Crab Feast Season May Be Over, But Crab Houses Say Now Is The Ti - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Crab Feast Season May Be Over, But Crab Houses Say Now Is The Time To Buy

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A bushel of "sooks", or female crabs (Photo:WBOC) A bushel of "sooks", or female crabs (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  Walk in coolers at crab houses across the Eastern Shore are packed with bushel baskets.  More crabs are being caught now than anytime in the past few months.  Josh Parker at TL Morris Seafood says now is the time to buy crabs.

"We're getting more crabs, they are bigger, they are fatter, it's one of the best times to get them now," said Parker.

One of the oldest names in the business is J.M. Clayton in Cambridge, where one of the owners, Jack Brooks, says many people just don't buy crabs past labor day.

"Overall the trend is down.  After Labor Day it just starts going south, the prices start going down, and the quality is starting to get at its best," said Brooks.

The approaching winter has something to do with that better quality.

"They know that winter is coming, they know they need to build up fat like a bear so they can survive the harshness of the winter, and the cold winter temperatures during hibernation," said Brooks.

The end result are bigger and more meaty crabs.  Parker says the next two months are the time customers can get the best bang for their buck.

"You get a much better crab.  They are bigger overall, they are fatter, it's better in every way.  This should be the time when people are buying crabs, and unfortunately it's not," said Parker.

The cost difference is huge.  Because demand is so much lower, prices come down on these big meaty crabs.  Compare average prices for a bushel of large males during Memorial Day weekend, which ranged from $230 to $300 dollars, to today when the same bushel will cost approximately $160.

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