The Puget Sound Speed-Crabbing Derby was held this past Saturday at the Port of Everett with 75 anglers on 20 teams catching 160 Dungeness crabs.
“Although most remained guarded about their precise locations, the top teams agreed that they used short soaks (about 30 to 45 minutes) at the outset to target the crab and then used longer soaks once they were on the lunker males,” said Eddie Adams, the derby’s executive director.
Adams said crabbing reports from the derby indicated that deeper was better at 90 feet plus.
“The south end of Hat Island was a great area as was micro-bays along the west side of Hat that act like a virtual speed bump for the ripping tides allowing the crab to have longer feeding times,” said Adams. “The bar outside jetty island was great too. I got a mysterious tip regarding a hotspot located in front of an A-Frame house on the southeast side of Whidbey Island.”
The unique derby is open to teams of two, three or four crabbers who race against the clock to harvest and submit the 10 heaviest Dungeness crab they can catch in the shortest amount of time.
The winners were Crustacean Domination team had 10 crabs with a weight of 19.312 pounds, plus an additional six crabs weighing 10.847 pounds. Their score was 22.062.
Second was the Krab Kings that had 10 with a weight of 18.464 pounds, plus five more weighing 8.113 pounds with score of 21.464. They edged out third place Got Crab? that had 10 with a weight of 18.364 pounds, plus 15 more weighing 25.276 for a score of 21.364.
“The weight bonus played a huge factor this year,” Adams said. “For instance, our retuning champions “Carpe Cancer” had the overall heaviest catch submission but actually placed fourth in the standings because others claimed higher weight bonuses. Sure, luck is always a part of being successful out on the water, but in the derby it’s not just what you catch, but how fast you catch it.”
The derby benefits the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. For details, go to www.speedcrabbing.com.