An essential guide to crabbing!
Find a suitable spot on the harbour wall or the quay. No need for a hook, just tie on the bacon (crabs love the rind best), tinned sardines are a favourite or any old fish head you have lying about.
Drop your line in the water and wait. We said wait. The Shore Crab, the most common in Cornwall, needs a little coaxing. About 5 minutes should do it.
Raise your line, it should feel a little heavier, and observe. Clustered to your now half eaten bait, there should be a few happy crabs munching away.
If you want to keep your crabs in a bucket for a while to look at, make sure you only put a few in at a time. They don’t like crowds and can become quite tetchy.
Make sure you place your bucket in the shade, crabs are not accustomed bright sunlight and don’t carry factor 25.
After you’ve observed their quirky antics, carefully place them back into the water. They are not edible so please don’t try them on the barbeque, let them go back home.
Did you know?
The Shore Crab grows to about 3 inches and is an opportunist scavenger. Because of its tolerance to fresh water can be found high up in river estuaries. It usually feeds on molluscs but also loves any dead matter on the shore, that’s why bacon is a real treat! After mating, Shore Crabs produce nearly 200,000 eggs which the female carries on her legs until they hatch.
School holiday Idea: You can go crabbing most days during the summer hols at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth where they’ll will give you the line, bait and bucket. Weather permitting the half-hourly crabbing sessions take place between 10.30am-3.30pm and costs just a little extra on top of the admission fee, but book your spot as they go quick!