Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting Out - The Accidental Crabbers

Half a bushel of crabs.

A few weeks ago, my good buddy John and I went fishing at his friend's house. His friend's house sits on a river which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. The fishing wasn't going so well, but in a weird turn of events, we found ourselves on a commercial crabbing boat. John's dreams came true as we got our chance to trot line crab.

Brief tutorial: A trot line is a 1,000 to 5,000 foot long rope that has buoys at either end. The line is dotted with chicken necks tied every two to three feet. The line is then laid across the river bottom or bay floor. You ride along in a boat pulling up the line as you go. Crabs latch on to the chicken necks, and you pull them off with a basket.

Here's a pretty hefty blue crab coming off the line.

You can see the chicken necks on the trot line. This was at the end of the day when the line was being pulled in.

At the very last run of the day, the crabber let John and I try our hand at scooping up the crabs.

Here I am getting instruction from our Captain.

Unfortunately, the line was a little bare at the end of the day.

We also had a few pots we set out earlier in the day.

Our crabbing boat Captain gave us a half a bushel of female crabs for what equated to a case of beer and a burger. Since it was 4th of July weekend, I assume that's what he bought anyway.

John and I steamed the crabs.

There were tons of leftovers, so Kathryn and I made crab cakes the next day.

The leftover crabs sitting on The Cuba Free Press.

Mixing up the crab, breadcrumbs, eggs, red bell pepper, old bay, and pepper.

Pan frying.

Crab cake sandwich with grilled asparagus and grilled corn.


  1. It nevers ceases to amaze me all the things that my brother happens to get into. I am not sure how y'all managed to land on a crabbing boat, but it look like you had a good time.

  2. It is good to see that you can put all that education to good use. Next the Bering Sea.