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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2009

Crabbing in Vancouver

My better half is a big fan of the Dungeness Crabs which are native to the shores of Vancouver. Recently we stopped into our favourite everything shop – Canadian Tire – and loaded up on the crabbing essentials including a license at 3 Vets. After consulting dozens of websites we were finally armed with the best bait (raw chicken!) and were on our way to check out the best crabbing in the Vancouver region.

Spider crab at Belcarra beach

Attempt One: Belcarra Pier (Belcarra Bay Rd. and Midden Rd., Belcarra) - We enjoyed this little park immensely - unfortunately we did not catch any legal sized crabs! It was very beautiful and on the way home we saw a deer on the side of the road!
Pros:
We had the best luck out of any of our attempts at this beach - most likely because it is out of the way and further into Indian Arm where most crabbing boats are less likely to get all the crabs.
Cons: We got REALLY lost - the roads are windings and confusing in Belcarra, even the GPS got lost!

The crabbing and fishing pier at Jericho BeachAttempt Two: Jericho Beach Dock (North end of Discovery St., Vancouver) We had little luck with legal sized crabs, but a few little ones! This dock doesn't have room for lots of people, and when there are lots of families crabbing crossing lines happens quite a bit. We came when the tide was coming back in hoping we'd have luck - unfortunately not!
Pros: Its a beautiful setting and you can watch the boaters coming and going from the Sailing Centre. Nearby snacks and drinks were also a plus.
Cons: Jericho Beach Dock is the smallest and doesn't go too far into the ocean. Makes for difficult crabbing - also, the lack of space made it super difficult to cast out the crab nets properly.

Dungeness Crabs are the most
popular edible crabs along British Columbia's coastlineAttempt Three: Ambleside Fishing Pier (Argyle Ave. and 14th St., West Vancouver) The busiest out of every one of the docks we attempted to try our luck, the Ambleside Pier offers seating and the deep water that makes for good crabbing. We caught lots of little ones but nothing big enough to eat. It is worth a try at a less busier time of year!
Pros: We were beside this one lady who was pulling in GIANT crabs every two or three attempts (at the end she had three) - so, it might be worthwhile to give this one a try again!
Cons: This one was densely packed and there were lots of seals stealing bait from the traps!

Overall, Crabbing can be a fun experience. We went for a lot of long walks while we waited for dinner to climb into our nets and got to explore these different crab catching locales. I definitely suggest bringing a chair, sunglasses, drinks (and snacks) and a good book - waiting ten minutes between each check was a bit boring. Hopefully when we try later in the Fall we will hopefully have a much better chance of catching a legal sized crab - if not, I think paying a visit to the Crab Shack might help tide over the hunger pangs!






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