August 20th Dungeness Crabbing Trip.
I got off work early in the afternoon and decided to call my friend Jason We decided to spend the afternoon crabbing so he met me at my house and we packed all of the crabbing gear into my sedan. We arrived at the beach by 2:00 pm and noticed that the clouds were still out. The day was 21 degrees so staying warm was not the problem. Since the weather forecast says sunny afternoons, we were sure the sun would come out by the time we hit the waters.
It was 2:30 pm by the time we set up the 2 crabbing cages and blow up the boat. We took our time since we were not in any sort of a rush. We then lifted the boat onto the water and threw everything inside. I jumped in, turned the motor on, and off we went.
We threw the first crab cage about 70 meters deep and proceeded to go out a bit further to throw our second crab cage. After the cages were released, we turned on some music that I had brought onto the boat. We bought some sandwiches and a bun earlier that day which we had in the boat with us. That was the enjoyment of the day for me: floating around, listening to music, enjoying sandwiches with friendly company while waiting for crabs to come into the crab pots.
First Crab Pot
About an hour later, we went to the first cage and began pulling it up. To our surprise, there was quite a lot of seaweed stuck to the bottom of the cage. As per usual, we tilted the crab cage till the water drips off and then we began to peel the seaweed off just in case the seaweed enters the boat. I always strive to keep the inside of my Intex Seahawk 4 inflatable boat as clean and dry as possible for maximum comfort. Out of the 4 crabs we caught, only 1 crab made the legal size limit, barely.
Second Crab Pot
We currently have 1 crab in our bucket, which isn’t too bad but we were hoping for more in the second crab cage. I began pulling on the line. By the time the cage was above water, we see an undersized crab which was disappointing. The dungeness crab flips over and we see that it was a female. She was very aggressive and she kept on clamping down on the cage and wouldn’t want to be separated from her meal. We eventually got her out of the cage and back into the water.
Surprise Catch. The Red Rock Crab.
The day went better after the first and second cage. By 4 o’clock we managed to catch a crab pot with 4 dungeness crabs. All of the Dungeness crabs looked undersized but one crab stood out more than the rest. The crab looks red in color instead of brown. At a closer look, I realized that we had caught a red rock crab. This marks the first time I had ever caught a red rock crab and I was extremely excited. We took a few pictures of the red rock crab and released him back into the water without realizing that the legal size limit of red rock crabs are one inch less than the Dungeness crabs.
The Final Dungeness Crab Count
We caught only three legal size crabs which we brought home to boil for dinner. We did a total of six cage drops each time with a total of 15 crabs caught. Four of the fifteen Dungeness crabs caught were female and eight of them being undersized. An average of 2 to 3 crabs was caught with every crab pot. The highlight of the day was catching the red rock crab for the first time. We finished the day and left the beach by 5:30 pm. Jason had a blast and he can’t wait to go again in the near future.