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crabbingfeatureBy Rose Talbot

Nine-year-old Luke Boone of North Beach loves crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay. He looks forward to "guy time" with his dad, Carl, his older brother, Issac, and his uncle on summer weekends.

"We go fast on the boat sometimes," he says. "When you catch crabs, sometimes they get loose on the boat, and you have to chase them."

Crabbing is a great activity for kids. It's easy and more exciting than fishing, according to Chesapeake Bay native George Klein. And Klein should know, he started crabbing as a boy, later became a commercial crabber and now runs Tyler's Tackle Shop and Crab House in Chesapeake Beach.

While crabbing from a boat can be great fun, it's not necessary to catch a pot full of crabs. All you need for a bare basics day of crabbing is a sturdy string with bait tied at one end, a net and a dock or pier from which to drop the line in. To make things a bit more exciting, a simple manual crab basket can be used to pull up multiple crabs at once, Klein says.

Rebecca Feibel of Odenton says her two boys began crabbing when they were about 3 years old. They went out with her husband's uncle who is a professional waterman, and their first time out, they both caught crabs.

"They loved it," she says. "If you ask my older son Joey [now 6], he'll say crab is his favorite food."

You don't have to look far in this area to find a great location for crabbing—although many of the best spots are on private property. For hand lines and crab pots, Klein says a private dock, pier or bridge is the best choice. When crabbing from a boat, the Boones like the Kent Narrows area and the Potomac River side of Solomons Island for setting a trotline. The Feibels' favorite spot is the Wye River.

The list below offers a number great public places to crab with kids using a hand line or crab pot.

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