Pulling The Crab Pot in Homer

  • Nicole and I are spending a little time with my folks in Homer, Alaska before doing a little traveling. I grew up here in Homer and love being back here. We have been helping my mother with here amazing garden and partaking of the many subsistance opportunities available here in Kachemak Bay. Through this last week we have been fishing for tanner crab. I made my own crab pot by welding rebar together then stretching heavy netting over the top. Buying a pot from the store was $175! Mine was free and it took me just a few hours to make. The original design was a little too arty, with flourishes on the corners–the crab didn’t like it. The new design us simple and to the point–the crab like it fine. The bait for the pot was also free. We stopped by the fillet area of the dock and got some red salmon carcasses for bait. These seem to work very well. To set the pot we looked at the chart and found a place with water depths between 30 and 50 fathoms (one fathom is 6 feet). Tanner crab like deep water. King crab also like deep water. Dungeness crab like shallow water. But the kings are not in the bay this time of year and both king and dungeness are not legal to fish right now. Only tanner crab are legal now. We set the pot of Gull Rock in about 35 fathoms of water and pulled 4 crab the following day. One was not large enough so we tossed him back unharmed. As an experiment, we set the pot in shallower water (because pulling 300 feet of jelly fish covered line by hand is hard!) but when we pulled it there was only one star fish inside. We set it again in deep water. When we pulled the pot the next day, we had 10 nice tanner crab but 3 were too small. All were male and so legal to keep. Female smust be turned back.

    I called my mother and told her to put the pot on to boil! She picked a nice salad from the garden and the crab went into the hot water as soon as we got home. It was an amazing feast! We call these meals “just think” meals–as in “just think, we caught or grew all of the food we are eating!”

    Tanner crab.

    The Homer small boat harbor.

    Nicole putting on her rain gear for the trip across Kachemak Bay.

    Nicole learning to run the skiff.

    Nicole running the skiff!

    My father, Gordon.

    My family.

    Nicole with 10 tanner crab. Seven were of legal size.

    Checking to make sure they are of legal size. The minimum size is 5.5 inches across the shell.

    This is a 6.5 inch hulk.

    A pile of cleaned crab, ready for the pot.

    Salad from my mother’s garden and crab from the bay. The only thing we didn’t grow or catch was the butter and salad dressing!


    August 3rd, 2011 | Traveler | No Comments |

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