Summer—time to don some shorts, hit the coast, dangle your line and catch a few crabs. No—we’re not suggesting you partake in a Club 18-30 package holiday, but rather that you enjoy the classic pastime of crabbing.
Seaside shops are packed with handlines, you just need some bait and off you go. You can use hooks, but only to keep the bait steady, and many people simply tie the bait onto the line. The crabs themselves (predominantly shore crabs) are loathe to let go of something once they’ve got their pincers round it. So you can lift them all the way up onto a quayside or harbour wall without them dropping off. The common practice is to collect your crabs in a bucket of fresh seawater so as to admire them together before letting them go.
As for bait… just about anything goes, but tougher baits such as bacon rind are an advantage. There are competitions in some seaside towns—in fact, Fishpool took part in one as a child. ‘Bait was provided’ the organisers said, and then gave us a half dozen cooked prawn shells. Which floated. The swines!
I’m not bitter…..