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Old 20-09-2017, 05:32   #1
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All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Good morning,
Im planning a quick outing this weekend with the fam sailing out of Annapolis and would like to get all you can eat Chesapeake bay blue crabs. Watermans is an old favorite in Rock hall, but I was wondering if yall have any other suggestions so were not in a cruising rut.

Thanks!
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Old 20-09-2017, 05:41   #2
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Cantlers but it might be easier for you to walk there.

My experience with "All you can eat crabs" is this is where the barely legal crabs are sold and they are a pain to pick for what you get. My wife and I love crabs but we can't eat that many at one setting so we usually just pay for a dozen large or jumbo crabs, eat what we can and take the rest home for the next day or making crab cakes.

I suspect almost any waterfront restaurant on the Bay will have crabs. Pick where you want to cruise to, then call the local restaurants. It's hard to screw up crabs - season them and steam them. Anyone can do it.
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Old 20-09-2017, 06:55   #3
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Wherever you happen to stop on the Bay will have any number of great seafood restaurants. I can't remember ever being disappointed by a Bay restaurant for seafood. All you can eat offerings are usually listed on menus posted at the doors. Bon appetit!
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:01   #4
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

I've had some terrible crabs from catering places. Overcooked and dried out so the meat is tough and adheres to the shell. But if you stick to restaurants, you should be okay. I prefer the point crab house in Arnold to cantler's, but you can't really go wrong there.
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:03   #5
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Cantler's, Mike's (the South River one), Mike's North (the Pasadena one), Thursday's in Galeseville, Crab and Steak house in St. Michaels (or the Crab Claw in St. Michaels), Harris Crab House in Kent Narrows, Fisherman's Inn just off Kent Narrows...

Some of those might depend on what you mean by "quick outing"...

Mostly what Ron said seems to be true: all you can eat gets you the smallest crabs... and it's often more cost effective to order what you really want.

-Chris
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:14   #6
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

We lived most of our lives in MD and had a smaller boat that we trailered to the Chesapeake Bay. Of course we were Maryland crab eaters.

We retired to Charleston, SC and bought our current boat. Interestingly, there are lots of blue crabs in the local waters and lots of commercial crabbers as well (on a smaller scale than in the Chesapeake Bay), but none of the local restaurants serve steamed blue crabs, all you can eat or otherwise. One even has a drawing of a bushel basked of crabs on the menu but they don't serve them.

It is possible however, to buy them by the dozen or bushel in the seafood markets (live or steamed) and the prices are significantly lower than in MD.

Now that we have our boat in a marina, we just use drop nets off our marina dock and take home as many as we want to.
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:19   #7
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

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Now that we have our boat in a marina, we just use drop nets off our marina dock and take home as many as we want to.
We like the chickenback on a string technique I fully believe they're much more plentiful down there though. When I was transiting the Pamlico sound to Ocracoke (so NC, not SC), there must have been some large crab migration, as a number of large ones were swimming near the surface, and one could just net them out of the water as the boat ghosted past. Never seen the like on the Chessie.
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:34   #8
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

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We like the chickenback on a string technique I fully believe they're much more plentiful down there though. When I was transiting the Pamlico sound to Ocracoke (so NC, not SC), there must have been some large crab migration, as a number of large ones were swimming near the surface, and one could just net them out of the water as the boat ghosted past. Never seen the like on the Chessie.
We use the backs because they hold up better. Poke a hole near the bone and run the string through it.
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:44   #9
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

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We use the backs because they hold up better. Poke a hole near the bone and run the string through it.
Agreed! We generally tie a tight knot around the midpoint. The crabs here are expert at stripping the meat off the bone

We'd like to do more with cages, but with a 2-cage recreational limit, have trouble catching enough to feed more than one or two people. No limit on the amount of lines you can toss from the dock though!
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Old 20-09-2017, 09:21   #10
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Best place in Rock Hall for crabs is Ford's. Not on the water front and BYOB. Never had the all you can eat ones we always get the largest ones available. Typically my wife and I can eat six each with an ear of corn and some steamed shrimp. Just as full with a lot less picking.
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Old 20-09-2017, 10:07   #11
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Stop already, you guys are making me hungry!!
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Old 20-09-2017, 11:03   #12
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

Cantler's is our favorite for crabs and has a dock. Abners in Chesapeak Beach does a good job cooking their crabs.

We generally go for bigger and fewer crabs. It is a better value for us.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 20-09-2017, 11:13   #13
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

We've found Mikes on the South River just south of Annapolis to be great; you'll need to get under the Rt 2 Bridge with clearance reported as 53' High Water.
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Old 20-09-2017, 12:58   #14
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

We tried to get crabs at Cantler's this past Saturday and when we called ahead, were told they had no crabs, and that they no longer guarantee all you can eat. It's now a day to day thing. We were floored after years of going there!
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Old 20-09-2017, 13:19   #15
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Re: All you can eat crabs on the Chesapeake bay

For anyone who wants to learn more about crabs, watermen and the Chesapeake Bay, there's a great book "Beautiful Swimmers" that's fascinating reading.

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Swi.../dp/0316923354
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