Friday, November 22, 2013

Crabbing, Dungeness Style

One recent Saturday, after dropping my son off for a chess tournament, I had a whole day free in San Francisco, unencumbered by responsibilities. I decided to drive to the ocean and take a walk in one of my favorite neighbors-Sea Cliff. I drove around, looking for a parking place, and found a nice big free lot above the picturesque China Beach. As I sat in my car eating my yogurt, a truck pulled up and a man began unloading fishing gear-pole, bucket, and then a metal basket. Curious, I opened my door and asked him what he was looking to catch. 'Today is the first day of Dungeness crab season', he replied. He was very welcoming and friendly when I asked him if I could watch him crabbing. As we walked down to the beach, I asked him questions about crabbing and how he had gotten his start. He had been a fisherman with his dad some years in the past and always loved spending time at the beach. So when crabbing caught his interest, it was a natural fit for him.

I spent a wonderful hour gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge covered with fog, watching the swimmers brave the chilly waters of the Pacific, and learning about and watching crabbing. A perfect day.

crab trap, filled with squid purchased at a chinese market on Clement street

fishing pole and holder 

ready to throw the crab trap in the water (it is mating season and the crabs are all close to shore)

female crab bountiful with thousands of eggs

female crab didn't meet the legal minimum measurement (6 1/4") so she got tossed back into the water

male crab (narrow abdominal flap)

 lovely San Francisco beach overlooking the Marin Headlands

a cool, crisp, San Francisco fall day to begin the crabbing season

a couple of other crabbers putting out overnight cages with their boogie boards

these two used a combination of raw chicken and squid in their traps

getting ready to put their traps out

and out it goes...

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