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Here’s How You Catch King Crab… on the Iced-Over Bering Sea

A fresh red king crab
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=redkingcrab.photogallery&number=1

These hardworking guys show off a unique form of commercial crabbing for king crab. 

When most people think of the Bering Sea, images of big boats in rough weather pulling up pots stuffed with king crab comes to mind. These crabbers do it a little differently, though. Unlike the boats that were popularized by the show Deadliest Catch, these fishermen take snowmachines on the sea ice in search of king crab. Although they deal with far less gear and no rough waves, it is still a tough job. Doing anything in freezing temperatures is hard, but handling crab pots? Makes my hands hurt just thinking about it.

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I have commercially fished for dungeness crab in boats ranging from 21-44 feet in length. We ran from 150 up to 300 pots from those boats, but this fishing makes that look easy. From keeping the holes from freezing over to keeping the crab from freezing and dying, this is truly hard work.

Next time you buy king crab legs, maybe these guys will come to mind and you will appreciate dinner just a little more.

Image via ADF&G

NEXT: 5 REASONS TO PUT SOUTHEAST ALASKA ON YOUR FISHING BUCKET LIST

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Here’s How You Catch King Crab… on the Iced-Over Bering Sea