What: Shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane
Where: Golden Isles, Ga. (Includes Brunswick, Jekyll Island, St. Simons and Sea Island)
When: Generally Wed. – Sun., but check the schedule online
Cost: $39.95 per person, $25 6 and under
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a shrimper, then a tour on the Lady Jane is for you. It’s the Deadliest Catch, Golden Isles style.
After boarding the authentic shrimp boat, the vessel heads out into the marsh to see what adventure awaits. A few minutes out you hear “Lowering the nets” and watch as the shrimp nets go into the water. After about 10 – 20 minutes of trawling, the nets are brought up and the sea’s bounty spread on a table before you. In addition to shrimp, we caught puffer fish – all puffed out, grouper, squid, crabs, shark and even a 4 foot spotted eagle ray. The catch is laid out and guests are encouraged to pick up the sea creatures as first mate Cliff, explains a little about the fish we caught. Once all the shrimp are pulled out and guests have touched all the fish, everything is returned to the sea where the hearty swim away and the not so hearty become food for the flock of seagulls following the boat.
The crew of the Lady Jane generally drags the net two to three times each trip, depending on tides, crowds and the catch. After the first catch, boat guests feast on boiled shrimp, caught fresh the day before. While waiting for the next catch, we watched shore birds and even spotted a few dolphins along the marsh. There is bottled water on board for guests and some enterprising folks brought their own cooler with additional kid and adult beverages. Even in mid-July, the trip was pleasant with a cool sea breeze. There is ample shade on board and guests can duck inside the cabin where there is air conditioning if it gets too hot. This is also where the on-board bathrooms are located.
The best part is seeing what comes up in the nets, followed closely by feeding the seagulls and seeing if they can catch the fish in mid-air. A shrimp boat cruise is a great way to not only learn about the sea life that lives along the Georgia coast, but also get up close and personal with it.