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Crabbing in the Newton Creek

September 7, 2010

A few weeks back, in the waning days of summer, I was out riding one late Sunday afternoon. At the end of Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint there is a pocket park overlooking Newton Creek, I stopped there for a breather. It is really a very nice little space, serene almost, some plantings, giant blocks of granite for benches, and a small boat landing from which one could launch a canoe, kayak, rowboat.

Probably too serene for a spot that overlooks the site of one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history, albeit a slow rolling one that lasted for decades, and what will soon be a Superfund clean up site. It is one of the most polluted waterways in the country and, however calm and quiet it may be, it’s disgusting. Anyway, I was not the only one there during my stop, there were a few dog walkers, a guy strumming a guitar and small group of men who are the point of this post.

They were crabbing. Outfitted with long poled fishing nets, some fishing line and a chicken drumstick they were filling a bucket with crabs from the Newtown Creek, the one that is about to be declared a Superfund site, the one that looks like this:.

They would tie some line around the drumstick and lower it to the bottom, after a few minutes they would drop the net in and sweep the creek bed for gathering crabs (apparently they like chicken). Often enough, they would come up with a nice sized crab and drop it in the bucket, where it would squirm, or whatever it is crabs do, with the rest of his unfortunate mates. Crabs can be quite delicious, and I was assured by one of the crabbers that these made for very good eating.

I think I’ll pass.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. jco permalink
    September 7, 2010 2:30 pm

  2. Fat Al permalink*
    September 7, 2010 3:28 pm

    Hey, so why do crabs like chicken anyway? I’ve noticed people at Coney Island baiting traps with chicken also. What’s up with that?

    • September 7, 2010 3:56 pm

      I think it is just that crabs will eat anything. The question, as posed by a friend, is: why don’t the crabbers just eat the chicken?

    • September 7, 2010 3:57 pm

      If they had any brains they bait them with chicken AND waffles.

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