Getting Close (but not too close) to Your Food - A day of Crabbing

Since I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, I am new to crabbing, but to my husband who spent many of his formative years in Annapolis Maryland, crabbing is a way of life, an experience that takes him back to a time that he remembers very fondly. For that reason, he really loves taking our kids (or even friends of our kids) crabbing. He wants to recapture those carefree, long summer days with sunburn,bay breezes, and mosquito bites and share it.

Crabbing is so much more fun than fishing, a lot faster-paced, and how can you not like something that gives you an excuse to enjoy sun and water, the fun of a treasure hunt, the danger of a creature who defends itself by pinching...hard. Oh, and then there are the steamed crabs, Old Bay and melted butter.

We are fortunate in that my old (meaning previous) boss has a house with a pier that is the perfect place for crabbing, and since he has a boat lift, it casts a shadow so that you are not in the blazing sun for the whole time.

We catch crabs the old-fashioned way- with a chicken neck tied to a string. You cast the chicken out (holding onto the end of the string attached to a piling and wait to see the telltale jerks that signal a bite. Then, ever so slowly (too fast and the crab will let go) you reel him in and then snatch it up in a net. If it is big enough, we put them in a crab trap until you have enough for dinner. If it is too small or a female (only males, or jimmies, can be kept), back into the water it goes.

So here is my husband's recipe for a great day crabbing:

1 fishing net
A package of chicken necks
At least two kids
A cooler with some drinks and snacks
A cool breeze off the water

Mix these together with some crabs, and you will learn what getting close to your food (and your kids) is all about!


Tom Aarons said…
And the best bit about crabbing is that the ones you catch yourself taste better! :)
Glenna said…
How fun! I've never done that either but you make it sound like a blast.
veron said…
I think I'd enjoy crabbing. Looks like fun!
Deborah Dowd said…
Tom Aarons- You are so right!

Glenna- It is really a lot of fun (and delicious too)!

Veron- You should come down sometime and give it a try!