Outdoor Games and Gear

Wind Down Summer with a Labor Day Crab Catch

Wind Down Summer with a Labor Day Crab Catch

We are fast approaching summer’s final 3-day weekend, Labor Day 2014. Time to savor every sand-soaked moment, even after the sun goes down. And not just with cozy bon fires and star gazing.

This weekend when your sun kissed body aches and won’t seem to cool down, let the sun set, find a buddy, and hit the beach in search of the night life. This past weekend we spent a night on the beach with a buddy catching a dozen crabs that we cooked the next day. It was a ton of fun and you never know what you are going to see in the water at night.

Things you will need for night crabbing:

  1. A buddy or several friends which makes it that much more fun
  2. A flashlight
  3. A fishing net
  4. 1 bucket big enough to hold your catch

Some things to remember when catching these quick critters:

  1. Crabs move fast in water so you’ll have to predict their next move and think 2 steps ahead of them.
  2. Have your friend with the flash light be a spotter, and keep your targets in the light so they don’t get away. Crabs will snap at the beam of light or juke you out and bury themselves before you can see where they went.
  3. Once you have your suspect on lock down, distract him with the light and have your buddy sneak up from behind with a net, adding 1 to the bucket!
  4. Repeat steps 1- 4 until you are satisfied with the number of crabs you have.
  5. Once back at home there are going to be several ways to cook these guys, and it will vary depending on one’s preference.

If you don’t cook immediately, here are some tips for keeping crabs overnight:

  1. Make sure your crabs don’t die. If they die they will go to waste and can’t be cooked due to the bacteria, which can make you ill.
  2. If you want to keep them alive, put them in a bucket with water and an oxygen pump.
  3. The easiest way to keep them overnight, if you have enough freezer space, is to put the crabs in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer. They will go into a deep sleep.
  4. The next day take them out and defrost them in the sink, careful though! On rare occasions the crabs come back to life when defrosted!

Cooking instructions:

  1. Defrost crabs.
  2. Bring a pot big enough for all of them to a boil.
  3. There are several different pre-crab boil mixes, depending on one’s spice and heat preferences. I personally like to use Zatarain’s Extra Spicy crawfish, shrimp and crab boil, when cooking my crabs. You can buy it at most groceries, especially on the coast.
  4. Once the water is boiling and the spices are added, place the crabs in the pot and continue to boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes turn the stove off and let the crabs sit in the pot for 15-20 minutes while all the juices are absorbed.
  5. Remove crabs, let cool and eat up!


Master the crabs, and you’ll be ready for floundering. A little different equipment required, but similarly a great way to extend the fun in every day. For the water weary, most gulf coast destinations have lighted piers, where you can cast a line any time of night, as many times as you want, and enjoy the thrill of never knowing what you might pull up.



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