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I'll probably get some facts wrong, but it seems there's always someone who can jump in and set things straight.

Shrimp season in Georgia just opened June 10. This is substantially later than usual, which was done to skip the white shrimp season in an effort to increase supply in the fall. Brown shrimp are still small, typically reaching good size in August. Combined with record diesel prices, and an upriver drought that at least some think affects the shrimp population, this is not a great time to be a shrimper.

Numerous shrimp boats dock at Lazaretto Creek on Tybee. Several sell their catch out of decrepit step vans with "fresh local shrimp" spray painted in the side. I haven't seen them out yet this year, but the season just began Tuesday, and I'm substantially landward of Tybee. Some seem more honest about how fresh is fresh. I find it easier to identify superfresh fish than shrimp and don't have any hints other than smell (hey, if you don't like the smell of them, you shouldn't eat them).

If you're just looking for shrimp, I wouldn't think it's worth driving into Savannah, as it will be the same shrimp. Russo's and Mathews are more about variety, maybe if you want some tuna with your shrimp. I've heard some locals say the IGA grocery on Tybee sells good seafood, but I can't vouch fot it by personal experience.

"Eat at Joe's."

- Joe

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  • 1 year later...

I want to update this to say that Lazaretto Creek is definitely the place to go for seafood. If you're staying at Tybee, definitely, but even if you're downtown it's probably worth the drive. If you turn off the main road just before Tybee, there's a complex with several businesses (all with the same owner, I'm sure): a restaurant, a dolphin tour boat, and a seafood stand.

We bought seafood there several times during our most recent trip. The shrimp are fantastic, of course-- fresh Savannah shrimp have spoiled me for all others-- but it's worth it to check out the fish as well. There wasn't a lot of selection, just what had come in off the boat, but it was all very high quality. I asked what had come in that day, and got a couple of Spanish mackerel that grilled up wonderfully. The luck of the draw as far as what what you'll get, but definitely worth checking out.

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  • 1 year later...

And another option on Tybee is Bowie's Seafood (on the left, just as you enter the commercial area of Tybee.) Very good shrimp (and more convenient than Lazaretto Creek), and a small but decent selection of local (and non-local) fish; we got some yellow grouper that was quite good. They also had a ton of blue crabs, energetically swimming around in their tank or trying to escape from a crate. My one regret from my stay on the island was not getting around to cooking up a mess of crabs, because they really looked great.

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