The owner of Tillamook Sporting Goods was a commercial crabber with one of the best of the best commercial crabber's, namely Homer Johnson who lived in Netarts, Oregon (who has since passed on). The owners of T.S.G. still have Homer 's dory and from time to time go crabbing on Netarts and Tillamook Bays. At first blush crabbing seems to be very simple but if these following simple steps and guidelines are followed any crabber will ultimately be considerably more successful.

(1) Never buy an ungrounded crab trap. Some people like to use the fold-down versions which are merely painted and are not grounded because they are easy to store in motor homes and R.V.'s and will admittedly get a few crabs. It should be pointed out that anything made of iron ferrous (metal) would oxidize (rust) and give off an electrical current when it comes in contact with any salt water. We know that the bays and ocean contain sodium chloride, potassium chloride and other sulfates, sulfites etc. The iron in a metal crab trap (which has not been grounded/or poly-coated) gives off an electrical current that the larger crabs stay away from. The best crab trap or pot uses stainless steel on the tops and bottoms and thusly does not give off any electrolysis. In addition the surrounding iron has been coated with a plastic polymer making it impossible to give off any current. In addition to that the access tunnels that are available for the crab to enter have been grounded and covered with polymer. There are some people that prefer to use crab pots or traps in which the tops and bottoms have been covered with stainless steel however the surrounding infrastructure is made of iron and is merely covered with rubber tubing (such as the type that is found on a tire inner tube) this last part is not acceptable as the rubber does not hermetically seal the iron and thusly does not stop the electrolysis and again gives off a current which the crabs don't like. Tillamook Sporting Goods carries Protoco crab pots and rings, which are totally poly-coated, the tops and bottoms are covered with stainless steel and the openings (tunnels) have been grounded so as to give off no electrical current. We have found these pots and rings to be the finest and most successful on the market today. They fish well!

(2) It is a tragedy that so many pots, traps and rings are lost in the bays. This could certainly be avoided if the user would invest in at least 50 to 60 ft. of rope of no less than inch in diameter. It has often been said, "well why should I buy 50 to 60 ft. of rope when I'm only crabbing in 12 to 15 ft. of water?" The answer is simple: If you get your pot or ring sanded in because of current or weather conditions and if you only have 12 to 15 ft. of rope it's almost impossible to pull the pot or ring out of the sand whereas if you have 50 to 60 ft. of rope you merely tie the excess rope to the back of your boat (the transom) go out as far as you can, cock your engine at a slight angle and simply make wide circles around the pot and we guarantee you it will screw itself out of the sand. So many people have invested a lot of money in crabbing paraphernalia and slighted themselves on rope only to lose their pots or rings. We at Tillamook Sporting Goods sell rope by the foot; we tie your buoys and outfit you correctly.

(3) Bait is the most important part of crabbing. It is commonly known that squid is one of the best baits one can use for crabbing, but unfortunately it is very expensive and the seals and seal lions just love it. So how does one bait a pot or ring successfully but still keep the seals or seal lions away? (Remember seals and seal lions are capable with their richly vascularized noses of smelling bait at great distances, they are intelligent mammals with large brains and have been rewarded by getting free meals from our local crab pots for over 140 years). The way to stop them and still attract the crab is as follows: double bait your pots or rings with stainless steel clips (they are cheap and do not give off electrolysis) with any of the following: salmon heads, chad, but along with it put in a mink carcass. The crabs dearly love the fish heads or fish carcasses as well as the mink however; the seals and seal lions are totally repelled by the smell of the mink carcass. Many years ago there were many mink ranches in the Tillamook valley. Tillamook Sporting Goods sells bait as well as mink carcasses. The heads and tails of the mink carcasses have been removed to make them more aesthetically pleasing. This double baiting procedure is one of the most effective ways to guarantee success in crabbing.

(4) Before you go crabbing please look closely at your tide tables. You may pick up a free tide table or go to tides on this website. Remember that crabs do not like high current volumes of water and will sand in and not feed if confronted with such a scenario. If you have a high tide followed by a low tide (a big run off or minus tide) always place your pots or rings up the bay away from the oceanfront. Find the deepest water (which most always can be done visually as deep water looks very blue). Crabs also are very sensitive to atmospheric changes and if you have a barometer and it's going down but yet you have enough time to put the crab pots out before the storm hits be assured that the crabs sense this and migrate from the ocean or ocean front to the deep water up the bay and begin a feeding frenzy as they instinctively know that when the storm hits they will sand in and not feed until the storm passes. If you have enough time before a storm and you go up the bay your chances of success are great.

Tillamook Sporting Goods is a family owned business and has a staff that are very knowledge about guns, ammo, black powder, archery hunting & camping gear, fishing & bait, RV & marine supplies, clamming & crabbing supplies, boots, shoes, clothing, team sports, athletic supplies, canoes & kayaks and much more. We are continually updated by the guides in this area whom we serve. We are here to give you the straight scope on which rivers are good, what to use accurately and honestly. We hope that you contact us either personally or online.

Crab and Crabbing Cooking Recipes Crab meets microwave To zap or to steam, which method is best? In the Dec. 24 "Seafood by the Season" column, we told you that lobster was great cooked in the microwave. As quick as the beep that sounds at the end of a cook cycle, hundreds of beeps went off in local food lovers' brains: If lobster is good in the microwave, what about crab? I beep. You beep. We all beep crabs. So we tried microwaving crab in The Chronicle's test kitchen. We microwaved crab just as we did the lobster, in an oven bag with a tablespoon of water, and in a bowl enclosed snugly by plastic wrap. We tasted it against crab steamed in a wok above boiling water. We also tasted it against pre-boiled crab. Unlike the lobster, no one method cinched (or should we say pinched?) the win. Steam and microwave clawed equally for the top spot. We ran two tests. In the first tasting, the microwave version won, hands down. The crabmeat, like that of the microwaved lobster, had a silky finish and tasted intensely of crab -- no watered-down flavor here. When we repeated the test, things turned upside down. Everyone remarked how Crab #1 (steamed) and Crab #2 (microwaved) were indistinguishable. It was so hard to determine differences that Food section staffers stood around the counter and kept eating crab -- back and forth, back and forth, on and on -- until everything was gone. By the time the shells were mounded and votes were counted, the steamed version came in first; the microwave took second place. One person preferred the store-bought boiled crab and gave it first place. What happened in the second test? My answer: one cooked; the other cooled. In other words, the microwaved crab continued cooking, while the steamed crab stopped cooking. While they were indistinguishable at first, by the end of the tasting period the microwaved crab had taken on a tough, over-cooked texture and had lost flavor. In the first test we had cooked both crabs for a shorter time, so the steamed crab tasted undercooked and the microwaved crab was just right. The lesson In both methods, it is critical to cook the crabs a point. We're convinced that if steamed correctly, either over boiling water or in the microwave, your crustacean will turn out perfectly. Our lobster test suggested similar lessons, and the crab test confirmed it. Here's what we can tell you about steaming on the stove. Create a steam rig in a wok or stockpot. Make sure the pot holds plenty of water -- at least 2 cups per crab. Place the crabs on a cake rack, a steam basket (such as the one used for vegetables) or flat bamboo basket. Ideally, the crab should be in something porous, but if that's not possible, put them on a small plate positioned on an upside down bowl or something to hold the plate above the water. The idea is to allow plenty of steam to swirl up, around and above the crab. Be sure the lid fits tightly and that the water is at a rolling boil. Critical factors The weight of the crab, how much water is in the pot and how tightly the lid fits will make a difference in when you stop the cooking. In the microwave, those factors are also critical. The accompanying recipe gives a pretty foolproof way of figuring the right amount of time, but in general you should underestimate time. There's nothing more disappointing than overcooked crab. It won't hurt a bit Now that we know the microwave can't hurt crab, you can always zap it for a few more seconds if the crab is undercooked. A crab cooked a point means that the flesh has just turned completely opaque and not one second beyond that. We also tested cooking more than one crab. Unlike lobster, two, even three crabs can fit in the microwave, so it is possible to stage a crab feast (for three) in the microwave. Steaming can cook up to as many crabs as your pot can take. You have to play around a bit to find out the right amount of time. We did not, to the disappointment of many here, test steaming four, five, six, seven ... or even 10 crabs, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to go over 15 minutes total cooking time, no matter how many crabs are in the pot. Steamed Crab: Conventional & Microwaved Make sure you have a pot (or wok) with a tight-fitting lid. The classic Chinese dip, with its sweet and sour elements, brings out the flavor of crab. It's as easy to stir together as melted butter, and is fat-free. INGREDIENTS: For Conventional Crab About 2 cups water 1 live Dungeness crab, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds For Microwave Crab 1 live Dungeness crab, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds 1 tablespoon water 1 heat-resistant oven bag (Reynolds is one brand) Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce (Per Serving) 2 tablespoons brown Zejiang (or Chekiang or Chinkiang) vinegar 3 to 4 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 slices of fresh ginger, peeled if desired, finely julienned INSTRUCTIONS: For the conventional crab: Pour the water into a large wok or stockpot and place a rack above the water. Bring to a rapid boil. Place the crab on the rack, cover tightly, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the crab from the wok, crack it and serve with melted butter or Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce. To steam more than 1 crab, add 3 minutes for each additional 1 1/2 pounds of crab, up to 15 minutes. If cooking more than 1 crab, make sure the crabs are all about the same weight. For the microwave crab: Put the crab and water in the bag, seal and microwave at full power for 6 1/2 minutes. Remove the crab from the bag (careful, it is extremely hot), crack and serve. Add 1 1/2 minutes for each additional 1/2 pound of crab, up to 15 minutes. Note: Cooking 2 crabs at once works best if they are of equal weight -- simply add 3 minutes of cooking time for the second crab. Add about 1 minute for each additional crab, up to 15 minutes. Vinegar dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Serve with hot steamed crab. Due to the general nature of the recipe, there is no nutrition analysis. Napa Cabbage & Crabmeat Gratin Used as a side-dish, this gratin, which pairs two ingredients that are hallmarks of winter with the beloved Swiss/French cheese, raclette, can dress up a poached, baked or broiled fish fillet. It can also be a main dish, and is even better prepared a day in advance. INGREDIENTS: 4 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt to taste 2 pounds white napa cabbage, stems and leaves separated, cut into 2-inch- long segments 14 ounces chicken stock 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 tablespoons flour 1 heaping cup fresh-picked crabmeat (8+ ounces) 2 cups grated raclette cheese 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano White pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a wok, and add salt. Add the cabbage stem sections and toss-fry until all are coated with oil and a few begin to turn translucent. Add the leaf sections and toss-fry. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Transfer to an 8-cup casserole or baking dish. Return the wok to the heat and add the butter. When the butter foams, sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes, until the flour is cooked and gives off a nutty aroma. Do not let it brown. Remove from heat. Drain the liquid off the cooked cabbage and add it to the roux, stirring constantly. Return to heat and cook until the sauce bubbles and thickens somewhat. Remove from heat. Fold in the crabmeat, then fold in 1 cup of the raclette. Pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining raclette and the Parmesan and season the top with white pepper. Before serving, bake uncovered in a 350� oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Optional: place under broiler to brown the cheese. Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish PER MAIN-DISH SERVING: 545 calories, 34 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 39 g fat (16 g saturated), 127 mg cholesterol, 782 mg sodium, 6 g fiber. Olivia Wu is a Chronicle staff writer. You can e-mail her at Her Chronicle Cooking School class, Seafood by the Season: The Spring Catch, is March 6; and her two-part Asian Basics class is April 10 and 17. For information, log on to or call (415) 777-7759. Welcome to our Crabbing tips and tricks page. The crab fishing that we have here in Oregon and Washington is nothing short of fantastic. We have both Dungeness and Japanese Red Rock crab in most of the bays and estuaries and for those with bigger boats we have some excellent crab fishing or crabbing as we call it in the offshore waters of the pacific ocean. Some of my favorite crabbing locations are Newport (Yaquina Bay), Waldport (Alsea Bay), Nehalem (Nehalem Bay), Garibaldi (Tillamook Bay), Reedsport (Winchester Bay), Coos Bay, Astoria, Netarts and Lincoln City (Siletz Bay). Rental boats and crabbing gear are available at many of them. Book your spring Chinook salmon, keeper sturgeon fishing or giant sturgeon fishing trips today Call us today to reserve your dates 503-551-6369 Meet the Author: Professional fishing Guide Dennis Hull For the most part there is no secret to catching crab with the exception of when to go and where to place your traps. The best months for crabbing in Oregon and Washington are months ending in "R" at least that is what everyone says. Actually the crabbing or crab fishing begins to get good in late July or early august and lasts until Feb. or so depending upon how much rain we get. When the winter rains come it dilutes the salinity of the bays and the crabs move further out into the saltier ocean waters. You can actually catch crab year round but in the late winter through early summer months they are molting and usually don't have much meat in them and also you get a high percentage of female crabs which you cant keep. The legal size for Dungeness crabs in Oregon is 5 3/4 inches across the back measured in front of the spike on the widest part of the shell. I wont get into this in depth because it is best to check with the bait shops or at the marinas and make sure that they explain it well because you don't want the pay the fine for keeping undersized or female crabs its quite steep. The limit for crabs in Oregon is 12 Dungeness male crabs per person and for red rock crabs is 24 per person either sex is legal on the red rocks. Washington has a 6" legal size limit and they require a license to take crab. New for 2004- Oregon now requires a shellfish license to harvest clams, crabs and shrimp. In Oregon you are allowed 3 traps per person. Types of traps are "traps or pots", "slip rings", "open rings", "snares", "folding traps". Usually the favorite is the traps or enclosed pots, these allow the crabs to get in but not get out. If there aren't a bunch of bait steeling seals and sea lions around the open rings can be more effective than the traps and can be pulled much more frequently because it doesn't take the crabs as long to get into them as it does the traps. Slip rings are also very effective and for fishing from the bank snares and lightweight folding traps are popular. For you do it yourselfers that may be considering building your own traps be careful of the materials you use certain metals when they come into contact with saltwater let off a charge and will actually repel the crabs. Mild steel or 304 stainless is your best bet and avoid using different types of metal on the same project, also leave some of the metal exposed on the bottom of the trap to ground to the sand. Bait for crab is usually some form of fish carcass, chicken, turkey or mink. The Chicken turkey and mink are seal and sea lion proof baits but the fish will out produce fish carcasses if the seals aren't in the area. Probably the best bait is Shad, with Salmon or Rockfish carcasses close second. The bait is placed in the traps using a bait pin, twine, wire, mesh bag, bait cages or other means of making sure it stays in place. The traps are allowed to set on the bottom for at least 15 mins. They have a length of rope and a marker buoy or float attached to the end of the rope. After allowing them to soak for a while the traps are pulled and the crab removed. The key in trap placement is to not place it in a area with very strong current. Always pick a day for crabbing that has a relatively small tide exchange. a difference from high to low tide of 5 foot or less is a good day to try your luck and make sure that you hit either the high or low slack tide hard. this will be when you pick up most of your crab. A good day of crabbing here in Oregon can yield over lots of great eating. They are best cooked and eaten fresh and don't freeze well. So bring all of your friends and enjoy. Below are some photos of different types of crab gear. They are from left to right: crab trap or pot, snare, slip ring, collapsible trap, open ring, folding star trap. Welcome to Shrimp and Shrimping Online Tips, Cooking and Catching. A complete Shrimp Catching and Shrimp cooking resource. Seafood Report - Pacific Shrimp - Click Here (PDF) Annual Pink Shrimp Review - Click Here (PDF) Hood Canal Shrimp By James Schufreider Go The Hoods Canal Spot Shrimp sport season generally opens during the month of May with clear blue skies and majestic Olympic Mountain views. This lured the sportsmen and ladies out like only Hood Canal can. With baited and set pots the fishermen awaited the first easy limit. By 10:00 am the first shrimp were in the cooler but the sportsman was caught by mother nature. The north wind blew in and calm Hood Canal turned into 3 foot seas before the second pull. The guaranteed limits turned into a fight for survival. The small boats retreated and the larger boats toughed it out. Limits were tough because placement of the pots and positioning of the boat was a challenge to any skipper. Still, limits (80 shrimp/person) were possible but probably not the safest thing to do. Multiple boat swamping @ boat launches, boats left high and dry by the out going tide, broken ribs from being tossed by the waves, and lost gear are what the first opening was all about. This is truly one fishing activity that the boater and crew need to be prepared for and not have any impaired senses. DEPTH: Didn't matter the first opening, 200-230 ft worked well and was supported by local knowledge. I fished 250-300 ft but you need the right length of lines to fish 300 ft. Double buoys or additional floatation is important in the Hood Canal because of the tides. Weighted pots for quick descents and to hold position is important also. It is not uncommon for the current to push the pot off the edge. BAIT: If it isn't "Puss n'Boots" cat food your not fishing. I usually use cat food, with addition ingredients with fish scraps as hanging bait. You need the odor to draw the shrimp in and the hanging bait to keep them in. TRAPS: It turns out that trap design is important, but "quick fisher" style tunnels are a must. The short fishing time and soaks mandates fast, easy entry by the shrimp but requires the pot to be pulled every hour or less. This also allows you to be sure you are in the right location/depth and to rebait. LINES: I like the hard lay nylon leaded line and will not use the "yellow poly" which 95% of what everybody else uses. I also use one length of line for each pot with no knots or weighs because it is safer to power pull. The yellow poly requires lead weights to be snapped on during setting and removed during hauling. LOCATION AND COORDINATES: Ya sure! Set where everybody else is. Don't bother going if you don't have a good depth sounder and don't let go of the buoy until you feel the pot resting on the bottom. This can be a high gear lost sport. This is a very heavily regulated sport in Hood Canal. I saw two Fish and Game boats, one Sheriff boat, and one Coast Guard inflatable, don't they have anything else to do? The Fish and Game also check every boat at some public boat launches. I wonder if they made their quotas or limits? The sport is fun and the Shrimp taste good. Watch the Weather, know what the tide is doing, and be prepared to get wet when retrieving your boat.