Untamed Lowcountry

Want some fresh, locally-caught Lowcountry shrimp? Lucky for you, shrimp season 2019 is here

Tips for cooking delicious Lowcountry fried shrimp

We caught up with the Bluffton Oyster Company at the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival Streetfest on Saturday to find out their tips for cooking a simple, yet delicious, fried shrimp.
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We caught up with the Bluffton Oyster Company at the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival Streetfest on Saturday to find out their tips for cooking a simple, yet delicious, fried shrimp.

Attention all seafood lovers: Shrimp season is back in the Lowcountry.

Can’t you just hear Bubba from “Forrest Gump” listing all the yummy ways to serve up the coastal favorite?

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it...” You know how it goes.

Commercial shrimp trawling opened Wednesday morning in designated waters in both South Carolina and Georgia, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

After a relatively poor shrimping year in 2018 due to the harsh winter, fishermen and shrimp-eaters alike are hoping for a better season in 2019.

“That won’t be hard to pull off,” said Mel Bell, director of the Office of Fisheries Management for SCDNR. “We’re being very optimistic this year to have a good start.”

That seems achievable with white shrimp numbers appearing to have returned to at least the ten-year average, according to the release.

What are the pros and cons of commercial shrimping versus aquafarming shrimp? Craig Reaves, a Beaufort based commercial shrimper for 20 years, Scott McNair, a shrimp farmer in Yemassee for more than 30 years, and Al Stokes, the manager at Waddell

Shrimp season opening in the Lowcountry is also good news for folks that enjoy eating local shrimp.

“It’s a better quality product and you’re supporting South Carolina industry, which we always support,” Bell said.

The open season means the availability of Lowcountry shrimp will increase, which may even cause the price to decrease as well.

He said you can ensure the shrimp you’re buying and eating is local by purchasing them “as close to the source as possible.”

“It’s good if you are able to connect the shrimp you’re buying to a local shrimper or shrimp houses,” he said. “Local caught shrimp is good and usually means better quality and larger sizes.”

Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle Market in Beaufort, demonstrates how to de-head and clean locally caught shrimp.

Where can you go for local shrimp in Beaufort County?

Luckily, there are plenty of places in our area serving up and selling fresh shrimp and seafood. A few of them include:

Benny Hudson Seafood (Hilton Head)

Benny Hudson’s Seafood has been been in their current location for more than 30 years, with the Hudson family being a fixture of the Lowcountry seafood industry since Ransom Hudson came to the area in the 1800s.

Bluffton Oyster Company (Bluffton)

Bluffton Oyster Company, located in downtown Bluffton, has been serving the Lowcountry since 1899. They have their own fleet of fishing boats including two shrimp boats.

Highway 21 Seafood (Beaufort)

Highway 21 Seafood has been serving seafood for more than 13 years.

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks (Hilton Head)

Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks serves up fresh, locally sourced shrimp caught by their own private fishing fleet.

Sea Eagle Market (Beaufort)

Sea Eagle Market sells raw, freshly caught shrimp, while their restaurant serves them up any way you’d like.

These five dishes are Lowcountry delicacies that everyone should try at least once in their life.

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Lana Ferguson has covered crime, police, and other news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.

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