Crabbing Category

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Crabbing Deconstructed

Crabbing Deconstructed

So you’ve seen Deadliest Catch and thought “there’s GOT to be an easier way!” Well, there is, and I’m going to break it down into easy steps with simple instructions

that will soon have you catching, cooking, and eating Dungeness crab like you’ve been doing it all your life.

First step, come down to the Harborview. There are several places within 100 yards of our place where you can catch fresh Dungeness crab.

Next, consult your tide book. What you’re looking for is called the slack tide. What that means is about 3 hours before high tide to about an hour after high tide.

You want there to be the least water movement  possible. So you also want there to be a low tide differential, the difference between high tide and low tide.

Any tide differential of about 5 feet or lower is good for crabbing.

Next, you want to get your equipment. We have EVERYTHING you need right here; crab ring rentals, bait, even licenses. Couldn’t be simpler. We also have a crab cooker so you can enjoy your haul while it’s fresh!

This is a typical crab ring. You tie the bait (usually chicken) to the wire mesh inside the bottom ring using string or cable ties.

Motel and RV park Garibaldi Oregon

Then you drop it STRAIGHT DOWN INTO THE WATER off the crabbing pier, located about 100 yards from the Harborview.

Wait 5 or 10 minutes, then pull the ring up.

*VERY IMPORTANT: See the 3 ropes that attach the pull rope to the top ring? As you can see, those lay across the bait when the ring is on the bottom of the Bay.

If you JERK the line up when you start to retrieve your ring, it will fling all the fat, juicy crab sitting on top of those ropes back into the depths.

You want to gently ease up the slack in the pull rope until you feel the weight of the pot. THEN you want to haul the ring up as fast as you can.

The downward water pressure of a fast reel-in will keep your crab IN THE POT, which, after all, is the whole purpose of this.

Once you have determined that your crab is legal (at least 5 ¾ inches across and male), you’ve got yourself a keeper.

Throw him into a bucket of water and go back for more.

Next step, boil up a big pot of water. We have a crab cooker expressly for that purpose. Once the water’s boiling, drop the

basket of crab into it. Once it’s come back to a boil, shut off the flame and let the crab sit for another 10 minutes.


Take them out of the pot and ice them down immediately. DO NOT put them in ice WATER; this tend to make the meat spongy.

Cleaning a crab is also very easy, if a little icky the first couple of times. You simply pop off the body shell.

Underneath are all of the things you DON’T want to eat. Scoop them out and rinse the crab really well under running water.

Once all the guts are out, they’ll very easily crack in half.

All that remains is the eating. Dungeness are best eaten right after cooking, right out of the shell. If you do want to save some for later,

remove the meat from the shell and bag it up. Crab can also be frozen, but remember it’s a very fine-grained meat and doesn’t take

as well to being frozen as say, a steak does.


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