At least once this year, I plan to capture and prepare my own food. I already have taken a hunter's safety class, bought a fishing and hunting license, and been given as gifts various tools like fishing pools and shotguns.
This weekend I was at the coast so I decided try crabbing. Blue crab are in season. I love fresh crab meat and sitting on a dock or pier in the sun waiting for crab to bite sounds like a luxury to me. Additionally, crabbing is low tech, inexpensive and fun. No, I didn't set out a crab pot.
We tied a chicken leg to some fishing line, tossed it in, and waited. Some of us waited longer than others. I realized that I need to work on patience! After a while, we'd pull up the lines very slowly to see if a crab was hanging on. Sometimes we could feel them wrestling the chicken leg but sometimes we couldn't. When we saw a crab claw hanging on the the chicken as we pulled up the lines, we tried to scoop the crab into a net. It sounds easier than it actually is, surprisingly!
One of my companions caught a gorgeous female blue crab. She was fierce...and I don't mean fierce as it is currently being bandied about in fashion circles. I mean cut-your-finger-in-half fierce. She was angry and ready to fight. We might have lost some digits trying to get her into a pot even with tongs and gloves. Every time we opened the cooler to admire her, she'd jump into the air with claws ablazin'.
After a couple of hours we still only had the one crab. They were biting but we were too hasty in pulling them up or too clumsy with the nets. I decided that it wasn't right to eat only one, especially a mature female that would be better served making crab babies than in a crab Louie. We let her go.
I definitely want to go crabbing again. Although I am very humbled to learn that if relied on my own prowess to keep myself fed, I'd probably die of hunger.