Crabbing In Tillamook Bay
November through December is crab season in the Pacific Northwest. So what do you if you live in the Pacific Northwest? You go crabbing.
It is a simple few hours on the water. My guide, Andy, puts out the crab traps the day before. the traps are attached to a long rope so the traps can rest on the floor of the water. He marks them with a small floating buoy and the next day we go out and retrieve them.
Once the boat has gotten close to the marker we hook it out of the water and attach the rope to a pulley. This is were the fun begins, watching to see how many crabs got into the trap!
Once the crab pot (the trap) comes up to the side of the boat each crab must be measured. If they are too small they get thrown back in the water. You can't keep the females, only the males and their markings make it easy to tell the difference.
Andy, our guide pointed out that you can touch the leg of a crab to see if it is a good crab. If the shell around the leg feels soft it is not going to be such a good eating crab. The ones you want to keep are the ones where the shell is hard.
With all of these factors we had to throw back over half of the crabs that make it into the crab pot. But Andy had a dozen pots out and we did not even have to check all the pots to get our limit which is 12 crabs per person. Their where 6 people in the boat and we put 72 crabs into the box.
Rather than waiting to go home to cook the crabs, we pulled the boat up to a place that cooks the crab right of the dock, so freshness is sealed in right away. This is a very cool operation.
Once the crabs were cooked we called a few hungry friends and invited them over for a crab extavagansa.