Prawns and Shrimps
Prawns and/or shrimps are common names used for large group of swimming crustaceans with elongated bodies and with swimming as primarily type of locomotion. They are used interchangeably for the same species, depending on the country. That is why in marine biology, Latin names are used - just to be sure :o)
Prawns and shrimps size vary from under 2cm (less than 1 inch) up to, or even more than 25cm (10 inches). Colors vary depending on the habitat from pale grayish to red color, with or without spots or stripes.
They can be found around the world near the bottom (rocky bottom, mud, sand, grass covered bottom types etc.), or swimming in the open water. They can be found from shallows to very deep areas - depending on the species.
In recreational fishing, they are caught mostly by small traps and various hand nets. Larger specimens can be even hooked, but that is very rare.
They can be used for various meals, but they are also great bait for various fish species - from small fish hiding between rocks in shallow water to large predators like Common Dentex, (European) Sea Bass, Gilthead Seabream and any other predatory species that commonly feeds on crustaceans and fish.
When hooked alive, they can live for a long time and with their moves they can provoke larger fish to strike. That is why it is sometimes good to spend some time trying to catch prawns alive, since even few live prawns can make big difference.
Also, prawns and shrimps can be found frozen (whole or just a meat) - they can be used both for various meals and as bait, but frozen ones are not as good as fresh/live prawns and shrimps.
Note: when caught alive, keep prawns/shrimps in buckets or larger cans with fresh sea water and change it frequently - when kept in shade, they can live for a long time. If you are trolling (from boat or shore) with live prawns, from time to time, throw few of them in water and observe if there are predators waiting for them - next time when you cast you bait (live prawn), strike is almost 100% certain :o)
Fried prawns can be great appetizers, main course or just a snack :)