From the sea to your home...

by Mitchell Confer
(Rochester, WA)

OK, so we've caught crabs before and always wanted to keep them but had to throw them because of the one question we didn't know how to answer. Once you've caught your crab, how do you get it home without it dieing on you? And based on rumors we've heard, aren't they supposed to become poisonous if they die before you cook them, so how is it done???

The rumors you've heard is the one rule-of-thumb we live by: Dead crab is BAD crab!
In light of this let me try to help you avoid this situation because NOTHING is worse than spending a day on the water crabbing only to get home and find that you can't Enjoy! the fruits of your labors. The main thing to remember is tat your crab NEED air to stay alive.
There are two ways that I know of to keep your crab alive for the trip home; One is to buy an aerator which nothing more than a air pump which will continuously supply oxygenated air to your crab and keep them breathing and alive for days if necessary. The other is to use the method that we employ which is to use a bucket or similar utensil to periodically scoop up water and pour it back into your "holding tank" from a height of 2-3 feet. This will sufficiently stir up the water and re-introduce oxygen back into the water for your crab to breath. This will need to be both while you are still on the water and on the way home every 30-45 minutes or so.
Using the "scoop and pour" method, we have had much success keeping our crab alive for periods of 2 hours and more from sea to home to boiling pot. Enjoy! Catch 'em! Clean 'em! Cook 'em! Eat 'em!

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