It doesn’t matter what South Carolina beach
you are visiting, crabbing is an inexpensive adventure for your entire family and a great opportunity for observing some of South Carolina’s magnificent wildlife. While our family was visiting Isle of Palms
recently, we decided to give it a try.
Before we got started, we stopped in at the Red and White on Isle of Palms (1513 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms) for some bait, a crabbing basket and some twine. Many grocery stores along the coast carry your basics for crabbing. Then we headed to Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply
(885 Ben Sawyer Blvd.,Mount Pleasant.) It’s the place to go when you are in the Mount Pleasant/Sullivan’s Island area for stocking up on fishing gear and getting helpful advice. We picked up a net and purchased our S.C. fishing licenses. Next door is Royall Ace Hardware
(883 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Mount Pleasant,) a full service hardware store with extremely helpful staff, that on top of carrying tools, buckets, and other general gear, has an amazing selection of books about the lowcountry of South Carolina
If you’re around for breakfast or lunch, try Johnny’s Hot Dog Stand, just outside of the hardware store. Grab a Nehi from the tub of ice and order up some grub to go. They serve biscuits and breakfast sandwiches to the morning crowd and hot dogs and specialty sandwiches for lunch. It’s a local haunt, and the guys at Haddrell’s say you won’t get a better chilidog around.
With our gear and licenses in tow, we headed out to catch some crabs. We attached a chicken leg to the bottom of our crab basket, tied on some twine and threw it into the water. Within a minute, we were pulling in a beautiful blue crab. We decided to catch, take pictures of our crabs, and release, but if you’re planning on catching and keeping for dinner, blue crabs must be 5” point to point, and you can’t keep the females with spongy egg sacks on their undershell. You have to throw them back.
Dolphins were playing in Breach Inlet so while we crabbed, we watched them put on quite the show. They were slapping their tails on the water’s surface, jumping full out of the water and rolling around each other in the current – probably enjoying a school of fish. Our family had a great time casting our luck at crabbing from the shore and enjoying South Carolina’s great outdoors.
And if you're in the Hilton Head Island
area, crabbing classes are taught at Hunting Island State Park
. Check it out here
Some useful links:
2012-2013 Crabbing Rules and Regulations from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Fishing License Information