut down the waters.

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