St. Helena Island for Crabbing

Saturday, November 01, 2014


There is a quiet, secluded spot off Beaufort that my family loves to go for crabbing. St. Helena Island, one of the many barrier islands off the coast of South Carolina, has a place of black and white marbled sand, tall reeds, scurrying fiddler crabs, and so many oysters! It's been 7 years since my family last went crabbing, and for some fun, my dad and I decided to do a day trip and test our luck on catching blue crabs.

Too small to keep and eat, but cute nevertheless




So how does crabbing work? Just tie some hemp or any cheap but sturdy plastic string around large chicken legs from the grocery store, walk a few meters into the waters and toss out the chicken. After about 10 minutes, slowly pull the string back towards you. If you feel some resistance, then it might be the crab playing tug-of-war with you! And use a large fishing net for capture.

Do respect the local/state fishing and hunting laws. In SC for blue crabs, they must be a minimum of 5 inches wide, and females with egg mass must be returned to the waters. Is our crabbing method legal? Yes (we've asked state rangers before), chicken-on-rope for offshore crabbing is fine but using cages isn't, which are only permitted on fishing piers with a license.


Unfortunately there was high tide during my only free weekend, so we barely caught any blue crabs that were of legal size to take home. Oysters, however, were plentiful!




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