Aug 17th Dungeness Crabbing Trip
Today was an excellent day for crabbing. I started the day at 8 am with my friend John. He picked me up then we headed to the local grocery store to pick up bait. I mainly use chicken because it was recommended to me and I haven’t had any problems so far. I’m aware that there are quite a few different types of bait other crabbers have used such as salmon heads but until my current bait fails to yield results, I will continue to use chicken.
We got to the beach at a quarter past nine and we started unloading all of my gear. By 9:30, we were already on the water and had released our first cage. In British Columbia Canada, one license allows the holder to use a maximum of two cages. Since John has his own license, we brought out three crab cages for a faster yield.
After all the cages were dropped, we hung out and relaxed on the inflatable boat. This is the best part of the day for me – being able to do something I like on a warm day while relaxing and drifting around on my four person inflatable boat. As recommended, we waited for thirty minutes before pulling up the first, second and third cage.
The Result: Crab Cage One
We caught a total of 6 Dungeness crabs in thirty minutes. I consider catching six crabs a very satisfying catch. But then again, my standards are quite low. And by this I mean that as long as I catch a crab each time I pull up a cage, I’m satisfied. The best part of the day is not the catch but being out in the water enjoying the day with friendly company.
The Female Dungeness Crab
We caught the first female Dungeness crab of the day. John took a quick snap shot of her under belly before I let her go back to scavenging for food on the river floor. In total, we only caught one legal size crab which we threw in our 20 liter crabbing bucket.
The Result: Crab Cage Two
We did better on crab count from our second cage. Nine crabs were eating away at the bait. We were extremely excited to do our measuring because the crabs looked humongous when we were pulling them up from the water. One female was thrown back and we kept three legal sized crab bringing our total to four crabs in our crabbing bucket.
The second cage was missing a bait holder so instead of retiring the cage, we used twist ties that we picked up from the produce aisle in the grocery store and tied down the bait. The problem with this is the crabs eat away at the bait. The bait looks like something regurgitated from an alien in the movies.
The Result: Crab Cage Three
We dropped the third cage further out so we were quite excited when we went to retrieve it. There were a total of 7 crabs caught and by a glance, only two looks like they were legal size.
We had a few problems getting the crabs out of the cage. The crabs were extremely aggressive since we disturbed their eating frenzy. The pincers were always grabbing onto the cage or each other making the process of releasing them quite difficult. One crab continued to latch onto his fellow crab up until I dropped them into the water.
The Final Dungeness Crab Count
We caught a total of 27 crabs on this day. A total of eight females and eleven undersized crabs were caught. We fortunately caught 8 legal sized ones that we brought home to cook for dinner. We did a total of nine cage drops which we left for thirty minutes each time. That is an average of three Dungeness crabs per cage. The first three cages were the best catches of the day but afterwards, we caught very few. We finished our day by 3 pm and decided to leave for home. It was an awesome day to go crabbing and I am already looking forward to next week’s crabbing trip.