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2011 Dungeness Crab

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I usually try to get mine right off the boats at pillar point. Any word on crab prices this year? Who is your go to boat at pillar point for crab?

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  1. Ranch 99. But they were out.

    1. They are not selling from Pillar Point yet. Commercial season doesn't start unti the 15th. But a couple of hobby fisherman gace us two crabs a couple of days ago and they were delicious! So there are some good crabs to look forward to.

      8 Replies
      1. re: artychokeasana

        I just talked to Whole foods also, they told me not to expect anything until the 17th. I cant wait!

        1. re: artychokeasana

          Last year we got a cooler full of crab at 2.50/lb right off the boat. Hope the prices are around the same price. Maybe after the Thanksgiving rush they will come down to that price. I haven't heard if they have set a wholesale price yet or not.

          1. re: hawaii92

            You might get that off the boat, but your going to pay about $5.95/lb retail. Pretty much the cheapest Ive ever seen outside of going to HMB docks in 4.95/lb.

            1. re: techindahaus

              I had some nice crabs on Thursday. What a treat. The sport season is one of the best this year. Commercial season opens Tuesday. Last year I was paying $ 5.00 a crab off one of the boats in Santa Cruz. Hope this year is the same.

              1. re: techindahaus

                Huh? Last year Oakland Chinatown had local crabs at $1.49/lb early in the season, and $199-$2.99 is pretty typical ayt most asian seafood markets. I do not think I have ever paid more than $3.99/lb.

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  I'm skeptical that any retailer sold legally caught local crabs for under $2 last year.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    After Thanksgiving I've seen $2.99 on a regular if not always basis. I have heard of $1.99 in Oakland Chinatown as an infrequent/one time special, as reported here.

                    1. re: ML8000

                      I was responding to $1.99 as being in the "pretty typical" range for local crab in Asian seafood markets.

          2. Part of me wants to give out the name of my go-to boat at Pillar Point to give them more business, part of me wants to keep the name of said boat away from the ravenous vultures here who will wipe out my supply lol

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bunson

              I went out on a charter boat for rockfish & crab on Saturday out of Emeryville. The crab are abundant and were averaging 25-30 crab per pot. Most were in the 2-pound class.

               
               
               
               
              1. re: baron45

                Yes, it is looking good. We were able to retrieve 30 jumbos for the three of us with just pulling two pots yesterday. They were plump and sweet!

              2. re: Bunson

                Yeah I know what you mean. I've actually bought crab from a few boats over the years and they have all been very friendly, helpful and had excellent crab you just can't go wrong at HMB. I'm hoping the prices are good this year

              3. Looks like we have a delay as of this morning - see article in the SF Chronicle article:

                http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                8 Replies
                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  I couldn't get that link to work. What was the delay?

                  1. re: techindahaus

                    a dispute over the wholesale contract price. Fishermen want 2.50/lb processers want closer to 1.75/lb

                    1. re: hawaii92

                      I called my boat yesterday and they were at the dock ready for midnight to hit to go out, but they mentioned the wholesale price issue that the boats were trying to work out that could delay going out; also the weather the next few days is going to be rough with some really rocky seas. I guess I'll check back on Friday to see where things stand.

                    2. re: techindahaus

                      It's the traditional hold-up over the wholesale price. Happens almost every year.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        But the local CBS new report said that according to the fishmermen the crabs are excellent quality this year.

                        1. re: rworange

                          I can vouch for that!

                           
                          1. re: Civil Bear

                            The one facing the camera on the right looks a bit small.

                            1. re: wolfe

                              LOL, I'm sure he went back for for some more conditioning...

                  2. A co-worker brought in 20 pounds yesterday as his next-door-neighbor is a commercial fisherman and the size and flavor were AMAZING.

                    1. Anyone have an update on if they got the wholesale price issue resolved? I read on a blog somewhere there was 1 day delay but the crabbers got stuck with the $1.75/lb the wholesalers wanted.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bunson

                        Unless something happened overnight, the price still has not been settled.

                        http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-...

                      2. Once the season starts what are good times to go down to the HMB docks to buy crab? When do the boats come in and when are they typically sold out?

                        Important for me: Does the same hold on a Sunday.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: boris_qd

                          The first couple of opening weekends are a zoo with lines like the most popular ride at Disneyland, and crab is gone fast.

                          I recommend buying from a few boats and try to find a boat owner that you feel you can trust. Some will let you call ahead (1-2 days beforehand) and will set crabs aside for you (the boat I go to will reserve crab and won't sell those to the public, plus they'll pick out the larger/meatier crabs for being a loyal customer). I tried crabs from about half dozen boats before getting to know the one I liked the most and they hook me up every time. Just be sure to show up and buy the crabs they set aside for you, or call and let them know you can't make it so they can sell them to other people.

                          For walk-up crabs you can either call the Pillar Point Fresh Fish Hotline(650-726-8724) to see if any boats are docked and selling crab, or you can just show up and hope some boats have come in. The hotline isn't always updated until mid/late morning so if you wait until it updates by the time you get there the bigger crabs have already been sold. There are usually at least 1-2 boats in, though there were a couple of times I went on a Sunday and no boats were in and I was stuck buying out-of-state crab from Princeton Seafood. Saturday seems to be the most popular day, Sunday boats seem to be those that didn't sell all their crabs the day before. I'd try to get to the harbor no later than 8-9am.

                          1. re: boris_qd

                            If you can't get to HMB, you might check if TigerFish is going to be coming to Emeryville this winter. http://www.tigerfishsportfishing.com

                          2. Looks like nothing will happen until next week...it's suppose to rain this evening until Sunday. Also if I understand it, some fisherman also see the value in waiting since the crabs can bulk up.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ML8000

                              the test sample taken in early Nov in Bodega Bay (a sample further south, HMB vicinity, was invalidated from lack of an accredited observer) had only .24 flesh/total weight, when the legal standard is .25.

                              fishery management for the ocean catch, Canadian border to Pt.Arenas, decided to delay opening their part of the catch [this is a source of much of the crab sold from Jan and later, because our local waters will be depleted of the legal size] until 15 Dec, two weeks later than originally scheduled, to insure more crabs getting to proper size.

                              1. re: moto

                                This boat will be selling crab off the boat either in Emeryville or Pillar Pt when they get the signal to go. You can call the number and find out where & when.

                                http://www.tigerfishsportfishing.com/

                                1. re: baron45

                                  muchisimas gracias, maestro pescador. hope to contact them (you?) early Dec.

                            2. Ranch 99 Richmond, price card for crab $5.99 a pound. Number of crab available ZERO. The wait goes on.

                              1. anyone know where in bodega bay I would be able get fresh crabs off the boat?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: majordanby

                                  If you want live ones, Paisano Brothers. For cooked, cracked and cleaned ones, Spud Point Crab Company across the street. But call for availability to be sure they've landed any, as well as hours. And for Paisano, bring your own tub, cooler, box, bags, or other way of carrying your crabs home.

                                  -----
                                  Spud Point Crab Company
                                  1860 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

                                  Paisano Brothers Fisheries
                                  1820 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

                                2. Checked the harbor ( Santa Cruz ) this afternoon. All the boats in the harbor are still waiting for a final price. Now some weather this weekend. Give the fisherman the money they earn. The sport crab I had last week were delicious. I need some LIVE crab now ! PLEASE

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: emglow101

                                    I agree. If fishing for crab was easy and cheap we would all be hauling in our own crab each season. The fishermen deserve to be paid for their work. Get the season started!!!

                                    1. re: emglow101

                                      On Friday I wandered forlornly through all of the usual suspects in Oakland Chinatown and found only empty tanks. Had to settle for $7.69 per pound lobsters from Lucky. Though they were pretty good, I want some live crabs now too!

                                      1. re: jan_b

                                        tell me about it. was in bodega bay this entire week....and no crabs!!

                                    2. YES!!!! TODAY!!!
                                      Santa Cruz Wharf, Stagnaro fish market, Whole-Cooked $5.95/lb, they also have Live for a dollar less/lb.
                                      I bought a 2.29lb cooked and a nice soft loaf of bread..expensive, so I only bought one.
                                      My local Go-To market has had no information. I was surprised to find them on the Wharf as I had checked on Thursday. They said they started selling on Friday.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Coastfriend

                                        Went out again on a charter boat for rockfish & crab and the crab pots were stuffed. What a nice day on the water compared today's rain. We only needed to pull a few pots for everyone's limits.

                                        The crabbers are still on strike. They want $2.50/lb but the wholesalers are offering $2 and possibly up to $2.25.

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        1. re: baron45

                                          yes, the fisher-fishmonger today up in Sonoma county gave the same story, that it's .25 per pound that separates the two sides. that adds up to a chunk of the margin on each trip out, fuel prices the way they are.

                                          1. re: moto

                                            Speaking of Sonoma, you can often get crab off the boat at the Sonoma Marina. Look to see if there are crab signs by the road
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588941

                                      2. Safeway's Sunday advertising...

                                        Fresh Whole Dungeness Crab
                                        Cooked. Weather permitting. Wild Caught.
                                        Club Price
                                        4.99 lb

                                        Price Valid 11/20/11 - 11/24/11

                                        1. What if one of the commercial boats went out and just sold to walk-up dock customers instead of the wholesalers? I think they would make a killing and sell out of crabs the first day.

                                          1. As of Monday (11/21) at noon, it looks as if the crabbers aren't going out until after Thanksgiving. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think this may have something to do with more than just a slight disagreement in the wholesale price.

                                            The northern Dungeness season from Pt. Arena to the Canadian border has been pushed back to 12/15. That is leaving a lot of the big boats out of Coos Bay or Portland pretty peeved. Traditionally, they've come down into our fishery for the first two weeks of the season and grabbed all the (mixing metaphors here) lowhanging fruit before heading back north for the start of their own season.

                                            I'm unclear what the net effect will be of delaying the season. But I'll bet it has something to do with the longstanding friction between the big boats from the north and our local fleet.

                                            Discuss amongst yourselves.

                                            Sushi Monster

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Sushi Monster

                                              Makes sense to me. Fishermen are territorial and the big boats from the North suck in a lot of product and then just leave. I don't have a problem with some regional territorialism, even if I have to wait a bit. Big boats with long range are a big part of why there's over-fishing.

                                              1. re: Sushi Monster

                                                How would the local crab boats striking for higher prices stop the out-of-area boats from coming in?

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                  1) The big out-of-state boats need to count on a local wholesale market for the short time they're down here. If there is no wholesale market, there is no reason to come down.

                                                  2) The shorter the window for them to work our fishery before their own opens, the less attractive it is to make the multi-day shlep down and back. They have fixed prices for fuel, etc and won't come down here for a very short time unless it's profitable to make the trip.

                                                  Those are my ideas. I may be completely out of my depth on this.

                                                  Sushi Monster

                                                  1. re: Sushi Monster

                                                    I've read that the big boats freeze what they catch.

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      That may well be, Robert. As I said, I'm just speculating.

                                                      With finite cold-store or well space onboard, would that not severely limit their capacity? It seems a stretch that any crabber would cruise 400 nautical miles for one or two days load, then turn around and go home ...

                                                      The shorter the window they have down here the less attractive the trek is as a pure economic proposition.

                                              2. Saw this in sfist: http://sfist.com/2011/11/18/dungeness...

                                                'Brief updates from Fisherman's Wharf today, where the ongoing pricing dispute between crab fisherman and the seafood processors threatens to damage crustacean-based Thanksgiving dishes. One local fish market owner told SFoodie today that an agreement could still be a few days away, meaning the first shipments won't come pouring in to area seafood emporiums until the Monday after Thanksgiving.

                                                If you need a place to direct your crabbiness, apparently you can't blame the local dstributors, who agreed to the $2.50 per pound price awhile back. It's the big processors that are holding out for a $2 rate holding up the whole deal. Anyway, on the bright side, the crabs will just be bigger and fatter when the crabbers start hauling them in.'

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: timeo

                                                  To add to Timeo's post....this from usafishing.com:

                                                  "The commercial fleet remains tied up and continues to refuse the low ball offer from the buyers. While the commercial fleet is made up of many individuals the commercial buyers are an assortment of one huge corporation that controls the entire west coast market and many smaller buyers who have said they would support the 2.50 per pound price (demanded by the local crab association) but can't due to this one enterprise. In short they can lose their shirt if they meet the harvester's price demand and this huge corporation then undercuts the price. (There have been multiple anti trust lawsuits over the years against this entity but small individual boat owner and other buyers continue to get out gunned, out lawyered and out moneyed by this multi-million dollar corporation).

                                                  So the commercial boats continue to sit with crew who would much rather be fishing or at least spend the Thanksgiving holiday with the their families. With no price agreement it does not look like there will be any Thanksgiving crab available to the markets. If you are looking for crabs you will have to either book a party boat trip or set your own gear as there are no more meetings planned between buyers and harvesters."

                                                  1. re: baron45

                                                    Who is this huge entity? Pacific Seafood? It will be such a disappointment to not have fresh crab with Thanksgiving dinner. I hope the fishermen get the price they are asking for. "Occupy the Processor" What do we want? LiveCrab! When do we want it? NOW!

                                                    1. re: hawaii92

                                                      Now that's my kind of movement.

                                                    2. re: baron45

                                                      You're telling me there is exactly one wholesaler that covers the entire west coast and controls the price? That's illegal!

                                                      1. re: bbulkow

                                                        Would you be surprised if it was a few wholesalers colluding?

                                                  2. Another news story on the strike.

                                                    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-n...

                                                    1. Any chance we could temporarily make this thread sticky to make it easy to check for updates on the price negotiations?

                                                      So far as I know, wholesalers and fishermen are stuck between $2.00 and $2.50/lb.

                                                      Anything new other than that?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: alpiner

                                                        I read on a fishing forum that there was no recent progress except for another meeting on Tuesday. Another guy chimed in and wrote that the buyers offered $2.25/lb and the offer was only good for 24 hrs but it was declined.

                                                      2. Was out at Pillar Point on Friday. Lots of boats loaded with crab pots going nowhere. What a bummer. Overheard a few of the fishermen saying that this may go on for another week or two. Before any of them consider the next step.

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: hawaii92

                                                          That's ok... going out on an open charter tomorrow to catch my own!

                                                          1. re: alpiner

                                                            Still no pots dropped. It looks like Tues or Wed.

                                                          2. re: hawaii92

                                                            Charter today brought in 210 crabs from 5 pots, and everyone caught their limit of rock fish and a couple of ling cod.... (the crab is delicious!)

                                                             
                                                            1. re: alpiner

                                                              alpiner, was this on the New Huck Finn?

                                                              1. re: baron45

                                                                correct

                                                              2. re: alpiner

                                                                alpiner, I officially have crab envy. What boat did you go with? Sounds like a lot of fun. If there is still no crab fishing by next weekend I may go and catch some myself too.

                                                                1. re: hawaii92

                                                                  New Huck Finn, Capn' Jay. I have to say too that the majority of my fellow fishermen/women - all strangers to us - were good people to be around too.

                                                            2. Breaking news (thanks Jaz)
                                                              http://twitter.com/#!/KCBSNews/status...

                                                              Edited to add:
                                                              http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/...

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                Yah! Great news.

                                                                1. re: theSauce

                                                                  I came here to post the good news - this forum is on it!!!!

                                                              2. This just made my day! Hooray! Price checking tomorrow at my local Seafood shop.

                                                                1. Yesterday's fresh catch is tonight's dinner!

                                                                  Rockfish!

                                                                   
                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: alpiner

                                                                    I just called Ranch 99 in El Cerritto. They still don't have any crab.... Not sure where else to try at this point. Anyone seen any markets in the East bay with some?

                                                                    1. re: techindahaus

                                                                      Two sightings today in the East Bay/Berkeley posted in this more specific thread minutes ago.
                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/819826

                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                        Pillar Pt hotline said they had boats selling crab off the docks Tuesday already.

                                                                        1. re: baron45

                                                                          any word on what the price is off the docks?

                                                                          1. re: hawaii92

                                                                            4 bucks

                                                                      2. re: techindahaus

                                                                        FoodNet Chinese market in San Leandro $3.99 lb for live ones and they look pretty big. Safeway will have cooked, cracked and cleaned crabs tomorrow. They currently have B1G1F deal @ $9.99 lb.

                                                                    2. Woodhouse Fish says they have local crab at both locations. I'll report back.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Woodhouse Fish Company
                                                                      2073 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                                                      Woodhouse Fish Company
                                                                      1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Windy

                                                                        $11 for a half, $19 or $20 for a whole. They said they'll keep prices low for another week or so and then maybe add a dollar or two. It was juicy and bib worthy. I got it with garlic white wine sauce. Very content. Service couldn't be friendlier.

                                                                        Note that only the crab entree and cioppino use local crab. The stuffed artichoke uses WA dungeness.

                                                                        1. re: Windy

                                                                          We've moved a thread with recipe suggestions to the Home Cooking board, at http://www.chow.com/topics/822238

                                                                      2. TigerFish Sportfishing from their Facebook page:

                                                                        Dungeness Crab will be available throughout the season on a pre-order basis for $3.50 per pound. The crabs are roughly 2 pounds. $7-8 each. Call or email with your order. (650) 455.9599 or captal@tigerfishsportfishing.com

                                                                        In the past they've sold crabs at the pier in Emeryville one day a week. I asked but haven't gotten a reply what their schedule will be this year.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                          I bought some last year at the Emeryville dock during the workweek.

                                                                          I'm guessing they are out at sea and thus haven't replied.

                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                            I just emailed them to inquire about a large order of crab for this Saturday, 12/17, and they said they would try. They'll call me back on Friday if they have secured my order they said. They quoted $4.00/lb for 2 lbs and over.

                                                                            1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                              Tigerfish Sportfishing from their Facebook page:

                                                                              Get your New Year's Eve Dungeness Crab for $5.00 per pound. Pre-orders only. 650.455.9599 or captal@tigerfishsportfishing.com

                                                                              1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                I ended up getting $3.50 for my preorder on 12/17, thanks to CH info about their Facebook offer. They said really only sell on a preorder basis, so you do have to contact them in advance, but that there is no minimum.

                                                                            2. Anyone seen what the prices have been like at the 99 Ranch in Richmond, I'm hoping to pick up 6-8 on Friday.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: nicedragonboy

                                                                                Somewhere between $5-6 per /lbs. the same at Tokyo Market. Good quality. Very sweet.

                                                                                1. re: nicedragonboy

                                                                                  Here's the thread to monitor for price info,

                                                                                  Dungeness crab prices for '11
                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820604

                                                                                  And be aware that the prices usually shoot up dramatically at most places right before Christmas, which would include your friday. So best to call to check if you're counting on a certain price point.

                                                                                  1. re: nicedragonboy

                                                                                    I thought I saw 3.99 last Thursday/Friday.

                                                                                    They were 3.69/lb at Lucky Seafood in Oakland Chinatown on Saturday -- 2 big tanks

                                                                                    1. re: kc72

                                                                                      and we got 2 big & animated ones from Lucky Seafood #2 on Sunday also $3.69
                                                                                      and SWEET.

                                                                                  2. prices were $4 off the boat last weekend at Pillar Point.