Crabbing on the Cromer Pier

Every since we came to the UK, we’ve been wanting to try crabbing and today we did just that.  With the temperature near 20 (70 F) we took advantage of the great, sunny weather and headed for the place most famous for crabbing near us – the Cromer Pier!

First, we stopped off at a local shop and picked up two nets and some bait.  We used our own buckets but next time, we’ll get the bigger ones.  We picked up a pouch of each – tiny squid and some smoked mackerel.  We were told the other day to pick up a mackerel head so I thought the smoked bait was just as good.

Before we got on the pier, Soren & Nils headed down to the water fill up their buckets for the crabs to sit in and some rocks to weigh down the nets.

Once we got on the pier, we picked our spot to sit and took out the nets.  Immediately I noticed there was not a tiny mesh pouch like we have seen in some other kits.  Turns out that with this type of  basket net, you don’t have a mesh bag.  So Nils walked down the pier to ask in the shop and was told that you are supposed to tie your bait to the bottom of your net.  (But you are not given a string other than the one you use to tie on the net.) The bags work better at Wells & Blakney Quays as you only have 4 feet from water to your arm but – you have to hope the crab held on from the water to the top.  Finally, we managed to hang the fish – one basket was better than the other, a few large stones and then Nils set them off over the edge but not before tasting the delicious chum.  Then we were off – our first go at crabbing.

After some waiting, creative pulling in due to the wind and getting caught on the beams below, we headed over to the other side of the pier where it was less windy.  Same deal, Nils set them up correctly for us and we waited…. and waited… and waited.  Nils said that  we had a crab on the OUTSIDE of our net once and I didn’t even see it.  A family came over next to us and shared some tips.  They actually gave me one of their many squid pieces which they brought.  Immediately he started catching crabs – three in 5 minutes.  Lots of waiting and adjusting and pulling up the EMPTY net, we were some what discouraged as many of the other people on the pier were catching little buggers.  Soren had a great time pulling up the line, as if he was an old pro at this.

A little frustrated we needed a break and left the pots.  Time for an ice cream break!


We got ice cream at the end of the pier – but we’ll never get a ice cream at that place again – it was like soup.  Before we paid, it was completely melting and had to get cups to dump in our cones.  The kids wore half of it, but it was fun, nonetheless.

You can start to see some freckles on Soren’s cheeks!

Back to the pier to check on our, once again, EMPTY nets.  Maebh was then a little bored, so Nils took her over to see the RNLI Life Boat.  When he was on that side of the pier, he noticed several people catching a lot of crabs, so we moved again.

Third time the charm, right? Ah, NOPE!  Sadly, even over there, we got nothing, but we did get to watch a guy to our left catch quite a few and a spider crab.  The Japanese tourists to our right was catching dozens of them… loads of laughs, camera shots, Facebook updates.  I asked what they were using for bait and they used BACON but I did see some squid and what I think was chicken in little bags off to the side.

So despite Soren’s best efforts and great attitude – “we can’t give up, until we catch a crab”, we left crab-less but the kids had a lot of fun & memories and we’ll be back.

At dinner, we all agreed it was fun and that next time, we’ll try bacon!

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