HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


CA Dungeness crab season (recreational) began 11/2, commercial starts 11/15, good catch expected

  • z

"Last season's commercial catch was the highest on record since 1915, when it was 1.1 million pounds, Kalvass [a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife] said. Based on the two previous seasons that had good catches, the department estimates this year will be similar."


alternate link if one above doesn't work:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I went out on a charter boat this past Sunday and although the crabs were hard and full of meat, the numbers were definitely down from opening weekends of 2011 and 2012. In those years, the pots were averaging ~40 crabs each, while Sunday's produced around 18-20. But the crabs were tasty though.

    1. Tom Stienstra's column in the Chronicle sports page yesterday reported very good catches last weekend.

      1. Tonight my freind is bringing me two crabs caught off Half Moon Bay and cooked Sunday.First crab of the season for me.

        1. Any recs on good places to get good dungeness crab, that's not a completely seafood restaurant? My fiancee loves dungeness, but I really don't like seafood at all (she isn't huge on fish/seafood either, except for dungeness and some others), so a place with other good options would be great. Also, the restaurant can't smell fishy - it ruins the taste of my food for me.

          6 Replies
          1. re: mdpilam

            Some Cantonese seafood joint should answer for you. Yuet Lee or R and G for instance. She gets the crab and you don't, and the restaurants just smell like Chinese food.

            1. re: little big al

              I'm a big fan of both Yuet Lee and R & G. R & G is pricey but very popular for a reason and is much more elegant than Yuet Lee. They sell fresh crab all year round.

              Have you ever been to Crustacean at Polk/Cal? Crab is delicious and pricey -- other things on menu, Vietnamese.

              1. re: walker

                Can't recommend Crustacean -- very expensive for the same food you can get elsewhere.

            2. re: mdpilam

              Once the commercial season opens (which may be after the 15th if the crabbers and wholesalers haven't agreed on price):

              Trattoria La Siciliana in Berkeley

              1. re: mdpilam

                Camino in Oakland has done super tasty crab in their wood ovens in the past.

                1. re: Mission

                  The Camino crab dinner is really a treat. Can't wait for the show to begin.

              2. Bay Area News Group photo: "Thousands of crab pots fill a parking lot at Pillar Point Harbor, in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. Fishermen are getting ready for the commercial Dungeness crab season, which gets underway Nov. 15.(John Green/Bay Area News Group) ( JOHN GREEN )"

                Fisherman Larry Collins, after viewing a sample catch, said the crabs were "...big, they've heavy, they're full of fat. I don't how about quantity, but the quality is the best I've seen in a while."


                a few additional photos:


                1. Pots were stuffed to about 40 crabs per pot on a trip this past Saturday, so it's an improvement from opening weekend.

                  1. This years crabs are the best quality I've seen. Every single crab so far was hard shelled and full of meat. All the other years there were at least a few that had soft shells or when cracked the meat doesn't fill out the shell.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Spinal Tap

                      I had a crab for dinner courtesy of a friend who hauled them in from Monterey Bay. Big, must have been close to 2.5 lbs, full-fleshed and fat. If one is fastidious, even picking out the small knuckle joints in the legs could be rewarding. I'm excited about this season if the early crabs are showing this well.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        I'm excited that the new limits on the number of pots per vessel will help extend the season and keep more of our crab local, since it won't be as attractive for larger boats to come down from Oregon and Washington.

                    2. Had dinner at Woodhouse Fish Co. (Church & Market location) last night and they said starting next Wednesday, 11/20, they will be having a crab special, $15 for a whole crab plus (if I recall correctly) potatoes and greens. Deal lasts until the 27th (day before Thanksgiving).

                      1. some 11/15 opening day pictures from Pillar Point: