“I fished crab until last year, I got injured, my eye,” says the muddy guy at the turnout above the beach. “But hey, go down to the pier and wait for the boats to come in. You’ll get a whole crab for six — maybe eight bucks from those guys.” He points at a boat that’s crossing the water. “It’s a good deal, no soft shells. You like crab, right?”
It’s high tide at the dock and there are lots of people swinging crab traps into the water. The last time we were here, we walked around on the sand below the dock, looking up at the big wooden posts. This time, there’s no beach, the tide is all the way in, all the way up.
“His name is Frederick,” the kid says to me. I’m looking into a big plastic bucket that holds a crab. “You named him and now you’re gonna EAT him?!?” I asked the kid, and his Dad, standing behind me at the rail starts to laugh.
Crabs have to be six inches across to keep, so when the guy in the rain suit pulls his trap and none of them are big enough, he sweeps them off the dock back into the water with his feet.
“They’re dredging out there to make it easier for the boats to get into the marina,” he says, “and the crabbing hasn’t been that great. Usually, they come in when the tide comes up and they go back out when it starts to go out, but they’re small and there aren’t that many of them, so maybe they’ve gone elsewhere.”
A couple of guys compare crab gauges — a measuring gizmo used to make sure your catch is regulation size. The kids — the ones with Frederick the Crab — are playing with a few smaller crabs they’ve separated out into a cardboard box. They’ll throw them back before the day is done, but as we walk away, one of the girls is holding a crab up by it’s front pincer arms while her brother tells her, “Be careful, you’re hurting it” “No I’m not,” she insists, “you’re SUPPOSED to hold them like this!”