Crab fishing opens Friday, and if the rosy forecast from state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists is accurate, you should probably stock up on Zatarain’s Crab Boil at your closest grocery store. Some marine areas already have opened, but the ones coming on line Friday (Thursdays through Mondays only) include our backyard waters: areas 8-1 (Deception Pass south to approximately Camano State Park), 8-2 ( the south end of Saratoga Passage, Port Susan, Possession Sound) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet). Along with Marine Area 10, these fisheries drove last year’s record-setting season in Puget Sound.
They should repeat as the top recreational crabbing prospects, biologists say, even if the harvest is slightly below last year’s. Test fishing results have been strong, according to state biologist Don Velasquez, who ranks 8-1 and 8-2 as perhaps a little better than Area 9.
There are a lot of crabbing spots within a short run from Everett, including Utsalady, Holmes Harbor, Port Susan, off the Everett Jetty, around Hat Island, down the shoreline from Everett toward Mukilteo and Edmonds. Read the regulations to make sure you’re rigged legally, and be prepared to enter crab on your report card immediately upon putting them in the boat.
Nothing beats pieces of salmon carcass for bait, but cheap turkey or chicken parts are popular, always in a bait holder.