Crabbing with the Family

The 2015 crabbing season is shaping up to be a humdinger. Everywhere you go these days, the bay, the beach, the bayou and in some cases the ditch are blue crabs. 12003339_1081614018539928_2643377849907009202_nSoutheast Texas waters are known for their rich blue crab habitat. Families in the area have passed down their secret crabbing honey-holes for generations. That is because "Crabbing with the Family" is one of the most enjoyable inexpensive outdoor activities you can participate in together. Best of all it requires very little effort. All you need is some string, a few chicken necks and your kids.

The blue crab is a very popular edible crab along the Gulf Coast because they are so tasty, when cooked properly. A blue crab has two claws the same size and is colored in various shades of 12003266_1081580238543306_6561138315999357137_nblue. The back is a brackish brown and the under belly is white. The females have reddish orange claws. April through September is the best months for crabbing in Southeast Texas waters. However you can catch crabs all year long. The trick is to know where in the water to throw your chicken string. To do this one must think like a crab thinks. Crabs eat almost anything and places like public fish-cleaning stations, fishing piers, jetties and mud flats often have easy pickings for crabs. Once you locate a spot simply tie your string around a piece of chicken twisting it around 3 or 4 times and then tie it off with a knot. Toss the string out in the water near the spot you choose, allowing it to sink to the bottom. Then tie the loose end off to a stake near the shoreline.

Be sure to setcrabbing up several more lines to increase your yield. It is important to watch the line but not disturb it; the tiniest twitch on the line sends the crabs fleeing. Once the line is jerking pretty good then you know a crab is feeding on the chicken. At this point you should be able to ever so slowly inch by inch pull the line in. This is the part even the most experienced can mess up. Children sometime are much more adept at pulling in crabs because of their patient slow methodical movement. As you pull it in the visual of the crab eating the meat will begin to come into focus. Get someone nearby to have a net ready. Keep the net hidden until the last possible moment. At the point you feel sure you will not miss quickly scoop in behind the chicken and the crab and dump it into a bucket. You can then return the line into the water for the next unsuspecting victim.

Putting crabs in an ice chest filled with an ice water slurry makes them much slower and easier to handle. Below is a great video on how to clean crabs and another on cooking them. Good looks and have fun this is a great tradition to begin with your kids and even extended family members.

 

Cleaning Crabs............................Video

Cooking Crabs.............................Video