That Time I Caught Crabs

No, not that kind of crabs.

As you know from the title of this blog, I like to eat. One of the things I like to eat is crab. It’s expensive, but fresh local Dungeness crab is just about the best thing to eat around here in the summer.

However, I never buy it. It’s expensive, like as said, and usually if you get it at the grocery store, it isn’t all that fresh. It can be sort of a crapshoot. Plus, I’ve always wanted to catch one myself. Crab – not “crabs.” So one of the things I determined I would do with my kids this summer is to go crabbing.

On Sunday, our family spent the day at the Kayak Point fishing pier. In 6 hours, we caught about 20 crab – unfortunately, not one of them was a keeper. They were all girl crabs or undersized. But we got bitten with the crabbing bug and learned a few things.

One thing we learned was that cat food will attract the crab better than just the chicken we were using. We caught a couple of crab with just chicken, but not many. We were watching what other people were doing though, and the setup we saw people using with a lot of success was cat food in the bait box, and chicken outside the bait box where the crab can actually eat it. The cat food attracts the crab to the trap, and the chicken keeps them in until you can pull the trap up. Theoretically.

We also discovered when we got there that although we had plenty of food, we had forgotten plates and silverware, so we had nothing with which to eat the food. So since we needed those items we decided to get some cat food too.

Two hours later just as the tide was starting to run (crabs move with the tide, apparently) we had cat food and put it in the bait box, with chicken outside on a big metal hook. We finally started to see some real success. In the next 3 hours we caught a lot of crabs – which was a fun biology lesson for the kids even if we didn’t get to keep any.

We had enough success so that the boys and I wanted to go crabbing again in the afternoon on Monday. We had to go to a fishing pier closer to home and we got skunked again, but we still had a good time. The boys don’t seem to care about actually catching anything we can keep – they just like to see and touch the crab, eat ice cream and play at the beach. They told me they are down to go crabbing pretty much any time we have a few spare hours – so I would say our first foray into crabbing was a success even if there are no crab in the fridge yet.