What is crabbing?

Radiantlady's Water boy
Radiantlady’s Water boy – the bucket has live crabs in

Do you know what crabbing is? The boy in the photo is a Cancerian; a ‘water’ sign, if you follow astrology, the sign of the crab. And this boy crab, was buy the sea catching real crabs in a net!

We spent the day near water, with a water boy.

If you haven’t been crabbing before and you have children, I would strongly recommend it as a relatively low cost summer or weather permitting, late autumn half term activity. You can buy all of the accessories at the shops on the sea front: the crabbing bucket, the bait, and the net. We were novices and the lady in the shop advised where to put the bait for the best crab bites! It was very exciting to cast the net into the swirling seas off the coast of East Sussex and wait for a particular type of ‘tug’ that meant a crab had taken the bait! The challenge was getting them to stay on the net and not drop off before you could plonk them in your crabbing bucket to admire.

There was a lovely community spirit and families either ate their packed lunches at the sea front or went to the café further down the beach for traditional fish, chips and peas.

The crabs are all thrown back into the sea of course and the whole thing starts again the next day.

Below is a picture of the same crabbing bucket on a blustering autumn evening, taken outside in the garden, getting filled with rainwater!

Bucket full of water
No more crabs, but a bucket full of water


Suzy Rigg

Writing every word




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