Sorry for the hiatus, but I’ve been busy traveling all around the country introducing people to the lost sport (most people would probably call it an art) of Turtle Scrumpin.

While the concept may seem simple… the process takes years to perfect. The first thing you must have is a large turtle infested body of water and preferably a boat. Teams usually consist of four members… one driver… one deck man man… and two divers. Each position is equally important for success…. polarized sunglasses are frowned upon.

All four members scan the water for surfacing turtles. Once one is spotted the deck man decides to proceed or not… and at what speed. This decision is based on location of the turtle…. whether it is shallow or deep… and what kind of structure we are dealing with in the area. The speed at which you approach you target is one of the biggest rookie mistakes. Many young bucks zoom towards a turtle creating a wake and stirring up dirt. This is immature and also looked down upon. You will not have long term success acting in this manner.

I encourage anyone interested in scrumpin to educate themselves as much as they can on the role that weather, time of day, and mating patterns plays in our sport. However, taking classes to further educate yourself is looked down upon.

Once the driver nears the target the turtle will either remain swimming near the surface or quickly dive to great depths. If the turtle stays just below the surface it is basically a guaranteed catch for an experienced scrumper. However, if it dives… be ready for a fight. You cannot think twice when a turtle dives. The scrumper must instantly dive with the turtle. Most of the time if you act on reflex like this you will be able to retrieve the turtle.

Divers are required to have passed some sort of swimming instruction… at some point in their life. Skimpy outfits are necessary… so that the diver glides through the water as fast as the turtle. if you where contacts… face it… you will never be a diver. A diver must be able to open their eyes under water if the turtle is out of reach. The use of goggles is looked down upon.

So why take up scrumpin?? The rush! I haven’t found a better feeling than when I come up from a dive with my hands wrapped around a good size turtle.

We are currently discussing with ESPN the idea of trying to bring back this lost past time by featuring not only a weekly show, but an annual tournament. Of course this is a work in process, but I will be keeping everyone up to date on what we find out.

Advertisements