Fantasmical Crabdastical

Went out crabbing for the long weekend, 2/2/2015 with some friends.  Kept it simple, just hit up the pier to soak some hoops & traps and chill.

brown rock crab crabbing at pillar point pier in half moon bay, california
brown rock crab from HMB pier
Seal from pillar point harbor pier
Seal at HMB Pier

Was waaay crowded, being the long weekend ‘n all.  We got there around 9:30am and there was already like 16 people on the small little pier.  Amazing how packed the pillar point pier gets during any long weekend!

Luckily there was still plenty of room for us to drop 2 hoops and 2 traps!

Unsurprisingly we saw a seal swimming around looting the traps and hoops that it could.  Surprisingly it turned out there were at least 4 different seals swimming around trolling the fishermen!


Key to successfully crabbing with these furbags around is to at least keep your bait in a wire/metal cage.  They seem smart enough to not mess with them.  If you just have plastic, they’ll tear it apart:

Despite the seals, we managed to land a few keeper rock crab off the HMB pier:

brown rock crab off the half moon bay pier caught while crabbing the pillar point harbor
rock crab: RAWR
brown rock crabs caught crabbing the HMB pier
crabs after 2 hours of crabbinbg

Saw plenty of people pulling in short dungies & rock crabs (2-3″).  Didn’t see anyone else catch any keepers though.  Saw only one person pull in a dungeness crab (dungie) on a crab snare.  Was tossing out towards the boats.  Didn’t really see anyone else pull anything in on snares besides seaweed.

Speaking of the boats… there appeared to be one boat that sunk at some point:

sunken boat in half moon bay pillar point harbor marina
Sunken boat in half moon bay marina

For bait I was using chunks of mackerel (sitting in freezer for like 3 months) and squid.  I was using the promar collapsible traps, and caught 1 crab in each one.

One trap was rigged with a plastic bait bag, the other had a bait jar.  Both running the same kind of bait though.  I did have 1 salmon cannonball attached to each trap (2.5lbs), but it really wasn’t needed.  HMB pier is always really calm anyway.

I did 26-35 minute soaks.  If you’re using hoops you should be checking every 3-10 minutes.  Try 5, then try a shorter/longer soak depending on how many crabs you pull up.

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s the compiled footage from the trip!

More pics can be found here:

Oh also, I got into making macarons

home made macaron
Grand Marnier Macaron

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