Forget the bacon. Bring home a seafood dinner this summer. Lowcountry tidal creeks and saltwater marshes are still brimming with blue crabs ready to be turned into delicious patties and dips.
And it's as easy as tying a nasty old chicken part to the end of a sturdy string. Just drop it in the water and wait. If there are any blue crabs in the vicinity, they'll soon be high-tailing it to your piece of poultry. Give them a couple of minutes to latch on and then scoop them up with a net. Dinner awaits!
Prefer to have a demonstration on the best crab-catching techniques before you venture to the creek? In the summer season, Hunting Island State Park offers hands-on instruction on the art of catching blue crabs. The park rangers will provide everything you need to haul in a delectable seafood bounty. If you want to keep the crabs you catch, be sure to bring a bucket to carry them home.
Check the park's schedule of programs and events to learn of upcoming classes. For more information, click here or call (843) 838-2011. Admission to the park is $8 for adults, $4 for children 6 to 15 and free for kids 5 and younger.
Ready to go it solo? I've got a couple of tips to help ensure a fruitful outing. Let your chicken part sit in the sun for several hours, or even a couple of days. The smellier the bait, the better. For some reason, crabs prefer well-ripened poultry.
If you catch any female crabs carrying an egg sac, you'll need to throw them back. That also goes for any crab that's less than five inches across the widest part of its back.