St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet


  • St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 17]

"You don't see shrimp boaters driving now cars or having good
lookin' houses," remarked Captain De Cruz.
Going to Market.

The grayness of early dawn silhouetted the welcome tower of
Anastasia lighthouse above the horizon. Still followed by the gulls, the
Fortuna rounded the point near the sunken Old Spanish Lighthouse
(where today fishermen sometimes snag their lines), and was again on the
bosom of the swift Matanzas River. The homeward bound ship followed
the intricate channel of the San Sebastian, arriving at its deck before the
city had awakened. The Fortuna was moored, the deck hands throwing
the hemp loops about the bitts on the dock. Then the hatch covers were
thrown back and Sam and Arnold busied themselves passing up the brine
dripping baskets. Once off the dock and into the wholesale market, the
shrimp are moved to consumers by fast freight in refrigerated cars, or by
trucks colorfully painted with scenes form Old St. Augustine. Soon the
bulk of the catch is speeding northward to the sea-food hungry of the
great cities along the Atlantic seaboard and westward through the Blue
Ridge and over the Alleghenies.

Shrimp fishing, as we knew it today, originated about 1913 in
Fernandina, Florida, when old Captain Billy Corkum, New England
fisherman, coasted the peninsula in a vain hunt for bluefish. At that
time, shrimp fishing was confined to seining inland waterways