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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Crazy for Crab fishing

The Quayside in Looe is the perfect place to go crab fishing and visitors here line the harbour with their buckets and bait. Our shop is positioned right in the middle of the East Looe Quay and we sell a bucket, bait and line deal for £3 to hundreds of tourists. I can see them from the shop window and I often walk along the Quay after work to check out how they have fared. Today Looe is holding a crab fishing competition with prizes for the most crabs caught. Find out more about crabbing and marine conservation with the experts from the Looe Marine Conservation Group
Last week I saw a little girl giggling away as she filled her fathers hood with little crabs while he was busy concentrating on his own crab line!

What can you catch?

There are 3 main types of small crab living in the rocks of the quayside.

Common Shore Crab

These little guys are the main ones you'll find, they can vary in colour from dark bottle green to purple.

Edible Crabs

You can tell it's an edible crab by it's pie crust edge. Don't take them home to eat though, they are far too small, these are just babies! If you want crab you can buy one of their great grand parents from the local fish market and that will feed a family of 4!

Velvet Shore Crab

These can be identified by their feathered back legs which they use to swim with. They also have amazingly beautiful front claws with mutlicoloured markings. These are the rarest of the bunch.

How to do it

You can buy your Bucket, Bait and line for £3 from Toyday and then pitch up at the Quay.

Step 1 

Fill your bucket with sea water. Try and find a little patch of shade to put it in, crabs are not happy in direct sun light.

 Step 2 

Get the bait in the net without letting the Sea Gulls steal it! If you are fishing with little ones, do this for them, the sea gulls tend to pick on the smaller children and leave the big adult humans alone (they know where their bread is buttered!) We supply frozen bacon in small plastic bag so you can slip it all in the net in one swift go. It is frozen to stop it rinsing away in the current quite so fast, and the crabs can't eat as much as of so it will last longer. Bacon is of course irresistible to crabs!

Step 3

Drop your net of bait down into the water and wait until you see a crab grab on and start munching. If you slowly lift the net the crab instinctively grips on.

Step 4

Stick it in the bucket and have a look at the crazy little things!


Crabs are not friendly creatures, they don't like each other much and if you over crowd your bucket a fight is likely to break out. Don't let them build up on top of each other in there, you can still keep count and put them back every time the bucket fills up. If the tide is low don't chuck them over the side, they have a heavy exoskeleton and will fall hard and fast, if there isn't enough water to slow them down they might crack their shells!

Handle with care! The best way to pick up a crab is from behind with your thumb and fore fingers on the edge of it's shell. Out of the way of the pincers and avoiding the delicate eyes or antenna.

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