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Something’s in the water

When it comes to wild-caught shrimp, there’s no place like home.

Late summer/early fall is the perfect time to enjoy fresh local seafood. Publisher Lori Goodridge-Cribb is shown with a plate of stone crab, harvested by commercial fisherman Melanie Padgett for Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.

Bubba Blue was right. Shrimp truly is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it, pan-fry it, deep-fry it, stir-fry it — the possibilities are endless. Growing up in Ohio with a mother who disliked seafood, I’m not sure how my love affair with shrimp began, but it’s a full-blown romance now. Pineapple shrimp, coconut shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp sandwiches, shrimp and grits — any recipe that calls for shrimp piques my interest. 

For shrimp lovers like me, now is the best time to enjoy these sweet and salty crustaceans. While local shrimpers give us access to fresh shrimp eight months of the year, the absolute tastiest white shrimp are harvested August through October, after they’ve spent the summer fattening up on algae. 

With local restaurants and seafood markets now stocked with these prime shrimp, we feel it’s the perfect time for this “Shrimp Issue,” which showcases our local shrimping industry and how it benefits us all. 

Inside, you’ll meet local shrimpers who continue their family legacy, despite challenges from imported and farm-raised shrimp. You’ll meet local scientists and researchers who have studied the complicated life of shrimp and learn how you can help protect them and our fragile estuaries. You’ll gain a better understanding of the nutritional benefits of shrimp, the dangers if eaten in excess and the skinny on shellfish allergies. 

You’ll find the best markets to purchase local shrimp, learn how to catch your own, how to peel them, how to devein them, how to store them, how to thaw them, and most importantly, how to cook them. Some of the area’s top chefs and restaurants share easy-to-make shrimp recipes perfect for any occasion. 

We hope this issue leads to a greater appreciation of local shrimp and all the hard-working men and women connected to them. Now let’s get cooking!

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“Jumbo shrimp, seasoned with Old Bay

Sitting in a steamer, boiling away

Not too long and not too short

Five pounds of shrimp I’d gladly snort

Shrimp for breakfast, shrimp for lunch

Shrimp for dinner and shrimp for brunch 

Not too big and none too small

I like to eat or not at all.” 

– Jon Coe, Poet

Creek to table

While I love ordering shrimp at restaurants and picking up fresh shrimp from local markets, there’s nothing quite like catching, cleaning and cooking your own. I lived near Skull Creek when I first moved to Hilton Head and often caught shrimp with a cast net for dinner. My three-year-old daughter, Ashley, would help me pick off the heads, peel and devein them, then we would steam them for the best meals ever. Ashley is all grown up now with a kid of her own, but I remember those shrimping days like they were yesterday. A SC Saltwater license includes shrimping. Purchase one at