Catching Crab

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Editor’s Note: Day one of Matt Lauer’s “Where in the World?” adventure took him to a country famous for its gauchos and $10 steak. Day two of our local adventures on a tank of gas or less reveals how you can lasso your own Bay Area crab for just a few bucks worth of gear.

Scott McGrewOne of my favorite things for my boys is to go crab fishing up near the Golden Gate Bridge. It combines the chances of falling into the Bay with getting attacked by clawed animals, so my boys really enjoy it.

Actually, it’s tremendously safe, and anyone can do it. You don’t need much. You need a crab net, easily available from any reasonably sized fishing store or sporting goods for about $15. Because you will be fishing from a city pier, no fishing license is needed. If you’re taking small children, I strongly suggest a PFD (life jacket) just in case they go over the side.

The net looks a bit like this though the example is way too expensive; I think you’ll find it for less.

You will also need something to attract crabs. We find chicken legs work, but frankly crabs will eat anything. It just has to be something (like chicken legs) that won’t fall apart under water. You can use a bait box – a small metal cage tied to the bottom of the net – or you can just tuck the chicken leg into the small pocket you will find at the bottom of the net.

Take your new net to the pier right next to Fort Point at Crissy Field. There’s usually plenty of parking, even on a Saturday.

Tie one end of your net’s rope to one of the davits along the pier. Toss the net over the side. Wait a bit and pull it up. Crabs are amazingly dumb creatures – we’ve never failed to catch one, or many, over the course of a half hour.

Set the net on the pier and let the crab crawl for a bit. There are very specific rules as to what you can keep and what you cannot, but we never keep any of them. Grab the crab from behind, your thumb on the top of the shell, your other fingers on the bottom, and gently fling him back into the water. And then try to catch him again.

Kids love it; tourists will stop by and gape.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter

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