Crab Raking in the Winter

November 24, 2015 by rich @ 3:34 pm
Filed under: Crabbing Tags: , , ,

crab kingFor crabbing enthusiasts, such as myself, the end of crabbing season (typically September 1st) always comes much too soon! And even when they extend the season in certains Marine Areas, the thought of launching my boat (that’s if I owned a boat that actually works!), the prospect of dragging my boat out onto Hood Canal in the cold Winter weather doesn’t exactly exite me!

Fortunately, a few years ago, my good friend, Bill Bailey, introduced me to “Crab Raking.”

What is “Crab Raking” you ask?

It’s catching your limit of those delectable Dungeness Crab without ever gettting your boat wet!

It’s filling your tummy with freshly caught cracked crab without the hassle & expense of launching your boat!

How is this possible? Crab Raking!

Here’s what you will need:

Chest Waders (you can buy them at Big 5 Sporting Goods for $99)

High Powered Headlamp (the best one is a Lowes. It’s costs $40 and has a focusing beam and intensity switch, over 200 lumens!)

Homer Bucket with Lid (every DIY has a few of these laying around!)

Metal Rake (normally used for raking gravel)

Waterproof Insulated Gloves

Winter Catch Card (you can get one for FREE if you were previously licensed to catch crab during the regular season)

After you have all your gear, you will need to be mindful of the tides, in particular, the minus tides. Normally, during the Winter months, they are in the late evening.

Here are the ideal conditions for crab raking: Minus tide; Late at night (crabs don’t like the light); a clear night (no rain or wind. You have to be able to see the crabs through the water); a decent beach area with tidepools or level areas.

It may take a few trips for you to find areas/beaches within the approved Marine Areas that are conducive to crab raking. I would tell you where we go, but then I’d have to kill you!

We normally venture out into water that is knee high. The crabs like to crawl along the edges of the kelp/seaweed beds.

One you find a crab with your headlamp, simply put the rake behind them, and pull them up, and dump them into your bucket!

So there ya go! Male bonding at it’s best!

Razor Clamming on Copalis Beach WA

April 15, 2014 by rich @ 5:21 pm
Filed under: Clamming Tags: ,

A lot of people ask me, “Rich, where do you go Razor Clamming?”razor-clams-on-copalis-beach-wa

And unequivocally, I reply “Copalis Beach!

And why, pray tell, Copalis Beach?

“Cuz I drive right up onto the beach (without getting stuck, mind you), and then walk just a short distance down to the water’s edge, and pillage my plunder of razor clams!”


Such is the case with this coming weekend. It’s a morning dig, by far one of my favorite times to go razor digging. You get out there just as the Sun is coming up, with a nice fattening (chocolate-covered custard-filled) doughnut in one hand, and a strong cup-o-joe in the other.

“Ah, the smell of Razor Clams in the Morning!”

The WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife has published the latest round of razor clam digs HERE. They may extend more digs into the month of May, but you just might want to grab your clam gun and snag a few of these bad boys this coming weekend.

Can you dig it?

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Have-you-ever-tried-crab-raking?Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams West Sound, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. E-mail: or call (360) 440-4758

Winter Crabbing Season Begins in the Puget Sound WA

October 3, 2013 by rich @ 8:19 am
Filed under: Crabbing Tags: , ,

Crabbing-on-the-Hood-Canal-WAThrilling news for crabbing enthusiasts, the Winter Crabbing season has once again been approved for many of the Marine Areas around the Puget Sound!

Areas that will remain open during the Winter season are Hood Canal, Neah Bay, Sekiu, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Deception Pass, and South Puget Sound. Areas that will remain closed until next year are Seattle-Bremerton and Tacoma-Vashon Island Marine Areas.

Other marine catch areas open for crabbing include Neah Bay, Sekiu, eastern  Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Deception Pass and South Puget Sound.

Crabbing will not open in the Seattle-Bremerton and Tacoma-Vashon Island  marine area.

Approval of the Winter Crabbing season by WDFW extends recreational crabbing until December 31st and allows you to hunt down the delectable Dungeness all seven days of the week!

Make sure to obtain your FREE Winter Crabbing Catch Cards (free only to those who previous possessed a 2013 crabbing endorsement) at your local sporting goods location (Sportsmen’s Warehouse and Wal-Mart).

Happy Hunting!

When he’s not out crabbing, clamming, squidding, or fishing, Rich is a professional licensed real estate broker with Keller Williams West Sound, providing Relentless Representation and Knowledgeable Empowerment for Clients throughout the Western Puget Sound.



Digging Geoduck Clams: Initiation of the Newbie

May 15, 2013 by rich @ 9:30 pm
Filed under: Clamming Tags: , , , ,

I’ve dug up just about everything the Pacific Northwest and the Puget Sound has to offer, with the only exception being the ever-illusive and much-coveted, Geoduck. digging-for-geoduck

That was until just a few weeks ago. A friend of mine invited us (my Mom, my Sister, and I) to tag along with him and his family over to Hartstine Island during a minus tide, and attempt to achieve our limit of two (2) geoducks per person.

Did you know that geoduck in the native tongue means ‘dig deep.’ If you ever find yourself out digging for geoduck, you’ll find that that name definitely fits!

The appropriate mantra for geoducking is ‘Many hands make light work!’…I quickly discovered why we had been invited.

003The first step was to identify and mark the tip of the geoducks neck or siphon as it protrudes from the sand.

Most folks use garden variety shovels and fence post diggers, but fortunately, my friend Vern had a special homemade rig he built just for extracting geoducks.

The first part of his rig is a long, round galvanized sleeve, about 10″ in diameter. This is centered around the protruding siphon, and is pushed down into the sand. geoduck-digging

Next, Vern fashioned what looks like an over-sized clam gun (what is used for digging razor clams). Only this one has about an 8″ diameter tube and a long, two-person handle. There were two petcock shut-off valves that could be open and closed to create suction in the tube.

We would slide the over-sized clam gun into the galvanized sleeve, and with each of us on either side of the handle, we would work the gun tube down into the sand. When we reached as far as we could go, Vern would twist the valves, and together, we pulled the tube out of the sleeve, filled with sand.

Repeat and rinse.

Puget-sound-clam-diggingOnce enough sand was removed, the sleeve could be pushed even further into the sand.

Another tube or two of sand, and one of us would reach down into the hole to feel around for the clam.

This was the point where we became ‘One’ with the beach. Literally.

You had to lay down on the beach and reach down into the hole as far as possible to locate the clams neck/siphon.

You also had to be very careful NOT to pull the clam out by it’s neck/siphon. If you pulled to hard, the neck would separate from the body/shell. You had to work your hand down and grab around the shell, then wiggle the shell body back and forth to free it from the sand.

The total process from start to finish typically took about 15 to 20 minutes. Conventional shovels can take an hour or more.

There were 7 of us altogether and we reached our limit (21) in about 3 hours. Of course, with Vern and I doing most of the gun action, it felt like we were doing it all day long!

Crabbing in the Puget Sound WA without a Boat

October 30, 2012 by rich @ 2:50 pm
Filed under: Crabbing

First of all, let me apologize profusely for seemingly abandoning my faithful readers for such a long dry spell of writing inactivity. Life happens sometimes. It’s been an interesting, challenging, and transitional past year, but I feel like I’m finally getting my inner muse back, which will hopefully translate into a bit more consistency of articles here.

Probably the most popular question I’m asked by readers is “Where can I go crabbing without a Boat?”

Up until just recently, I really haven’t had a reasonable response. Good deep water public docks are a rarity these days, and the ones still around don’t produce much success, with the exception of a few barely legal rock crabs.

One of my good friends, Bill Bailey, a fellow real estate professional here in Kitsap County, is a wealth of knowledge and practical expertise when it comes to all things in a shell. Last year, he introduced me to the fine science of ‘Squid Jigging.’ And this past month, I was initiated into the elite club of Crab Rakers.

Yes, you heard it right, Virginia, crab raking. What, pray tell, is crab raking, you ask?

Imagine crabbing where you don’t need a boat – that deep, fathomless, money-sucking vacuum. Or gas at nearly $5.00 a gallon. Or towing the boat on a trailer that constantly loses a hub/bearing nearly every season, or losing rubber rollers that cost an arm, leg, or firstborn child! Or where you don’t have to pay through the nose for salmon guts for bait!

Imagine that you’re on a Easter Egg Hunt, only this time, it’s for Crab! That’s right, you simply walk around the tidepools during low tide (a minus tide is preferred), pick the crab up with your rake, and drop them into a bucket!raking-for-crab-in-the-puget-sound-wa

Actually, it’s more like a 4-prong steel claw cultivator, not a traditional lawn rake. And the bucket I use is just the orange Homer bucket from Home Depot with a lid so they don’t crawl out!

Crabbing-on-the-Hood-Canal-WAThe only caveat in raking for Crab is waiting for all the elements to line-up:

Weather, Tides, Time of Day/Night

Weather:   While you can rake for crab during just about any weather, it’s preferred to have a night when there is little to no wind or rain. Too much wind or rain makes it difficult to see down through the water to find the crabs. Not entirely impossible, mind you, just more difficult.

Tides:   This goes without saying. The lower the tide, the better your chances. Minus tides are preferred. Check with for the tide schedule here in the Puget Sound area.

Time of Day/Night:   Crab prefer the dark, so ideally, it’s better to rake for crab at night. A strong, wide-spread beam headlamp is a must-have. Home Depot has a nice inexpensive selection.

Sounds too good to be true? Trust me, when you’re heading back to the truck with a limit-filled bucket, you’ll have your boat posted up on craigslist in a heartbeat! (well, not really, but you’ll certainly be tempted!)

I don’t think I’ve had such a fun time crabbing in a long time. Of course, anytime spent with my friend Bill is always a guaranteed good time!

Be prepared to do a good amount of walking around, but it will only serve to help create a healthy appetite for all the crab you’ll catch! A good pair of waders (preferrably chest waders) are nice to have. We rarely waded in over our knees, but some tide pools can be a tad deeper.

Now you’ll notice that I’ve intentionally left out a crucial element of a successful crab raking expedition – the place(s) to go. Well, I’d tell you where we go, but then, I’d have to kill you, or Bill would kill me, either one.

Suffice it to say, it’s best to wade out into level tidelands, preferrably sandy areas. Look for seagrass or kelp beds. Crabs love to stay hidden along the edges!

One more suggestion:  When you go out raking for crab, since it’s a low tide, take time to dig up a few clams – manilla, littleneck, butters, etc.. That way, if your crab raking outing isn’t fruitful, you’ll at least have the clams as a fall-back!

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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams West Sound providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at, SOUNDBITEBLOG, ActiveRain, Everyday CK, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail:

Razor Clam Fritters Recipe and Tentative January 2012 Razor Clam Dig

January 6, 2012 by rich @ 10:03 am
Filed under: Clamming,Recipes Tags: , , , , ,


Just thought I would share a link to a recipe I came across recently for Razor Clam Fritters. As you know, I have a HUGE fan of Razor Clams. In spite of all the time and energy necessary to harvest, clean, and cook these delectable diggers, it’s most definitely worth all the effort. They have a taste that is truly unique among shellfish!

Landed Gently Blog – Razor Clam Fry and Fritters

And FYI, the next tentative dig is scheduled for the evenings of Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21st. For more information, go to the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife website.

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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams West Sound providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.comSOUNDBITEBLOGActiveRainEveryday CKFacebookTwitter, or e-mail:

Hood Canal’s Deadliest Catch – Part Deux

Last year, I shared the post Hood Canal WA Deadliest Catch, another installment of my never-ending series ‘Stupid Human Boat Tricks‘ by sharing the near-death escapades I experienced with my Mom out on the Hood Canal. I was recently reminded by one of my readers that I neglected to finish the story, hence Part Deux.Waterfront-homes-on-Hood-Canal-WA

And so, the saga continues….

When last we left our hero, he was perilously close to the brink of an icy grave….

Even in the late Summer, the waters of the Hood Canal are surprisingly cold. And in this instance, bone-chilling cold! Perhaps it’s because there’s still run-off from snow that’s melting on the Olympic Mountains? Or that the Hood Canal is over 500 feet deep in some areas, and is part of the Puget Sound waterways, leading to the Pacific Ocean?

Regardless, there I was, treading water for what seemed like an eternity, faithfully holding onto my lost crab pot buoy, patiently awaiting my Mom’s rescue.

I forced my head above the waves and scanned the surface for my trusted C-Dory. Off on the horizon, I could see my Mother hitting the 9hp kicker with a wooden oar.

Gee, that was a comforting sight! Obviously, she hadn’t yet figured out how to operate the motor or vary the rate of speed (as you may recall from my previous installment, my Mom’s first attempt at saving me ended rather abruptly as she passed me at full throttle!).

It was late afternoon by this time, with the water becoming increasingly choppy. The tide was coming in too, and rather rapidly at that. I held on relentlessly to my crab pot buoy and the $150 investment it represented, stubbornly refusing to let go. About every third wave or so, the tension on the submerged buoy & crab line would pull my head underwater.

As my head resurfaced, I looked up just in time to see the bow of my C-Dory heading straight for me! I was on a collison course with my own boat!


I could hear my Mom yelling and cursing as she continued in her valiant attempts to whack the kicker motor into obedience.

Just before the final moment of impact, I heard the Johnson Kicker die, and the trusty C-Dory finally slowed. I reached up, grabbed the bowline eyelet, and straddled the bow with my legs.

I felt like a lamprey, contently attached to a large fish. The boat was still moving, but the drag on my clutched crab line was bringing us to a halt.

However, I guess my Mom was still pretty wigged out though. For I soon heard a blood-curdling scream up above me.

“I’ve killed my son, I’ve killed my son!” she cried out!

I was satisfied just to remain still and quiet from my perch there on the bow, but I couldn’t allow my Mom to think that she had caused my early demise. So I yelled up to her that I was okay, and worked my way around the side of the boat, back to the transom, where I handed her the crab buoy and line intact.

After I climbed back in, we pulled up the pot. I can’t recall if there were any keepers. I don’t think it really mattered much.

As we made our way back to Miami Beach, I think we were both just happy to be alive!

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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams West Sound providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.comSOUNDBITEBLOG,ActiveRainEveryday CKFacebookTwitter, or e-mail:

Good News/Bad News – Late Season Crab Fishing in Kitsap County WA

October 6, 2011 by rich @ 2:14 pm
Filed under: Crabbing Tags: , ,

Okay, so the good news first…Hood-Canal-WA-Real-Estate

The crabbing season has been extended from October 8th until December 31st (Hooray!)

Now the bad news…

That doesn’t include Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) or Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) (Boo Hiss!)

If it’s any consolation, most of the people I’ve talked to reported as having a rather fruitful catch this year.

Of course, I wouldn’t know, seeing that my 40hp Johnson suffered from a severe case of bi-polar schizophrenia, and couldn’t decide if it wanted to work or not.

On a more positive note, my upper body strength has improved tremendously as a result of rowing across Hood Canal for 4 hours. But I’ll save that for a future installment of ‘Stupid Human Boat Tricks.’

So, if you have the good fortune of living anywhere remotely close to any of the other Marine Areas that the WDFW so generously left open to crab fishing (Neah Bay, Sekiu, e.Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juans, Deception Pass, Hope Island, Skagit Bay, Port Susan, Port Gardner, portions of Admiralty Inlet, or Tacoma-Vashon and South Puget Sound opening Nov. 21st), then by all means, knock your socks off!

Or, to borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption:

“Get Busy Crabbing, or get busy dying!”

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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams West Sound, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLifeSoundBiteBlog, and ActiveRain, or e-mail:

There is a God! Seabeck Marina Back on Track!


The front page headlines in this morning’s Kitsap Sun, Agreement Reached on Seabeck Marina, evoked a welcomed ‘Hallelujah!’ response.

After a long history of setbacks, work stoppage, and bureaucratic red-tape, the long anticipated Olympic View Marina project in Seabeck WA Marina is finally back on track.

The latest hurdle (renewing the lease agreement between DNR – Dept. of Natural Resources – and the Developers) has been drafted and is awaiting final signature.

Construction is slated to restart within another month or so, with a project completion date of November 2012.

I have to say that I am greatly relieved that this project is finally moving forward. The need for marina services and moorage on the west side of Hood Canal has been a huge unfilled void for much too long. And Seabeck WA is the natural and best candidate to satisfy such a pronounced need.

The Olympic View Marina has the potential for being one of the most positive commercial developments to happen here in Kitsap County WA in a long time. Once completed, I envision other complementary developments, bringing additional business/services to the Seabeck area.

Congratulations to developers Boyer Halverson and Wil Clark, and big thanks to the folks at the DNR for putting common sense before bureaucracy.

Crabbing Season Opens! Time to “Gear” Up!

July 1, 2011 by rich @ 10:45 am
Filed under: Crabbing Tags: ,

Okay, so here’s the latest scoop on where to score all of your crabbing gear here on the Kitsap Peninsula.


Oh for the days when the Pawn Shop in Poulsbo was still open! Those guys were amazing, and they had everything a crabbing enthusiast would want! Unfortunately, they closed a few years ago, and no one has stepped up to the plate to take their place.

Here’s what I’ve found:

Outdoor Outfitters aka Wholesale Sports in Silverdale – they may have boatloads of good stuff for hunters and hikers, but a week before crabbing season opens, this place totally sucks. About the only good thing I can say is that they have leaded line in bulk that they can cut to size. They’re the only ones who offer this. Aside from that, they’re pretty much worthless, unless you want to pay $80+ for a crab pot.

Wally World aka Wal-Mart – You can always count on Wal-Mart to stock the basics during the season. They don’t have everything you need, but they attempt to carry most of it. And, as typical, the prices are pretty reasonable. The basic Danielson crab pot is $23 and change.

Fred Meyer – These guys win the award for best overall stock and prices. The basic Danielson crab pot was just under $20. They stock the buoys separately, and actually have bait cages, stainless clips, etc.. Be aware, they have two places they keep their inventory – in the aisle, and a center standing display.

As far as bait is concerned, I am totally bummed that Silverdale Red Apple Market closed their doors. The butcher there always hooked me up with some slammin’ prices on salmon guts. My back-up is Central Market over in Poulsbo. You can get salmon guts for $1.99 per pound.

So there ya go! Gear up and go get ’em!….

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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.comHomesByHarborsSOUNDBITEBLOGActiveRainEveryday CK,  FacebookTwitter, or e-mail:

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