Crabbing can provide lifetime of memories


Crabbing in the Garden State keeps getting better. From the Raritan Bay to Barnegat Bay, big blue claw crabs are showing up in numbers and size. For generations, New Jersey anglers have enjoyed crabbing for a summertime backyard feast and for memories that last a lifetime.

Recreational crabbing is a great experience for all ages. Some of my greatest memories have been crabbing with my friends and family. The best part is when you gather around the dinner table, enjoy a feast, and talk about the big one that got away.

It has always been a great experience and one all kids will love and remember. If you don’t own a boat, don’t worry. New Jersey offers plenty of public piers to hang a line, or you can find a marina that will rent you a crab boat with lines and a net.

From Hazlet: Uncle Luna aboard the Luna Sea wanted a backyard feast for the whole family to enjoy. Uncle Luna gave the fluke a break this week and crabbed. For generations, this New Jersey angler has had a passion for crabs and is very good at finding, cleaning and eating these little crustaceans. Upriver to the Oceanic Bridge, Uncle Luna filled a whole bushel in less than three hours.

All along the Navesink, Sea Side Park, Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor and Long Beach Island, crabbing reports have been excellent. I even got some big reports along Perth Amboy and the back estuaries of the Raritan Bay where the crabs have been big and aggressive. So if you are tired of working on fluke, switch it up and give crabbing a shot.

Sea Side Park: Capt. Birch aboard Fish Gut Charters reported no problems with the green head flies this weekend. Capt. Birch had a great time with light tackle fluke up to 21 inches and also mixed it up and found solid action with blackfish, sea bass and porgies to end a great weekend.

Perth Amboy: Capt. Mike aboard the Sea Hawk keeps working the bay for fluke and seems to know where they are morning and afternoons. High Hook has been in the 5- pound range with plenty of action and a nice pick of keepers. The Sea Hawk sails daily out of Perth Amboy, so check them out.

Sea bass, blackfish, porgies, fluke and ling, whatever swims, the Fish Monger from Brielle finds. Capt. Jerry is determined to keep the rods bending and the customers happy. The Fish Monger and crew are always mixing it up. Tide, weather, the Fish Monger looks for the signs, and then improvises to find a catch. The Fish Monger has had a solid sea bass and fluke season throughout July and looks like they will continue into August.

Did you know?

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, of all New Jersey’smarine fish and shellfish, more effort is expended in catching the blue crab than any other single species.

Surveys indicate that three-quarters of the state’s saltwater crabbers go crabbing and that crabbing accounts for roughly 30 percent of all marine fishing activity.

Recreational crabbing is particularly important in the upper portion of Barnegat Bay, Little Egg Harbor and the Maurice River estuary, comprising 65 to 86 percent of the total recreational harvest in these areas.

One way to identify the female is by the red tipped pincher claws; males are electric blue. The female mates only once in her lifetime and extrudes roughly two million fertilized eggs.