Good catch this Father's Day - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Good catch this Father's Day

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We are five days into the shrimping season, and so far, shrimpers say the catch looks promising, after seeing one of the worst shrimp harvests in recent times last year.

Even Father's Day won't keep the nets from dragging.

To celebrate the luck of having a good season and a great father, one son spent this Father's Day out to sea with his dad.

For nearly 40 years, Bradford McKenzie has dragged his nets in search of decent sized shrimp off the Tybee Island coast. 

Over the years, Mack McKenzie has worked alongside his father on the Ms. Amber shrimp boat, trolling for a bountiful harvest at sea. However, over the past few years, a combination of factors, including fuel prices up to $4 a gallon, caused many crews to dock their boats and find income elsewhere.

 "In years past, there used to be a lot more boats out here. It used to be a battle. It was like a parking lot. Now, it is like, we are the Last Mohicans. The people that are here have been shrimping for years and years, and the ones with big boats are coming in from different states. You see a lot of people go and a lot of people come. I am glad we are out here sticking with it," said Mack McKenzie. 

This year, shrimpers who are dropping their nets are enjoying good prices for their catch. The price for average-sized shrimp is more than double what it was last year.

"We get a lot better price for our shrimp this year. A lot of import shrimp around the world got a disease and died, and we are suffering with the disease of Black Gill, which is depleting all of our shrimp population. It is really depleting our crop. So the less shrimp we have to catch, the more money we will get for them. We are happy for that, “said McKenzie. 

That is why this Father's Day, the father-son team is spending the day together, realing in a good catch.

"I don't always get the chance to come out here and shrimp on Tybee, and this weekend is Father's Day. I figured I would spend the day with my father and show some support. The old McKenzie team," McKenzie said. 

Shrimp season began May 1st. State officials delayed the start of shrimping in the waters close to the shore, because of the cold weather that crippled the spring shrimp crop.

Agency officials say the later start for the shrimp season should mean a better fall harvest.

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