Guidelines: Crab Fishing


During a recent trip to Oregon, my family and I took the opportunity to do a little crab fishing. We stopped at a marina and for around $100 we rented a little aluminum outboard, bait and some crab nets. Most of the crabs reside outside of the bays in the ocean water, but as the tide rises it pulls the crabs from the ocean and carries them into the bay where you can then safely fish for them from the small boats.

A crab net is composed of a small ring (with a bait secured at its center) forming the bottom and a large ring on the top. A long rope is attached to the top ring and then fastened at the opposite end to a small buoy. The entire system is thrown overboard into the water and allowed to sit idly on the bottom of the bay floor to attract crabs looking to steal a feast. As the fisherman snags the buoy from the surface of the water and tugs the rope, the upward pull forms a netted funnel between the two rings, trapping the crabs and allowing them to be hauled to the surface and into the boat.

As the ringed net is hauled over the side and set down inside boat, both rings fall freely to the floor and the crabs are set free! The scurrying of the crabs raised quite a commotion inside the boat as the children suddenly realized that they have live crabs bustling around their feet. They didn’t want the crabs pinching their feet, but they couldn’t bail over the side either! It caused me to laugh and the kids soon began to understand that the creepy crustaceans were on the retreat rather than running attack operations.

After just a couple of hauls the kids understood to move their feet upward or simply move them out of the way. They were comfortable around the commotion and learned to safely pick up the crabs rather than hide from them atop the benches of the vessel. We had an amazing time! We had a riot fishing for crab, sorting the keepers and the ones that had to be thrown back. We returned to the dock, where the marina staff kindly cooked our catch for us and we dined on fresh tasty crab!

Here’s to those times, when it seems like you are close to accomplishing your goal and then something unexpected occurs and forces you to panic. You don’t know quite how to handle the situation, but you can’t just bail out and abandon ship either. I call to you to stay in the boat!  Evaluate the reward among the chaos, sort through the risk and learn what to do. Anything worth having is worth earning, keep on pulling and watch your toes!  Life is good!

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