Night Crabbing At Port Orford Oregon Harbor

Wednesday February 7, 2018 Port Orford Oregon

A night out crabbing

The low tide was about 10:30PM so we were at the wharf around 11PM.

Here’s what the wharf looked like as we drove on in. The bright light is a fishing boat in the water moored to the dock for the night.harbor


All’s quiet at the boat loading crane.crane


Most of the fishing boats are on trailers for the night.boats5


All’s quiet at the fish receiving area.dock11


This is the boat in the water that had the bright lights which are now off. It’s the new aluminum boat I took pictures of a day or so ago. This is it’s first crab season.boat4


Crab season starts in the morning

The guys on the boat were local guys and fairly friendly. They were waiting for tomorrow morning at 9AM when the crab fishing starts. It turns out that they can put out their pots 72 hours before the actual season starts at nine in the morning when they can actually start harvesting the crab from the traps.boat2


What’s the bait

I noticed this boats crab bait was different than the others were using and wondered what it was. When they were loading it, it sounded like rocks which meant it was frozen hard.bait3


I couldn’t figure out what it was.bait


Chatting with Leo

We met Leo from the boat and a local guy down here. He was some what of a night owl so we shot the bull with him most of the night.leo7



So I asked Leo what is it they were using for bait and he said mink. What? Yes mink he said.

Turns out they get the carcasses from a mink farm that takes their fur and no longer has much use of the dead bodies. Leo says they make good crab bait.

We got a lot of other info out of Leo until he went to bed around two AM. Once the season starts at nine in the morning the work is on and they won’t get much sleep for days.

Steve crabbing away

Here’s Steve setting up one of his crab traps that he will throw over the side into the water about fifty feet below.steve8


He caught a lot of crab, but most of them where females or too small so he had to throw most of them back.pot9


It’s cool out

It got cooler at the night progressed so Steve got his stove out which only helped a little.crabbing10


One of the catches before sorting them out. I think he was able to keep two out of these.crabpot12


He was doing better with his ring trap as far as catching legal male crabs.hoop13


Time for bed

We pulled up the stuff and left around 3:30AM and went on home and went to bed.

The next day when we finally got up around noon we cooked and cleaned the crab. We had 8 legal ones.

Here’s Steve cleaning up a couple crabs.clean15


We eat these

Fully cooked and ready to clean Dungeness crab. Nothing like fresh crab.crab14


Steve doesn’t have a big cooking pot so it took most of the afternoon to get them all cooked and we’ll have some for dinner tonight.

That was my day.

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3 Responses to Night Crabbing At Port Orford Oregon Harbor

  1. Nemo says:

    Hi Bob,

    I’ve been planning a trip to this dock and thought I’d ask the pro. Do you think early September is a bad time to try my hand and snagging some Dungeness? Thanks Bob!

    • Bob says:

      Anytime is a good time to get some crab. I was up there about a mouth ago and didn’t crab but others were so give it a try. Use chicken legs as the seals don’t eat them as much as they like fish parts. The crab also seem to like the chicken real good too.
      Good luck,

  2. Patsy Irene says:

    What an interesting process! Mink? Weird, I won’t think about that too long, it could be sad.
    They look like large crabs. Do they have to be a certain size to be ‘legal’? I know nothing about it obviously. :)

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