Harvesting Crab In Bandon, Oregon

Dumpster diving has never been on my list of things to do, yet I found myself doing just that in search of my treasure: fish guts, heads and skeletons, the enticing treat for my pray. Opening up the industrial size garbage bin, flies buzz around my head like a tornado and the smell of rotten stench enters my nostrils. The lid slams shut as I recoil to control the contents of my stomach. Taking a deep breath, I reopen the lid to retrieve the loot once again.

I’m in Bandon-By-The-Sea, a coastal town in Oregon, that offers a variety of activities for land and aquatic lovers.




My parents take a weekly retreat to go crabbing every September with their friends along the coastline of this seaside village (population 3,057-ish) setting up camp at the Bullards Beach State Park Campground, which offers full-hookups, yurts, hiker/biker camps and horse camps.

This year I was invited along to experience catching my dinner.

Since I am an opportunist, I scored an assignment with Vacation Rental Travels to cover The Bandon House. “The mansion”, as we refered to it during our time together, was the perfect way to upgrade from the RV for a few nights. Check out the post – “Living Like A Rock Star”  to discover the best place to pamper yourself in Bandon.




Back to my story of dumpster diving…..

After I fetched all the fish parts I could reach, my bucket was full, so I joined the others and we set off to our chosen destination. Thankfully Bill took over the honors of luring the crabs to their death. Skewering the hook into the bait was a slipper, messy, stinky job that I didn’t want any part of, if possible.




After the last entrapment was in the water, it was time to circle back to the first to check our bounty. Our hauls brought in zero to a dozen or so crabs per device, with none or one or two keepers. That is, when the sea lions didn’t get to our bait before we hauled up our loot … clever little rascals.

The way to tell if a crab is male or female is on the underside of its skirt. The distinguished shape of the male anatomy is easily seen. Legal size male crabs have to measure 5 3/4 inches across its back; each licensed person can keep twelve Dungeness crabs per day (all females have to be tossed back). We harvested seventeen in our two days of effort. Numbers down from previous years I was told, but enough for our seafood feast.






I had a fun time and I’m glad for the experience, but for the time and license cost ($17 for 3 days) and low crab payout, I prefer to purchase my seafood from the store or restaurant.

Okay, your turn……

Have you been crabbing?

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