On crabbing
June 29, 2012 by
Categories: Fun, Personal

My family and I recently went on vacation to North Carolina. One of the last things we did was crabbing. All of the kids were excited, and truth be told, I was as well. Late afternoon, we stopped at a local bait and tackle store and purchased the necessary equipment and chicken necks for bait. We talked to the store owner for a bit about where to go that would increase our chances of catching a few crabs. During the conversation, he showed us some of his battle wounds from crabbing– scars on his fingers, an awkwardly bent wrist– and shared a couple of horror stories. Needless to say, the enthusiasm of my kids began to wane at that point. I’m pretty certain he was talking about industrial crabbing ala The Deadliest Catch, but being a bunch of noobs, we really weren’t certain.

As we drove to the boardwalk that had two places meant for crabbing, my two youngest kids, my daughter especially began to express some hesitation at catching a crab. I reassured her that the crab would be nowhere near her because we would catch it in the net after she pulled it up to the surface with her line and chicken neck. She still didn’t like the idea, but she really doesn’t back down from a challenge.

Click to enlarge. If you dare!

We walked down the wooden boardwalk and walked out to a kayak launch. Although it was almost evening, it was still very hot, and I think the cool water looked a bit tempting except for the thought waiting crabs eager to mistake our toes for dinner. Crabs are not the most attractive of creatures. They always appear to be pissed off at something. And those pincers? Yikes!

You remember my youngest daughter who expressed the most apprehension about crabbing? The poor thing appeared to be a natural at it. She was the first to drop in her line, feel a tug, and begin to slowly pull her line up.  She knew full well what was on the end of her string grabbing at the chicken neck as though in a feeding frenzy. I imagine she was anxious during this process, time slowing down like it does. She did appear to be tense, likely imagining the crab jumping from the water with pincers the size of cars coming straight at her for interrupting its evening feast. When her line was just about to the surface, we saw the sea creature, and I swooped down with the net and caught the crab.

In my proudest of father moments for my daughter that evening, I brought the crab up onto the dock so she could get a closer look. Unfortunately, the crab was a bit small and slipped out through the holes in the net and landed on the dock. My daughter shrieked and was half way up the boardwalk by the time I turned around. The poor crab was scurrying sideways trying to find its way back into the water and all of my kids were scurrying backwards to get off the dock. The crab finally found the end of the dock and splashed in the water, observed by my kids from the safety of the boardwalk.

You would think that would have been the end of crabbing for us. In my second proudest of father moments for the evening, all of my kids came back to the dock and resumed their attempts at getting a crab. Even my youngest daughter started up again and discovered that she had quite the knack at crabbing–she caught more than any of us that afternoon. It turned out to produce more laughs and a very memorable experience by all of us, although each kept their distance with each landed crab until it was released back into the water.

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2 Thoughts About On crabbing

  • Lauren
    July 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I love moments like this in life…those moments when we get to practice bravery, try something new and out of our comfort zone, and leave feeling accomplished and more confident. This may not be true for every circumstance, but I sure do love when it is!

  • Trent July 6, 2012 at 6:49 am Reply

    I agree-sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the moments where we can practice bravery while it’s happening, but afterwords, it does feel great!

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