Our Quest for Crabs

Trip Start Dec 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
53 st dock
What I did

Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Sunday, October 9, 2011

CrabbingCallinectes sapidus (from the Greek calli- = "beautiful", nectes = "swimmer", and Latin sapidus = "savory"), the Chesapeake or Atlantic blue crab, is a crustacean found in the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific coast of Central America and the Gulf of Mexico. On the Pacific coast of Central America it is largely ignored as a food source as picking the meat is considered too difficult. It is the Maryland State Crustacean.

Today was a big day for Gail. It was our first trip down to the waterway in Cherry Grove South Carolina, about 6 miles from our house, to try our luck at crabbing. I guess I better start at the beginning. You see, Gail and I were at the beach the other day and went over to the fishing dock. Here, with her pots in the water was an older woman with a cooler full of crabs and a smile on her face. Little did she know that Gail was about to milk her of any and all information she might have about crabbing in this area. We started to talk and this friendly woman was more than happy to give us all the information we need to crab these waters. We talked for 30 minutes or so and watched as she pulled her pot up with crabs inside each and every time. This was all Gail had to see.

Our new friend had instructed Gail to go over to the bait shop on the way home and get a crab pot like she was using. A simple wire mesh box with a built in bait holder and great design. The crabs can go in but they can't get out. You simply throw it in the water, wait, and then retrieve it with all the crabs happily eating the stinking bait that you have put in.

After a 10 minute shopping spree in the bait shop, Gail had her pot, rope, and a bag of stinking fish heads, all ready and waiting for the water.

We made it back to the dock the very next morning. It was Sunday so we both figured it would not be crowded as most good Southern Christens are in church most of the day. Gail located the perfect spot for us to fish and we began to set up camp. Now let me explain this we stuff. That means I do the work as Gail instructs me how to do it. As I was getting the pot ready a nice guy asked us if we wanted his very stinky bait he was using for fishing. He told us to mix it all together and the stink of that mess would bring them crabs right in. Well, what a beautiful mixture I made, stinking and juicy, just the way they like it.

It was finally time for the pot to hit the water. A quick toss out into the water and we were officially crabbing. You would think that being almost 52 years old my Gailsy would have some patience. Not a chance. Just like she was 5 years old she started telling me to pull that pot out of the water for a look see. She said she just could not stand it knowing that those nasty things were down there nibbling away at our bait. It took everything short of me tying her to the chair to keep her from pulling it up. After what seemed to be an hour (only 15 minutes)  I waded out and started the retrieval, all the while hearing Gail asking how many were in the pot. To my surprise our buffet of stinking scraps was working. Six beautiful big blue claw crabs were in the pot. Gail was waiting by the cooler, lid opened ready for the crabs. Gail's face was worth the whole expense of the pot. She had the biggest smile and was inviting all those around to take a look at HER crabs. Time had just went backward. Gail was once again the little 5 year old, crabbing and having the time of her life. All was good and the day had just begun. Time and time again I would toss the pot, Gail would tell me to pull it, and the crabs would be in the cooler. Oh how good life is.

After 2 hours so and a little over 4 dozen crabs in the cooler Gail instructed me to get packed up, she wanted crabs for lunch! Off we headed down the road with our wonderful nasty bounty from the sea in the back, not knowing their impending fate.

Gail immediately was calling all neighbors and asking them to join her for a snack, telling them I was cooking crabs as they spoke. The table was covered with newspaper, beer was cold and Gail was in her glory. As I brought the crabs in from the pot the feeding frenzy started. All one could here was the smashing of shells, sucking of meat, and the slurping of cold beer. My Gailsy, being the crab eating Queen, outlasted everyone else. Another fine day in South Carolina.

Now that my garage and basically whole house stinks like crabs everyone is happy but me. You see, I don’t eat crabs. I like to catch them, cook them and enjoy the company of those eating them but it is way to much work for a little bit of meat. I know, don’t say it. "that’s the fun part of eating crabs". Well after catching, cleaning, cooking and then cleaning up every-ones stinky mess, I would like a thick juicy wonderful RIB EYE STEAK! You can have your little stink-in crabs! I’ll take a beautiful cowboy sized steak any day.
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