by M.L. Faunce
Welcome to Chicken-Necker Country
Chicken-necking is a rite of summer, maybe a right of summer.
When I was a kid heading for my uncles cottage in Woodland Beach on Glebe Creek in the South River, we would stop in Largo where my uncle would buy bloodworms in little white Chinese food cartons for fishing, and (this wont be pretty) frozen horsemeat for crab bait. The brand name was Hills, if my memory serves. I cant explain it, but that was what we used for crab bait early in the season.
Down the river, as my cousins called their place on a Patuxent River creek opposite Clarks Landing, the favored bait was eel, cut up and salted and stored in small wooden kegs kept in the outhouse (this was St. Marys County in the 1950s). With eel we caught crabs, lots of them, on hand lines, along with a few doublers dip-netted off the pilings of the pier.
We steamed them over an open wood fire, with a can of beer and a hefty scoop of Old Bay seasoning poured over the top. I can still hear those crabs scratching the sides of the tall, galvanized pot. That was the curious part for a kid, until we sat down to eat them, when we forgot all about the scratching sound.
You can tell youre in chicken necking neighborhoods by the grocery stores. If your store doesnt sell family-size packages of chicken necks, fresh or frozen, you cannot be a chicken necker. From Pasadena to the Wye River to Calvert County, you know who you are and where to get your chicken necks.
Chicken-neckers buy them on a Friday night, anticipating that crabs will be caught and cooked on Saturday. Read more on crab baits next week.
Recreational Crab Regulations: www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/crab/2004recreationalcrabsummary.html
This weeks crab source
Buddys Crabs & Ribs, downtown Annapolis
Now serving crabs from Maryland, Louisiana, Texas and North Carolina, eat in or take out:
- Super Jumbos: $100 the dozen
- Jumbos: $75 the dozen
- Large: $65 the dozen
Fishermans Crab Deck, Kent Narrows
Now serving crabs from Louisiana:
- Extra large: $60 the dozen
- Large: $48 the dozen
- Medium: $30 the dozen
- Take out only: Medium: $25 the dozen
Shoreline Seafood, Gambrills
Live or steamed. Prices and availability may change at any time.
- Swamp Dogs: $69.50 the dozen
- Super Jumbos: $59.50 the dozen
- Jumbos $49.50 the dozen
- No. 1 Males: $185 the bushel; $94 the half-bushel
- Large Males: $39.50 the dozen; $99 the half-bushel; $195 the bushel
- Medium Males: $94 the half-bushel; $185 the bushel