Crabbing by Kayak on San Juan Island

January 28, 2016

As a Colorado native, I’ve never been too familiar with crab. Even after several years as a kayak guide with DSK and living in the pacific northwest, I unconsciously avoided them. Snakes? Spiders? No problem. Crab? That’s a different story. Something about a giant shelled creature that moves sideways en-pointe and has claws has always made me uncomfortable. Last summer I decided it was high time I get over this phobia, especially given how delicious they are! I figured the best way to do it was to go out and catch some myself.

Step one was purchasing a license. I picked one up at Ace Hardware in downtown Friday Harbor. Next I had to acquire the necessary equipment: buoy, line, trap, measuring device, bait holder, bait.

Once the season started, we ventured out into the water in kayaks with all the gear and the bait holder stuffed with smelly fish scraps. Since most people out crabbing are in skiffs, we got quite a few looks whenever we paddled out in single or tandem kayaks to pull the pots.

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Even though it was more work operating from a kayak than it would have been from a motor boat, the results were very rewarding!


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