Crab pot season off to slow start

Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Mar 26, 2014 - 02:13 PM

Crab pot season began March 17, but Mathews crabber Chris Pritchett said he’s not crabbing yet. He just finished striped bass fishing last Wednesday and now he’s working on his crab pots. He said it will probably be two weeks before the water’s warm enough to catch crabs.

Pritchett didn’t have any projections about what the season might be like this year. He said some watermen are oystering and they’ve seen some small crabs in their dredges, but it’s hard to tell anything from that.

“I just hope the cold hasn’t killed too many,” he said.

For the past couple of years, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission has extended the length of the crabbing season, said Pritchett, but the limits on the catch this year were changed to make up for last year’s extension. Keeping the season open until Dec. 15 last year didn’t make a big difference, he said, since he didn’t catch a lot of crabs, “but it gives us the opportunity to work a little longer if the weather is warmer.”