Lets Go Fishin’: Getting crabby, and other fine eats from the sea
by Mike Baxter
Oct 31, 2013 | 1514 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Frank Ribeiro prepares his grab gear for the commercial crab season that is soon to open. Courtesy photo
Frank Ribeiro prepares his grab gear for the commercial crab season that is soon to open. Courtesy photo
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It is time to get the gas burners and large pots out for boiling crabs! I am so excited for crab season. I have come to enjoy the change of seasons and how they affect my menu at home.

I am embarrassed to say that I was one of those people sick of crabs at the end of the season last year, but now I am jumping for joy that fresh crabs will soon be on my dinner plate. This craving for the new fish of the season is an added bonus to being a fishermen. Also living in our area adds advantages to these fresh fish and crustaceans of the sea.

Dungeness crab season starts November 2 for sport fishermen. The sport crab limit will remain the same at 10 per person and a minimum size of 5 ¾ inches.

The commercial crab season is scheduled to begin November 15. I can already taste the fresh crab on sourdough bread and tossed into pasta or placed on a salad. Commercial crab fishermen will be selling crabs from the docks in Santa Cruz and at local markets.

I guess I am the same with salmon, as I don’t even want to think about another piece of salmon at this point. The salmon season will close from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point November 10. This will take that choice of fresh salmon off the menu until next spring. At that point I will be first in line for a fresh salmon dinner.

Abalone is another taste menu option that is delicious and a lot of work. They are a real delicacy and treat to even be allowed to harvest. I have pounded my share of these giant mollusks for the season. Abalone season will close at the end of November so if you still want some abalone for dinner, make the trip soon.

Rockfish and lingcod are still welcome guests at our house nestled into fish tacos or served breaded as fish sticks. The ling cod have been coming into to shallow water and have been easy to catch.

Rock fish and lingcod are mild fish that can be prepared many ways. This comes as good news because the season for these fish will remain open through the end of December.

There are many seasons closing this fall but Dungeness crab season starts and it should be a good one.

- Mike Baxter has fished in the Monterey Bay Area since he was a boy and has been a licensed charter boat captain for more than 20 years. Contact him at captmikebaxter@yahoo.com.

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