Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Fun Time Crabbing trips the lowest cost, most family friendly fun on the water?
We work hard to keep it that way. We wanted to make it within the reach of families on vacation. Experiences on the water are getting harder and harder to come by as working waterfronts are replaced with condos. Crabbing is within the abilities of those as young as 5 and it connects people with nature in ways a book or a tv show never could. If people don’t see these areas, they don’t understand why we need to protect them. And when you consider the cost of boats, boat slips, bait, lazy people to work as mates and that boats burn fuel at the rates of gallons per hour, we will never get rich doing this. But we will have a Fun Time Crabbing.
We are actually cheaper than renting your own boat. The cheapest boat you will find will be $220 for a half day PLUS fuel and insurance. (And when the “bargain” boat is stalled in a swarm of greenheads, console your wife with the idea that it was the cheapest one you could find and see how that goes.) Then you have to do it all yourself. You need bait. You need crab baskets. You need line. You need floats. You have to watch over your family while operating the boat and crabbing at the same time. And you have to figure out where to go to find the crab. It does not sound like a relaxing time on the water. Or we can supply the boat, the captain, the bait and the gear. And we have a pretty good idea of what we are doing. You park the car, get on the boat, sit back, have a beverage and get a tan.
Can I get sea sick?
No. Or rather, it is highly doubtful. We crab on the bay, Patcong Creek and the Tuckahoe River. You will not even have a hint of seasickness. If you can ride a tube on the “lazy river”-type water park ride you will absolutely fine. You have a better chance of getting car sick on New Jersey’s Third World-caliber roads than on one of our trips.
In fact, Fun Time Crabbing is the best alternative for the days where it is too windy for the beach because the areas where we crab are all sheltered. We also get a lot of business when it is cloudy. But the best time is a sunny day on the water.
How do we dress and what do we bring with us on our Fun Time Crabbing trip?
You should wear a bathing suit or shorts and a t-shirt. And not your best ones. Crabs live on the bottom. And the bottom is muddy. We will probably get mud in the boat. And there is bait. We are not responsible for “chicken juice” stains on your Polo shirt. The best footwear is Crocs or water shoes; sneakers are also acceptable. Open toe sandals and flip flops are worn at your peril. We are catching crabs, not butterflies. When they get loose on the boat they will grab the nearest thing – and a big toe in a flip flop is an easy target. And bring sun screen. It is summer. You should also bring drinks and light snacks – or you can just pick them up in the marina. We also usually have some on board to share. We have a cooler to put them in.
Is it safe to handle the crabs?
Absolutely. Fun Time Crabbing is the only place where you can play with your food before you eat it and no one will care. You don’t have to be a seasoned crabber to handle the crabs. We use special padded and waterproof gloves so the crabs will not even scratch your manicure.
Is Fun Time Crabbing like that Tv show about the crabbing in Alaska?
YES. It is exactly like that except for a few minor differences:
- It is about 80 degrees when we are crabbing, not -10.
- Our crab baskets weigh about 3 lbs., not 1,000 lbs.
- The water where we crab is about 4-10 feet deep, not 400.
- Our trips last less than 30 days.
- You can sleep any time you want, not just every 4th day.
- No one ever gets hit by a falling chunk of ice.
- We don’t curse at anyone on the boat.
Can I have a beer on board a Fun Time Crabbing trip?
The Coast Guard says our captains can’t have any and our insurance says we can’t serve you. So you are welcome to bring it, but you have to serve yourself. The Captain reserves the right to gaff anyone that can’t handle their liquor. And if you leave beer on the boat after your trip, the ancient maritime doctrine of “finders keepers” applies.
ABOVE ALL, please keep in mind that we offer trips marketed to families. If you want an “adults only” trip, we will accommodate you. But there probably is not a need. The baseline for conduct is just don’t act any different than you would in any other public place, like a restaurant.
Do you really lend people steamer pots to cook their crabs? Those things are like $150…
Yes. No one has stolen one yet, which is why we believe the world is better off than the people on the news would have you think. Plus, we have your credit card number.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to buy crabs?
If you are seriously asking this question, you do not have the Fun Time Crabbing attitude.
Just think how 25 years from now, your daughter is talking about her childhood memories and it goes…..”we went down the Shore, we got on the internet to find a fish market and Dad took me to where we bought crabs for $36 a dozen…” I mean, who would really even remember that?
Not quite the same as “we went down the Shore and by Tuesday we wanted to do something other than go to the beach, so Dad found a boat to take us crabbing. We left early in the morning and it was still damp and cool. It was in a little family marina, all the way at the end of the dirt road. I remember the way the salt air tasted different in the back bay in the morning. We cruised up these little creeks and got a bucket full of crabs. It did not even look like New Jersey, almost like we time traveled back before everything was paved. They showed us how to clean the crabs and I still do it the same way today. And Dad got me the coolest t-shirt that I wore until it was too tight for me to breath in it. It was the first time I drove a boat. It was the funnest day ever. The patience I learned trying to pull crabs up on a hand line led me to be the successful neurosurgeon I am today.” You decide.
And really, the price of a bushel of crabs was $135 at end of last season. On a good day, really working at it, you could come out far ahead. But we make no guarantees other than that you will have a Fun Time Crabbing.
What else do you do other than catch crabs on a Fun Time Crabbing trip?
Cruise around on a boat and listen to music. Sunbathe. We always have a couple light tackle fishing rods, so you can fish. Talk to each other. Laugh. Maybe shoot the flare gun at the mate. Or jet skiers.
Do you do trips for things other than family crabbing?
Yes, and in the past two things have been increasingly popular. We offer a “kids only” crabbing night. Mom and Dad can make a dinner reservation and have some quiet time together. Somers Point and the surrounding area offer many great restaurants. These trips are from 5:30 to 8 for $30 per child, usually between Monday and Thursday when the restaurants are less crowded. If you are interested, ask about this and we will let you know if we have one upcoming. Or if you have at least 3 children, we will schedule one just for you. The mates used on these trips are either “Safe Sitter” certified babysitters or a local elementary teacher.
We can also make arrangement for a sunset cruise, dinner cruise or other event. We can pick you up at the closest dock to you in Ocean City and cruise you over to the waterfronts in Somers Point or Margate for dinner, drinks or a stroll.
Why are you so down on the mates?
Only my jealousy; they really are good people. Look at that summer job – riding around in a boat on a sunny day. Doing a little crabbing, throwing in a fishing line while we are sitting still. Having a good time while other people are having a good time. I wish I had been smart enough to get a summer job like that instead of working on a tree farm.