Monday, April 28, 2014

Crabbing on the Oregon Coast

One evening, while we were having a beer on the deck and enjoying the sunset at the Pelican Pub and Brewery in Pacific City,

the couple sitting beside us suggested we go cabbing at Kelly's Marina in Rockaway Beach.

So the next day we did just that.

Kelly's Marina was a fascinating spot. Very informal and very popular with locals. Always a good sign. And so eclectic it is almost impossible to describe.
Don't you love the car?
Looking back from the crabbing wharf
We went crabbing in Maryland when we were there in the fall of 2012. There, you tie a chicken neck to a string and dangle it in the water until a crab bites. Then you carefully haul it up and snag the crab with a net. Here, Arch purchased a salt water fishing licence and for $10 we rented a crabbing basket with a huge fish head in it. And they give you a bucket for your crab and a measuring device to make sure the crab is legal. Males under 5 inches and any female must be returned to the ocean.

Crab Baskets for Rent - already loaded with fish heads
Thus armed we headed out to the dock to try our luck:

The basket had a rope attached, the idea is that you toss the basket into the water, hanging on to the rope, then wait 20 minutes or so:

and pull it in quickly (the crab will get out the top of the basket if you are not fast enough) and count your catch.
a couple of small ones in here
This one was female and was returned to the ocean.
After an hour and a half of trying we had nothing to show for our efforts and quit trying. Patience is not Arch's strong point. Also, it was not the best time of year to be crabbing.

But Kelly's is ready for that. They sell crab, clams and oysters to take home. Or they will boil the crab and clams right there and you can eat them at one of their many informal dining areas.
Under a shelter if the weather is not the best
Or outside, at a selection of tables, some made of west coast redwood:
Around the fire pit or at a picnic table overlooking the water
Or at this large table made with one very wide board
The chairs were amazing:
The front edge of the seat is shaped to be comfortable to sit forward and enjoy your feed of crab and the remainder is perfectly sloped to sit back in comfort and enjoy the sun.

And, if you want to spend the night and try your luck the next day, there is a small RV parking area with electric and water hook-ups overlooking the docks:

All in all a great spot run by lovely people.

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