Catching a Crab
Drawing a Blue Crab In Colored Pencil and Ink
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These little amazing crustaceans are extremely close to my heart. I grew up in Maryland, and all Marylander's know about Blue Crabs. They are a favorite seafood delight to enjoy eating during the summer, and most summers during my childhood my family would have a crab feast. We would make a trip down to the seafood wharf in Washington DC where local fisherman would sell crabs by the bushel. We would haggle between the fisherman to get the best price and head home with a overflowing bushel of crabs ready for the boiling pot. Old Bay seasoning, brown paper table cloths, mallets and claw crackers were all part of an afternoon of hours sitting around picking crabs with friends and family. This is a tradition that I truly miss now living further north in New Jersey were blue crabs are hard to find. If you do find them they now cost a small fortune and are small, not like the jumbo crabs of times past.
My brother Peter as chef during a crab feast
I also spent many hours fishing for crabs with my brother Tony on the coast of Maryland. When ever we had a chance we would head out to the bay with our crab traps, nets, and chicken legs for bait and spend hours trying to get as many crabs as we could. Inevitably getting pitched by a crab as we took them out of the traps. And this crab knows how to pitch! Once they get you they don't let go! They were hard to a catch and on a good day we would get a dozen or so to enjoy as our prize. Crabs are part of my childhood, and they will always be something that I can't wait to enjoy whenever I get the chance. So if you run into someone from Maryland or Virginia ask them about blue crabs. I'm sure you will see their face light up.
Here's some blue crab facts. Their scientific name is "Callinectes sapidus" means "savory beautiful swimmer". A perfect name if you have ever seen one swim. Their life span is 1 to 3 years, and females only mate once in their lifetime. Their range is from Nova Scotia to Argentina.
Today Blue Crabs populations remain in a serious slump. The number of female crabs has dropped to a dangerously low level. Severe Winter weather along with environmental issues have become the main cause. Overfishing is being control, and lets hope that they can recover and become abundant once again for all to enjoy.