BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - One of the biggest days of the year for Mississippi coast seafood is officially underway. Wednesday morning marked the opening of the Mississippi shrimp season, and that meant lots of boats out on the water.
These boats included Marine Patrol with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The DMR makes the rounds during the season to make sure people are being safe and staying legal. And it sure does make for a good day at the office.
Officials with the DMR reported 254 boats in the Mississippi Sound through an aerial survey.
"Today it's actually a pretty day for opening day. We usually have a lot of bad weather," said DMR official Bryce Gex.
The weather was paying off, especially for the people looking to pay for some seafood right out of the gulf.
"Come and get them fresh," said Anthony Dedeaux while picking up a cooler of shrimp right off the side of the boat in the harbor.
Those providing the fresh catches were at it early and in it for the long haul. Some of them made it a family affair.
"It's in my blood I guess. I've had this boat for 35 years. Been doing it really for all my life," said Ricky Ross after hauling in one of his first catches of the day.
Ross is a fourth generation fisherman, and he had two more generations on the boat with him. His son, Derick looked to be following in his dad's sea-worthy footsteps.
"He's never done anything else but shrimping," said Ricky.
Derick had his son Ryan along for the ride as well.
"I love it. I love shrimping, I love fishing, everything about the water. I think it's shaping up. Ought to be a pretty good season," said Derick.
With all of the lessons passed along from generation to generation, the Rosses seemed to have the industry figured out.
"If you don't have it right, you're just playing in the water," said Ricky.
The shrimp season began at six Wednesday morning and will stay open through December 31.
"We talked to the fishermen, and early reports show moderate-to-low numbers of 40-50 count brown shrimp," said Rick Burris, director of MDMR's Shrimp and Crab Bureau. "The majority of the vessels were located north of Horn and Ship islands."