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Trip Tip: Crabbing the Coast

The start was a little disappointing, but now the crabbing season is getting back up to speed along the Oregon Coast.

Regular crabbers say crabbing is a great leisure-time pursuit, and because it's just too simple and relaxing, they won't call it a sport.

Large dungeness and Japanese red rock crabs are found in most coastal bays and estuaries, and for those with more experience who are willing to risk offshore waters in bigger boats, an even larger catch is likely.

Of course you could just head for the nearest pier and buy a crab, but doing it yourself with some rental gear, or joining a charter expedition, is a whole lot more fun.

The Oregon Coast Visitors Association, www.oregoncoastalfishing.net/chartop.htm, offers a list of charter operations along the coast and the Web site www.romantic-oregon-coast.com/crabbing.html provides most of the basic information you'll need.

Recreational crabbers usually start by setting up on a dock or pier, gaining experience from the people they meet, or by finding a friendly bait shop owner.

Remember, Oregon now requires a shellfish license to harvest crabs, and you're only allowed three traps or crab pots per person. Visit ODFW, www.dfw.state.or.us/free_fishing, for the legalities and also some tips on catching and cleaning crabs.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.

Trip Tip: Crabbing the Coast