Several weeks ago I had planned a bonfire gathering at the beach for my work team that never materialized. As a result one of my coworkers and I (I’ll keep his name private but I’ll refer to him as Juan Carlo or JC for short) planned for a fishing expedition of some sort. The details we left vague that was until two weeks ago – we were going crabbing.
Now JC had not been to the Oregon coast other than to the more popular beach that most Portlandians go to – Cannon Beach. He’s never seen anything south of that point, which is a shame since there’s many other interesting areas to explore.
Juan Carlo is only in town every other week because he resides on the east coast. Crabbing on the east coast and as well in Texas coastal areas are similar. Usually a small crab ring or a chicken leg tied to an end of a string (more like twine) and thrown into the water to lure in the blue crab specimen. Blue crab are sweet but it’s hard work getting the flesh out of the small body cavities.
Now having lived in Texas for nearly 36 years, I was very familiar with the tactics of the chicken leg lure technique as was JC. Today would be different. We are crabbing for the bigger and just as sweet tasting crab – the Dungeness.
Our plan were to leave work on Thursday afternoon around 4pm. It’s a 2.5 hour drive so we should reach the pier and our crab pots should be in the water by 7ish. High tide was around 6:38 that day so we should be fine. Not really sure we would catch anything but as the saying goes, “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work”.
We left a little later and traffic was a bit heavy. I took the back roads to try to make up for the later start time. We got into Newport about 6:45 and we stopped to get bait at the local grocery store. A little voice in my head said, “get chicken liver” so I obeyed. I also picked up the normal bait of chicken legs.
We arrived at the pier a few minutes later and within a half hour our one crab pot was in the water…7:10ish
The beauty of crabbing with crab pots is you can drop them and let them soak for several hours and don’t need to check on them every 15 to 20 minutes like you would have to if using the crab ring variety.
So what to do for a couple of hours. Luckily for us, the Rouge Brewery’s facilities were located at the same area. In fact the parking lot where we parked is shared with the brewery. So JC and I left our single crab pot soaking while we grabbed a bite and enjoyed some local brew.
As a side note, this Rogue Brewery facility is the corporate office and is where all the Rogue beer are brewed and distributed. So if you’re ever in a grocery store and happen to spy a Rogue beer bottle, it’s probably brewed from Newport, Oregon.
Back to the crabbing story…
About two hours later (actually it was almost 2.5 hours later) we left the brewery to pull up our single crab pot and head back to Portland area. We got to our crab pot around 9:40.
Now I’ve been crabbing before on this same pier where sometimes (most times) I’ve not had a single crab (keeper or not) in my pot. So before we left the brewery, Juan Carlo and I openly stated our guesses on the number of crabs we would have in our pots. I guessed 3 and JC guessed 5.
As we approached the spot where we had left or cooler and soaking crab pot, I asked JC if he wanted to do the honors of pulling in our loot. He said, “Sure!”
As he was pulling it up, he asked grunting, “is it normally this heavy?” I responded “No, not typically.” My first thought was we were snagged on something. So I immediately looked over the rail. Keep in mind it’s 9:45ish at night and the pier was not lit so the only light casting on the water were ambient light from the surrounding light of the bridge and nearby brewery.
As I focused on our rope and where it entered the water, all I saw was the rope Juan Carlo was tugging on. “We’re not snagged on the pier,” I informed JC. I stood on the bottom railing and as I grabbed the rope to help, I instructed, “keep pulling!” After a few more minutes of both of us tugging and pulling I finally saw the pot. It was filled with crabs!!
It took us another 15 minutes of struggling and maneuvering the pot over the beams that supported the pier before we were able to pull the pot up and over the bannister and inspected our catch. There were about 15 or so crabs (and that’s no fish story). I’d never had been that fortunate.
After sifting through our catch, out of the 15 or so crabs, there were three males. All were legal size with the smallest measuring more than 6″. The others were female and had to be released.
What a great way to end a work day…crabbing and cold beer…
#singleasianmale #menslife #relationship #life #fishing #newportoregon