Hello from Los Angeles. Coming out to Charleston for our first time, April 9th. We will have our 4 year old son with us. Where is the best place to go ';Crabbing';, and how do you do it???? Thanks!
Question about Crabbing
Well when we were kids we just went to a dock and tied a chicken leg on a string and waited a minute and just pulled it up. The crabs hang on long enough for everyone to scream, someone to shove the bucket under the most likely place it%26#39;ll fall, and there you go. (we always released them but it was fun)
Since you%26#39;ve never been here I must tell you that you can%26#39;t swing a dead cat and not hit a dock. (ok, it%26#39;d have to be a big cat in some areas but still) Go to a marshy area - most neighborhoods that back up to a marsh have a neighborhood crab/fish dock and towns like Mt. Pleasant have public docks (Pitt Street is a very popular place; you can mapquest that).
If you want more ';structure';, try one of the ecotour companies such as this one... http://www.nature-tours.com/excursions.html They use equipment which you definitely wouldn%26#39;t want to purchase for one day and show you proper techniques and I believe they even cook up your catch! Sounds like the complete experience. Or you could try the string and chicken leg! ENJOY!
Question about Crabbing
My Granddaddy used to take me to Breach Inlet for crabbing. It is between Sullivan%26#39;s Island and Isle of Palms (2 beaches). If you don%26#39;t have any luck crabbing, there%26#39;s the Boathouse Restaurant across the street for a great meal! Here%26#39;s the link to their restaurant...www.boathouserestaurants.com/bi_home.html - as a bit of trivia, the restaurant is located where the H.L. Hunley was launched...the Hunley was the first submarine in the US. The Hunley disappeared shortly after sinking a Yankee ship during the Civil War, was discovered in the late 1990%26#39;s, raised in 2000 from the depths of the waters and is now on display...www.hunley.org. There%26#39;s a replica of the Hunley in front of the Charleston Museum (across from the Visitors Center). My Grandaddy%26#39;s former students actually built that replica...just a bit of my family trivia :)
As culturehound said, you simply tie a chicken leg to a string and toss it out. We used to tie the string to a little aluminum pole and put the pole in the sand and watch for movement.
If you do go to Breach Inlet, don%26#39;t get in the water because the current is VERY strong.
The SC Aquarium (www.scaquarium.org) would be a fun spot for your 4 year old. This weekend a new exhibit is opening (Camp Carolina) which sounds like loads of fun for kids. We also have a nice little Children%26#39;s Museum that has a small trawler so he can be the captain of a shrimp boat (www.explorecml.org).
Just to add - Breach Inlet is one of the many places you will often see lots of bottlenose dolphins. People do fish off the bridge but I%26#39;m not sure it%26#39;s technically legal.
I%26#39;ve used crab traps before but then you have to get the crab out of the trap whereas they just fall off the chicken leg.
The harbor water visible from the Aquarium%26#39;s back patio is another great place to watch the dolphins in their natural environment (there are no captive dolphins inside the Aquarium). Indeed, Camp Carolina is going to be a big hit - there is a Bald Eagle that is the main feature of the exhibit.
Now go out and make some memories!
I have been crabbing in the Charleston area but April is too early in the season.
Water is still a bit too cold to have much luck crabbin%26#39;. Late May to early June is when things really start to get active. You can go to wal-mart or wherever and get a ';crab basket.'; Literally a basket trap that you tie a piece of chicken or fish to and lower down to the bottom. Pull up occasionally and see if you have any crabs tugging away at the bait. They will be able to crawl out so if you have a crab in there you have to pull the basket up pretty quick.