by Heather Vecchioni | Contributing Writer
The blue crab: a Maryland delicacy that is easy to eat but potentially difficult to catch.
The good news is, if you have a hunkering for the delicious treat you can visit your local crab house to satisfy your craving.
However, if you want to take matters into your own hands, you can attempt to catch the crustaceans on your own.
Just like in real estate, the most important aspect of crabbing is location, location, location. Finding the perfect place in which to crab can make all the difference between a successful day and one that ends in disappointment.
Fortunately, Southern Maryland has several places where you can get your crab on.
The Solomons Boat and Fishing Pier in Solomon is open 24 hours a day and is free to use.
The Hatton Creek Ramp in Newburg offers a single-lane ramp that extends into the Wicomico River. There is no fee to use the ramp and it is open from sunup to sundown.
Southern Anne Arundel County
Deale Wharf in Deale offers crabbers a chance to drop their traps in Rockhold Creek.
License and Equipment
A Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Fishing License is required for crabbers age 16 and older, per Maryland law.
The next important task on the list is knowing which equipment to use. A variety of different crab traps are available and what you select all depends on your preference. For instance, box, pyramid, ring and commercial crab traps are often used to catch the tasty treat. You may have to try a few different types in order to find what you like best.
Now you’ll want to decide on your bait. Crabs typically eat meat and many crabbers choose from either fish, chicken or hot dogs. Just about any type of fish can be used as long as it is between 6 inches and 1 foot. Bunker, snapper blues and sea robins are often used. Chicken legs and hot dogs are also often effective. All bait should be cut into small pieces and you’ll need to attach the bait to a line that is fitted to a weight so that the bait doesn’t float to the top of the trap.
Typically, the Maryland crabbing season is from April to November. However, this varies depending on the temperatures. Crabs are usually easier to catch during high tide, as well.
Fresh crabs taste the best, so steam them as soon as you can to fully enjoy the buttery, flavorful meat.