Crabbing in Norfolk

Crabbing in Norfolk

How to catch a crab without a boat.  This is the most engaging pastime for all the family, so all you need are some excited children, a bucket, some bait, a bit of string and lots of patience. Get crabbing and see what you can catch!

Crabbing in Norfolk

There has been a crab fishing industry here on the Norfolk coast for since around the early 1800’s and the wonderful succulent Cromer Crab is renowned throughout the world.

There have been a great number of ups and downs for the industry with stocks becoming depleted and built back up, but this is not the story – that has been saved for another day!

Kids & Nippers!

During the long summer months when school was out, this is what I used to do with my children. Choose a great day with scudding clouds, sunny but not too hot. Gather your sun cream, hat and cover ups, take your children, if you do not have any available borrow some! Of course you could always go by yourself but it is much more fun with kiddiwinkies along.

Grab them, along with the necessary equipment of bucket, string, bacon, mackerel heads, good book and hustle them down to beach. The good book is not a necessary ingredient to catch crabs but I found it a wonderful way to occupy me whilst watching the children catching the crabs!

Find little rock pools, or the little inlets left by the tides or the little craters of sand that form under boulders and the sea defences. Tie the bacon, fish bait onto the string, try your luck – be patient the crabs will bite! Use only a weight and string. The bait can be tied on and the crabs cling to it ferociously!

You could if you wanted to cheat by using a net, but that is really not cricket! Hooks are definitely not on either!

Higher Ground

If the beach is not quite right or the tide is coming in, you can go a little higher for instance Blakeney Quay, Cromer Pier, or Wells Quay. You will also need a large bucket for all the wriggling treasure that you will catch - remember don’t overcrowd your bucket because you don’t want to stress the crabs too much.

So a day can go past in a flash with a sustained excitement at trying to catch these nippy little things. I found the best strategy was to have short bursts of crab catching followed by longer bursts of sandwich, chips and ice cream eating followed by another short burst of crab catching and so on!

Nipper Release

At the end of the day, release the crabs so that they can be caught again the next day! Needless to say, although quite cunning, crabs are not the brightest colour in the paintbox! 

The Crab and Lobster Festival

This is a weekend long celebration usually taking place at the end of August.  So if you are enjoying a visit in Norfolk at that time, come along to Sheringham and Cromer and join in the fun. The Festival raises money for local charities, and is organised by a group of volunteers who manage not only to get everything going swimmingly but put the fun into it too!

The Festival starts on Friday evening usually with a concert at the famous Pier Pavilion Theatre in Cromer followed by two days of cookery theatre demonstrations, market stalls, heritage events, crab sandwiches, live music, competitions, performers, crab dressing, museum events.

Sheringham boasts a full Sunday of events, music, cookery demonstrations, heritage displays, Morris dancers, crab shell painting, Shantymen singing crabbing songs to mention just of few of the great entertainment events being staged.

So if you like a drop of crab served with a dollop of fun come along and join in!

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