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Catching Crabs on the Wye River

If you’re into crabbing and you’re visiting or living in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, your main crab source is the Wye River.

This is a thin – yet deep – waterway that’s full of boats of crabbers from dusk till dawn.

Wye River is a picturesque location that offers, besides a huge population of crabs, some stunning vistas that are sure to make you go back every once in a while. Let’s see what this place has to offer. 

How Do People Catch Crabs There?

The crabbers of Wye River use two main techniques of catching crabs: the chicken neck and trotlining. The chicken neck technique is primarily used by recreational crabbers since it allows them to catch a crab at a time.

Commercial crabbers go crabbing to make a living instead of spending some leisure, like the recreational/casual ones. This warrants them to use trotlines – big fishing lines held in place by two or more floaters and equipped with multiple hooks.

Obviously, trotlining gives one the chance to catch multiple crabs at once, provided he/she knows how to use a trotline properly.

There are about 60 crabbers that earn their money on the Wye River. Once you’ve caught your crabs, you can cook them on the Wye landing (the ramp from where the boats are launched on the Wye River).

Pro Tip: If you’re a beginner, you should know that tiny crabs are usually thrown back in the water so they can grow and mate later on in life.

How Many Crabs Are There?

Wye River is replete with crabs; there are crabbers who reported that they go home with 2 or more full bushels before noon. They’ve pointed out that the crabs usually prefer the shallow water – all it takes to have a fantastic catch is to run a trotline through it.

The Wye River is tidal, which means that the shallow water along the riverbanks is constantly replenished with crabs. With just a chicken neck, you can get dozens of crabs as they float toward the surface.

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