Crabbing: lazy man’s (tasty) fishing

I’m a fan of (almost all) forms of fishing.  (Except fly fishing–it’s too much like work.)  My favorite fishing results in an edible catch.  Sure, it’s fun to haul in a 100+ pound tarpon, but you’ll still have to grill a burger for dinner when you get home.

The tastiest and easiest fishing of all?  Crabbing.  All you need is some bait (bony, raw chicken parts, stinky fish like mullet, leftover heads from fish cleaning), sturdy string, and a nearby body of water.  Tie bait to string, drop the bait in the water, and wait:  the blue crabs will do the rest.  All you have to do is pull up the string slowly–the crab will hold on tight to his easy meal, and you can shake him right into your waiting net or bucket.

Crabbing is also the only form of fishing where napping, reading a novel, or obsessively checking Facebook/email between bait checks is not only okay, but will usually result in a larger catch.  (Fiddling too frequently with the bait scares off the crabs.)

So where can you find blue crabs?  Virtually anywhere in coastal south Louisiana where the water shows tidal motion.  Even minute tidal activity indicates that the water is connected (however indirectly or circuitously) to the Gulf of Mexico, where larval crabs hatch.  The larvae eventually migrate up the brackish estuaries toward fresher, shallower waters, where they grow into mature adults, mate, and then migrate toward higher-salinity waters to release their young.  (Details about the crab life cycle, and just about anything you ever wanted to know about crabs can be found at the Blue Crab Archive.)

Warm spring weather is here; get yourself a roll of string and a pound of chicken necks and find some water.  Dinner awaits!

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