Crabbing on Christmas Eve Day, 2011

Catch: Several Dungeness Crabs (Cancer magister)

Gear: 3 crabpots

Bait: Tilapia and frozen stew chickens

Place: Pacific Ocean, less than a mile south of the Crescent City Harbor

A Beautiful Morning for Crabbing

Just about everything in Crescent City is not crowded and it is easy to lose yourself in the amazing natural beauty that surrounds. To the south and east are beautiful Redwoods. To the north and west is the Pacific Ocean, with its magnificent bays. Just south of the city and immediately south of the harbor. To the north of the city and immediately north of Point St. George is Pelican Bay (where the infamous prison nearby got its name).

On this Christmas Eve day of crabbing, we had just about the entire harbor to ourselves and once we were out in the glassy smooth waters of the Pacific, we only saw a couple other boats. It was an amazing day to be out on the Pacific.

Stolen Pots

After about 40 minutes of searching for the pots we put out the day before, it was soon evident that they had been stolen. We had all heard of this happening, but it had never happened to us. Needles to say, we were disappointed, especially given their $100 a piece price.

On the bright side, we had three more pots ready to fill with stinky Tilapia and we quickly threw them over the side. We retreated to the harbor for a toilet, lunch, and an opportunity to bitch about our stolen traps. Of course, we kept a close watch on the general area where we dropped the pots on our last trip out.

After about 2 hours, we went back out to pull the pots up and were pleasantly surprised to find them full - enough for all four of us to reach our limits for the day. It was a nice consolation for the disappointment earlier. It was also a moment to sop for a few seconds and be thankful for the abundance of crab in the Crescent City area.

We separated and returned home to cook the crabs we had just caught. I also took a few photos of the cooking, several of which are below.

A beautiful day out in the small bay just south of the Crescent City harbor. A thin line of fog hugs the rugged, Redwood covered coastal range. Getting a new crab pot ready after accepting the fact that our other three had been stolen. A beautiful Dungeness Crab caught just south of the Crescent City harbor. A fine pile of Dungeness Crab ready for Christmas Eve dinner - Pacific Ocean to the table in less than 3 hours! A small buoy that looked similar to ours is examined. Unfortunately, it was not ours. A nice wave approaches us from the Pacific as we search for our stolen crab pots. A bucket full of Dungeness Crab caught just outside the Crescent City harbor.

Checking the floats to identify the ones we set out the day before
The depth here was about 30 - 40 feet. We did not know it yet, but our pots had been stolen - we searched for over an hour.

Looking south from near Mussel Rock
This Crescent shaped, shallow bay is what gave Crescent City its name.

It was a beautiful day to be out on the water
We only saw 2 other boats - otherwise, it was just us and the waves that rolled in under us.

Getting ready to throw three more pots over the side
Despite losing the three we put out the day before, we put three more out. The pots we lost cost about $100 each.

Christmas Eve dinner
After leaving our three pots out for about 2 hours, we had a large bucket full of crabs.

One of the good sized crabs that went after the stinky old Tilapia we had put in the traps.

Several crabs cooling-off on this mild December morning in Crescent City.
It took less than four hours to catch, prepare, and eat these spectacular Dungeness Crabs.

A freshly cooked Crab on a mild morning in Crescent City, CA.

Almost on the plate
It was a much appreciated sight, especially after the loss of our three (likely full) crab pots earlier in the day.


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