Last weekend we went crabbing in Bawdsey which is on the Suffolk coast. We had a great time although we felt a little daunted too. We had never been before so we were not quite sure as to what we were doing. Now that we’ve been, I thought I would share some information about crabbing in case you have never been and wanted to give it a go.
What you need
You actually need very little to go crabbing. We took a bucket and spade, a crabbing kit, a couple of basket containers and some bacon.
The bucket is so that we had a container to put the crabs in for closer inspection. We took a crabbing kit as they are only about one or two pounds from our town. As it was our first time we wanted to make sure that we did it right. To be fair though, you could easily make your own with some string and an old washing tablet bag. We took the extra containers for collecting shells and the bacon was for bait as crabs really like bacon!
What you do
First, we explored the beach, looking for anything hiding that had been left behind from when the tide was in. Little crabs, starfish and other small sea creatures can often be found hiding under rocks or seaweed. We found the tiniest crabs hiding under the seaweed on the wooden tide markers. We were a little disappointed not to find any other sea critters but hopefully next time we will spot some different ones.
Then we opened up our crabbing kit. We had to put the bacon into the mesh bag and then tie it onto the weighted end. We then threw it out into the sea and left it for about ten minutes while we carried on exploring the beach. When FJ asked if she could pull it in and see if there were any crabs I honestly didn’t expect there to be anything. Imagine our shock when she pulled it back out and it had four big crabs stuck to it!
The aim is to get one of the crabs and place it in the bucket so that you can take a closer look. However, we are all babies and we all backed away as if they were going to eat us. Even DJ backed nervously away at the sight of these big crabs! Once the crabs saw us all they quickly made their way back into the sea. We threw the bait into the sea again and each time we did it, at least three big crabs would be attached to the bag trying to get the bacon.
It was actually really exciting seeing how many would be clinging to the bag each time we pulled it back in. Unfortunately, none of us plucked up the courage to actually pick up one of the crabs although DJ has promised that next time we go he will be braver!
We brought FJ’s sketchbook and pencils so that she could draw the little crabs that we did manage to collect. It was really nice relaxing on the beach while she kept herself busy getting creative.
Before we left we collected some seashells and pebbles for a project that we are working on. It was a really good afternoon.
Why go crabbing!
It was so much fun and we didn’t spend a penny while we were out, so it was a really good ‘no spend’ activity. Crabbing is also educational for the kids, learning about sea creatures. Getting up close to the crabs so you can see their anatomy in real life. It got us outside and away from screens and it also got us moving which is always a good thing!
- You need to check the tide times. You do not want to go when the tide is in, as there will be very little beach to explore. There are websites which tell you up to date times of the tides based on where you are, which is really helpful.
- Don’t take a metal bucket to put the crabs in as in hot weather, you could end up boiling them!
- Make sure and return the crabs and any other creatures to where you collected them from before you leave.