How to take the kids crabbing in Kent this summer
It's cheap, it amuses the kids (and adults!) for hours and it happens in the great outdoors. What is not to love?
If you've a spare few hours before the end of the summer, here's reporter Lauren Abbott's top tips for taking the kids crabbing in Kent:
1. Find a suitable spot
Unless you want to go fishing about in rock pools with nets you need a spot high enough from the water to be able to drop a crab line into.
Our personal favourite is a jetty on Whitstable beach at something which is close to high tide but Hampton Pier in Herne Bay and Folkestone Harbour I am told are both equally good crabbing hot spots.
But if you've got very small children, whilst it's an activity they can get to grips with and manage by themselves very quickly, you'll always need an adult right behind to hold onto them to make sure they don't risk toppling over the side.
You will need a line, a net and a bucket. The combined total of which is probably under £5 if you wish to buy it at a seaside shop.
If you can stretch to it - buy each child their own kit as it keeps the bickering at bay. Equally we have seen people fashion a crab line from a piece of fishing line and a washing tablet bag (where you need to put the bait!).
But either way it's all re-usable time after time so it isn't a massive outlay and should last you all summer and more than likely more than a year.
Bacon, ham or fish seems to work for us.
A particularly stinky and out of date packet of ham once saved at the back of the fridge for a crabbing occasion led to a record breaking catch - but I'm not sure whether this was more by luck than anything to do with some slightly squiffy meat!
4. Fill your bucket
Before you start remember to fill your bucket with sea water, maybe some seaweed and a few pebbles to make a crab-like home.
And be careful not to overload your bucket with creatures if you're on a roll.
5. Get started
Fill your bait bag, drop you line in and when you feel the line get slightly heavy or sense a crab nibble, gently lift your line from the water and put the net underneath to catch the dangling sea creatures.
Do it too quickly or pull your line out too rapidly and they are likely to lose their grip and fall back into the sea.
You can either place your net directly into the bucket and edge them out or if the kids are feeling brave hold them with your finger and thumb on either side of their shell behind the pincers and pick them from the net. Good luck!