I spend a lot of time guiding in Idaho for salmon and steelhead. That kind of fishing is fun, but I don’t get to take my family out to catch fish as much as I’d like to. Last week, on a vacation to the Oregon Coast, I was fortunate to be able to take my wife and daughter crabbing for the first time.
I grew up crabbing on the Oregon Coast and wanted to share my passion with them and show them what a great experience it is to be able to catch and eat the crabs we caught. (It’s also much cheaper than buying them in a store). We were in the Newport area and crabbed on the public access dock and also on a fishing charter.
We first dropped crab rings off the dock and caught a lot of red rock crabs, but not as many Dungeness as we’d like. This area seemed to be well picked through already and most of the crabs weren’t legal size. And, the Newport Pier was packed, so much in fact that we struggled to find a place to crab.
Meanwhile, we did have a lot of success in the harbor. However, didn’t catch enough keepers. Knowing there were better odds of catching keeper crabs in the ocean I choose to add crabbing to a bottomfish charter that I had booked for the family. It’s only a few dollars more and success rates are more favorable.
We spent some quality family time getting our crab bait ready. My daughter and I went to the grocery store and spent $6 on chicken drumsticks. We soaked those drumsticks in Crab & Shrimp Fuel overnight and placed them in bait bags before dropping the pots in the ocean on our charter. The pots soaked for four hours while we fished.
When we pulled the pots up, those with the marinated chicken were loaded. Others dropped pots that had bottomfish scraps. However, you could tell the crabs wanted the pots with the Crab N Shrimp Fuel soaked chicken in it. Those had far more and larger crabs.
On this particular trip it wasn’t so much about getting large numbers of crabs in those pots. It was more about creating the memories for my daughter and sharing my love for the ocean and the things I used to do when I was her age. Growing up in Idaho she hasn’t had many experiences on the ocean.
It was very rewarding for her and I to watch her create her own bait, see how successful what she made was and see the smile on her face when a pot full of crabs came to the side of the boat. Soak your drumsticks or chicken pieces in Crab N Shrimp Fuel like we did and your family will have lifelong memories, too.
Editor’s Note: Reel Time Fishing guide John Albrich is set to start guiding for fall Chinook and Coho in Idaho September 1. For more info on his trips please visit http://reeltimefishing.com.