Searching for a restaurant that serves affordable crab that is still fresh and delicious? Well, look no further than our very own bay! Our friends at 7×7 have gathered all the information to send you on the do-it-yourself crabbing adventure of a lifetime! From locations to necessary gear to extra tips, they’ve got the inside scoop to get you and your loved one out on this exciting, active, and truly unique date. So roll up your sleeves, drop in the bait, and wait for dinner to come a-crawlin’!
In San Francisco’s rabid food and restaurant culture obsessed with trying the newest, latest dishes, we can forget how easy it actually is to, you know, make magic happen in the kitchen ourselves. For instance: crab. You can have crab feasts galore whenever your heart desires, if you’re willing to get a proper license and get out there. Crab season started November 5th, and experienced crab catchers all claim the first two weeks of the season are the best. Here’s our guide to DIY crabbing in the Bay Area, full of tips, tricks and spots to equip yourself for a day spent on the water.
There are two basic ways to crab: from land or on a boat. If you’re a lucky soul with a boat, your best bet is to venture just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, which means you can catch up to 10 coveted Dungeness crabs and 35 rock crabs. Within the Bay, you’re allowed 35 rock crabs per crabbing season (you can also catch slender, red and yellow crab varieties)–however, you’ll be fined $1000 a piece for every Dungeness crab they catch you with, so steer clear!
If you’re going to be hanging out on land, locals recommend getting started at Fort Baker Pier, Pier 7, Fort Point Pier, the San Francisco Municipal Pier on Van Ness, or the Pacifica Pier in, you guessed it, Pacifica. Just know that the latter one gets pretty crowded, so time your visits accordingly. We’ve also heard that the beaches just south of Fort Funston are a good way to escape the crowds and cast your bait into the sea.
Crabbing Gear + Where To Get It
The most common equipment used is a crab hoop net, which usually comes with quite a bit of rope. Buy extra rope, just in case you find yourself competing with other fishermen and want a leg up. Throw it like a frisbee, wait about 10 minutes and then calmly (but quickly) pull it back in. Bait cages come separately, and you often have to attach it to the bottom ring of the hoop net. Use knots and zip ties to reinforce them.
If you’re on a boat or crabbing from a beach, you can use a crab snare. Attach it to a fishing rod, put bait in the cage, and cast it out as far as you can. Have a bucket of sea water ready and waiting for the crabs you catch to chill out in until you get home.
Liberal Fishing Tackle, 77 6th Street, 415-391-1947, SOMA
Gus’ Discount Fishing Tackle, 3710 Balboa Street, 415-752-6197, Outer Richmond
For more crab gear locations and essential crabbing tips, read the full 7×7 article here.
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