Crabbing is one of the most popular recreational activities in Washington state, especially during the summer time. While many Pacific Northwest natives might have grown up crabbing, this is something I’d never before done in my life until this past weekend at Birch Bay State Park, just south of the Washington-Canada border. Luckily, I was in good hands with some expert recreational crabbers steering me in the right direction. I quickly learned that it is completely worth it to rouse oneself out of a tent at 5am on a Saturday to take advantage of low tide and attempt to catch crabs by hand. Not only do you potentially end up with a tasty meal, but on a good day the sunrise is absolutely breathtaking. Not to mention, the beach is littered with dozens more people who had the exact same idea, so you’re not alone.
By far the easiest way to almost guarantee you’ll be eating crab for dinner is to take a boat out and set your own crab pots out over night. With our three crab pots, we were lucky to rake in 4 legal crabs the first day, and sadly only one the last day (high suspicion that others pulled our pots and stole our crabs overnight). Despite the tastiness of crabs, I couldn’t get over their bug/alien-like features and went the whole weekend without touching or killing a crab with my bare hands, but my camera and I witnessed all this and more. Unfortunately, clamming for horse clams and geoducks on the beach was closed for the first time in decades, due to the presence of red tide (fingers crossed the crabs weren’t contaminated!). Check out some crabbing photos below, or view the whole gallery in the slideshow!