Anybody Go Crabbing?

Crabbing season will be open soon, so hubby will be doing that A LOT here in WA state! He has the Ocean Prowler 13 that will accommodate a big crab trap in front and one in back of his kayak. He does very well and is lucky that I don’t eat crab so he has them all to himself, except he shares some with our dog and friends.

He boils them up (in water) in the yard w/one of those turkey pots people use for frying turkeys so the house does not get hot and it’s big enough for many very big crabs.


Don’t eat 'em, don’t gather 'em
I will use them for bait at times. Great bait for red fish and black drum.

Now that you mention it, maybe my husband can save money on bait and use the real tiny part of the crab leg he doesn’t eat as bait to get more crab or even use the leftover shells??? I have to pass this by him.


Can’t say I have ever done that
But it sounds cool. It would be neat to see pics of how he has the kayak rigged. How fare out does he have to go?

My husband has pics at work. If you want to send me your e-mail address, he can send some to you. They are not in an album online. His kayak is set up for fishing, which he does also.

His kayak is not rigged for crabbing though. All he has to do is have the traps set up w/bait & rope from the trap to a buoy. He may leave them overnight or go back later in the day to retrieve them. He goes out about 10 mins. from the shore to drop the traps, depending on the tide. He drops them in about 75 ft of water.

The hardest part is pulling them up, but it’s well worth the effort as each crab can cost about $5.99+ a pound and each crab is about 1-1/2 pounds, so each one costs $9. a piece to buy in the store. On sale, they may be $3.99 a pound. So my husband, if he pulls in his daily allowance of 5 crabs, and he will, he would have gotten about $30 in crab. Not bad.

He’ll bring fresh bait to rebait them and sink them again or sometimes he will bring them back home. If they sit too long, sometimes people will steal crabs or even steal your whole crab rig (trap w/buoy, rope and small bait cage). We saw someone scuba diving near them. Supposedly, the guy said he has traps sunk w/no buoy which is against the law as they have to have buoys attached w/your name, address & telephone number on them, so I think he was stealing crabs.


I spent a lot of time crabbing for blue crabs. I spent most of my adult life in various places along the Gulf coast. I never used my kayak for crabbing, we always used an old 12’ aluminum skiff either rowed or powered by an old, noisy unreliable Johnson outboard. A slew of crab nets, some chicken necks and ice cold local beer (Dixie or Jax). Bait the nets up with the chicken necks. Drop 'em at a few spots. Drink a couple of brews to slake your thirst on a warm Gulf coast night. Round up the harvest and head back to the house for a crab boil served with new potatoes and corn on the cob all cooked up in Zatarain’s Crab Boil. Um-Um Good!!

Yes but then her husband
punched me!!

Oh wait, CRABBING, sorry, my bad.

never tried the pots or traps…
but it is fun to do from a dock with a hand line & net. Those little fellas are pretty smart & will let go just when they see the net coming at them.

I have watched crabs bury themselves & then surprise schools of small fish…very fascinating to watch them move about (kids are always enthralled).

Caught Crab W/Pole
My husband caught a crab w/his fishing pole. I saw it while I was kayaking & pointed it out. I didn’t know he’d try to catch it. I made him throw it back. We were supposed to be enjoying our first time sunset kayak cruise and also, it was not crabbing season.


Love Dungeness crabs
My wife likes them even more. We have a commercial crabbing friend who supplies us once in awhile. They are so good I wouldn’t use anything I could eat for bait. The little crabs in the shore rocks are excellent bait for big piling perch. Those crabs are from the size of a quarter to a Canadian loonie.

I never have tried crabbing from my kayak, though have fished kelp beds and also salmon from it. A friend of mine in Birch Bay has a car topper row boat and I help him set traps and run them sometimes. He vacations on Whidby (?) Island and we have joined he and his wife there, cooking crabs as you say in a turkey cooker outside. We threw in crabs, cockle clams, mussels, oysters, potatoes, corn, cajun seasoning, shrimp, and some chunks of rock cod and salmon. Major good eating, really messy outside on a big picnic table.

Close, it’s Whidbey Island. That’s okay, because we used to pronounce Sequim as it’s witten. To non-WA people, it’s pronounced Squim. We learned soon after moving to WA how to pronounce Puyallup also.

Whidbey has some good camping at Ebey State Park, one of my favorites, along w/Deception Pass that gets camping sites reserved before the summer starts. Fort Casey is nice, was first come, first serve, on the water w/the ferry right there to hop a ride to Port Townsend which I would guess you know is a quaint seaside town where you can also camp at Fort Wardon where there are houses you can rent too, great for family reunions or going w/friends. All 3 parks have bunkers to explore.

What my husand doesn’t catch, his friend supply, like halibut. WA is a seafood lovers paradise between the salmon, clams, oysters, crab, etc. all available to catch or eat right off the beach such as with oysters.


Well, if it’s not squim? How do you pronounce sequim?

I like to crap out of my boat. Nothing hardcore, but usually I’ll crab off of piers, but there are not that many of them and they are always heavily crabbed, so the kayak allows me to get away from shore a little.

I just paddle out a bit and drop a crab ring. then I go back about 15 minutes later and pull. I’ve done well this way. Enough to ewat for 2 people that night. So I’ve never really had the need for the bigger square traps. Plus I like having to go check, it give you something to do instead of drop and leave and retrieve much later.

My way is more like fishing. After the first couple pulls you get an idea whats down there and if there’s not much you can move to a different place. Cheap gear, cheap kayak, you don’t need much. Just bring some hand sanitizer because after you load the bait , it’s not good.

Capri is talking about Dungeoness
and Red Rock Crab… Not these puny Blue Crabs we have on the east and gulf coasts…

Heck, the claws of a Dungeoness are larger than most blue brabs you get.

They also taste MUCH better than Blues, and due to their size, are MUCH easier to pick and eat.


Have him get a heavy fishing rod and
reel, and fill with 150 lb spectra… He can them reel it up from the depths… A guide in Ketchikan does this for both crab and prawn traps.


Crabbing Season is Open!
northoceanbeach, too funny. I guess you didn’t notice your typo, gave me a good laugh. You wrote: I like to crap out of my boat.

Tips from my husband. He uses a cheap yellow plastic line, then sticks pencil lead in it to sink it. He also puts some pencil lead on the bottom of the doors to keep them closed if the water is rough which may cause them to open, but still opens up easy enough for the crabs to get in. He leaves his trap out overnight most times.

As for the bait, he uses fresh cheap chicken. He says it’s not true that crab like old smelly chicken. He can keep 5 crabs (5 Dungeness & 5 red rock, but only keeps Dungeness) and he always seems to get his quota, even with throwing back all of the females and small males.

Right now, crab is on sale for $4.99 per pound. The crabbing season recently opened. In the last 2 years or so, they shortened the crabbing season and on which days you can crab. All you need is a shellfish license which can come w/a parking permit so we can use it when we kayak in certain places for parking.

My husband bought a turkey fryer, you know, the big pot w/the burner under it and that’s what he cooks them in outside the house. He doesn’t flavor the water w/anything like Old Bay; he just adds salt to the water and eats them as is, no butter, no nothing.

About Sequim, we moved here 12 years ago. I think we used to pronounce it S-E-E-Q-U-I-M when we first got here.

yakonthefly, my husband is pretty good at pulling the line up for the traps. He catches them in about 50-75 ft of water.