Posted by Schaefer's Canal House on 12/31/2014
To catch a crab, all
you need to do is drop the line into the water and raise it every few minutes
or when you feel a tug on it. Then scoop up any crabs with the net. A baited
basket can also be dropped off a boat or pier. Crabbing can't be done easily from
the shore because the crab will fall off the line when the line is pulled
sideways, according to Bay native George Klein.
will have a "rusty" or dirty looking bottom, according to Judy
Colbert, Crofton resident and author of the cookbook "Chesapeake Bay Crabs." Crabs with clean, shiny undersides have
recently molted and haven't grown into their new shell, she advises. They may
look big on the outside, but the amount of meat will be disappointing.
According to the
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, recreational crabbers do not need a
license to crab with hand lines and dip nets. Property owners may set two crab
pots per privately owned pier on their property. The limit is two-dozen hard
crabs or 12 soft crabs per person per day.
A license is required
for crabbing with trotlines, crab traps (baskets) or eel pots. Crab season runs
April 1 to Dec. 15 and size restrictions apply. It is illegal to harvest female
crabs according to the DNR's website. See www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/regulations/regindex.asp?page=bluecrab
Once a crab is caught,
quickly transfer it to a bucket with a lid. Once you are done crabbing, you can
cover the crabs with a damp cloth to keep them from climbing out when you open
String or crab
Long-handled dip net.
Padded work gloves
because you'll need to give your catch a quick inspection.
Ruler for measuring
Bucket with lid.
A damp hand towel to
cover the crabs to keep them in the bucket.
especially for youngsters.
Bait. Klein swears by
using chicken necks, but Boone also recommends bull lip and cow tongue. Others use
either chicken necks or salted eel. "A crab will eat just about
anything," Klein says.
Crabbing in Chesapeake Bay is great fun and an experience to be remembered.
Remember to drop by Schaeferís if you donít have any luck that particular day.
We have a wonderful variety of seafood dishes including blue crab delicacies.
If you are boating, you may need to gas up or stock up on gear at our marina.
Also, if you just to chill with a cold beverage, you can relax in our bar or
out on the deck for great views of the Chesapeake. Good luck with your crabbing
expeditions and hope to see you drop by soon!