This year the crabbing reports were just getting good right before we left. On the day of our arrival the crabbing was wide open. The dock crabbers and boaters were both getting limits. Plus, we finally got to breathe some air that we could not see! Lucky us!
We decided to break the driving up this year so we left after work Monday and drove to Medford for an overnight. Left early the next morning and was in Bandon by 11am. We launched the boat and headed out to the Lighthouse and dropped 5 pots and 2 quick pulls. After 70 minutes our first full limits of crabs (48) were in the buckets. We went in to have them cooked and cleaned by Tony’s Crab Shack and then to the house to check in and unload.
The following 2 days produced easy limits too but the last day we decided to call it quits at Noon after 24 crabs. The crabbing slowed down and we had lots of things to do that afternoon.
We ate 28-30 crabs the first day (just with drawn butter and cocktail sauce) and about 20 crabs each day after. The second day I made ginger green onion crab and I had the wok as full as possible and we still ran out of crab for dinner. Had to supplement with fresh boiled crab cooked at Tony’s.
It’s not often the ocean is calm enough for us to venture outside the mouth of the estuary to bottom fish. Well the planets must have lined up because we had 4 days in a row of ideal ocean conditions. Thursday morning we dropped our crab pots in our favorite spot and went out to the ocean. On our first drop, our lures were greeted by hungry rockfish, lingcod and cabezon. For an hour’s worth of jigging we landed 18 fish to 10 pounds. Great bonus for our crabbing vacation.
Our last day we woke up early to catch the tail end of the low tide in Charleston. We only clammed for 90 minutes because the tide was coming in. We got 8 gapers and 40 cockles for our efforts.
After clamming we stopped in at Chuck’s Seafood in Charleston on the way back to Bandon and purchased some fresh albacore and salmon to can. The albacore was $6/pound and the salmon was $14/pound. Both really good looking cuts.
When we got to Bandon, we dropped pots and quick pulls near the Lighthouse and noticed how calm the ocean was again so we motored back to the harbor, picked up our ocean rods from the truck and headed out for more bottom fish. Turns out it was a great idea because the crabbing was pretty slow and the bottom fishing was even better than the day before! More rockfish and a cabezon topping the scale at almost 14 pounds.
We did all our usual stops. Face Rock Creamery for their delicious mountain of ice cream for $2, salt water taffy and fudge at the Fudge Factory, Coastal Mist Chocolate Factory for some great chocolates to bring home to the girls.
Our last dinner was a culmination of the fruits of our labor. Fresh crab, beer batter/garlic fried clams, beer batter deep fried cabezon, lingcod and black rockfish, steamed cockles with white wine, butter and herbs and a loaf of garlic bread. The only thing missing was something GREEN! We really needed some veggies but we’ll load up on that when we get home.
The drive home was uneventful which is good. Stopped at the Bonneview boat launch in Redding to run the motor in freshwater. Got home in under 7 hours and then immediately came the washing down of EVERYTHING.
The next day at 8:00am I started processing albacore, salmon and crab for canning. The canning ended at 3:30pm with a grand total of 5 cases of crab, albacore and salmon.
We invited friends and family over that night for a fish, clam and crab feed and then it was bedtime for me at 9pm…. I was running on fumes. Up the next morning at 5:00am and back to the office at 6:20am. I need a vacation after my vacation!