Crabbing Off Cromer Pier

Yesterday was the nicest day in terms of weather the ENTIRE half term week, so we took advantage and spent as much time outside as we could.  We first started off at the Gresham Village Car Boot sale, but it was really nothing much.  Nils picked up a DVD of Anton Senna, his favorite Formula One driver and I picked up a Mini Mode shirt for Maebh for only £1.  Apart from that and a lot of dog poop, it was nothing and we have no need to rush back.

However, the car boot sale up at Beeston Regis, which I think is pretty good, was also yesterday so we headed there after.  I picked up a couple things.  A nice tin and two shirts – all for a total of  £3.00.
Afterwards we headed up to Cromer to do some crabbing.
The plan was to do some crabbing off the Cromer Pier but fist we had to have lunch so we ate at the Rocket Cafe.  Nils had a burger, I had a vegetarian wrap and the kids had carrots with hummus and mac and cheese – all very yummy!  It was very busy but glad we got a seat with a great view.

Bubbles were fun for their short few minutes.

I love crabbing, but I just get so nervous of the kid standing and/or kneeling on the benches as if one is going to go over.  I get it is highly unlikely but I can’t relax about it.  I think if we were at Blakeney or Wells-Next-The-Sea, I am still not sure I could relax – lol.

We had some hiccups or frustrated, angry crabbing moments as if we were there for a million pound crab tournament, but the good news was caught FOUR crabs… which was three more than our last try.

Soren is a rock star picking up the crabs and looking for excuses to pick them up.. first to see their size. Then he wanted to see if one was a boy or a girl by looking at a part of their bellies.  Then he wanted to feed them, then show Maebh how to pick them up by putting your fingers on the side behind the pincers.  I was quite impressed that Maebh wanted to pick up the crab and really tried and did it.  A couple times though, I was nearly certain someone was going to be pinched.

As our rocks were washing away, we had to head back down to the beach twice to pick up some more, so all three kids & I headed off.

When we were done, Soren took his “catch of the day” proudly under the pier to return them to the sea.

It was fun under there, until he banged his head  – poor guy is such a klutz sometimes!

I was a little bummed as many of the people around us had tons in their baskets but a friend pointed out that the crabs have a LOT of choices as there were so many people crabbing and are probably full so no interested in our selection of bacon (and sand eels which was donated by a fellow crab fisher).

The kids loved it and we’ll go again – perhaps try Wells-Next-The-Sea so they can play at the beach, walk around the town and play at the Pirate ship playground – a favorite of the kids.  Plus Nils won’t have to keep pulling it up so might relax a bit too!

Cromer Pier Crabbing with friends

This morning we headed over to the Cromer Pier for our try at crabbing with the group for a couple hours.  It was a little slow at first with yesterday’s bacon, but once we bought and put on some new bacon, we ended up catching THREE crabs of our own.  Then a nearby fisherman donated two to us!  Soren was the only one willing to reach his hand in the water to hold up the crab and even got a little pinch.

It was a lot of fun – and we’ll definitely do it again.  But I just wish they would put up wire mesh fencing along the entire edge, as it’s really high and with little ones, I’m always afraid one will go over the edge.




On the way out, we stopped at the rides on the promenade.  They were a little run down and the baby in the booth was very sad but the kids did have fun!  The three boys rode the Helter Skelter a couple times and then they all took a ride on the double-decker bus before heading home.  

Note baby in the window!!


And keeping with the crabbing theme, Jana quickly popped up the hill and picked up a four dressed Cromer Crabs to eat back home.   As Nils is not a fan, Soren ate his crab!  I think both Jana & Phillip agreed, the white part is the best and the delicacy of the darker portion has a very strong taste and not their favorite part.

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-Next-The-Ssea & Blakeney 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 Lifeboat– which is so cool being located on the END of the pier.   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!