Old Dad, Tilly and Crabs

Our three-year-old loves to help. Whether it be in the kitchen, around the house – anywhere there are jobs to be done.

So, it is no surprise that when we have some work to do on her dad’s old boat, she is very keen to assist.

With the warmer weather coming, we decided that it might be fun to try and catch some crabs in the harbour. We found a crab trap under the house and took it down to our old boat for rigging. Together, we tied some rope onto the trap and attached a float with our name and number on it, as required by law. Next, we put a chicken frame into a bait bag (Tilly thinks it funny that crabs like to eat chicken) and tied it to the inside of the trap. Now off to drop the pot.

We looked for a likely spot, with a sandy bottom and a little seagrass nearby, and dropped the pot into the sea. There’s time for a swim and a sandwich while we wait to see if we have caught any crabs. After an hour or so we lift the pot and luckily for us there are two blue swimmer crabs waiting! Such excitement… and Tilly’s happy too.

This sort of luck doesn’t happen all the time so be patient, check the bait and keep trying.


It is important to keep the crabs alive, so we carefully put them in a bucket of sea water to take them home.

While the little one is otherwise occupied, I place the crabs in the freezer for a few hours to put them to sleep, then boil them until cooked. (they will go reddish in colour) Extract the meat into a bowl and put aside in the fridge. Tonight, Matilda and I will prepare a fresh crab pasta.

You need…

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic.
  • 400g jar pasta sauce (I use Puttanesca).
  • Crab meat.
  • 100g spaghetti.
  • Mixed Italian herbs.
  • Salt and pepper.




Lightly brown the garlic with olive oil, in a good-sized saucepan.

Add the sauce and mix in with the garlic, heating gently to simmer.

Place the crab into the sauce, stir and continue to simmer.

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water, as per instructions on packet.

Drain pasta when cooked, place into the crab sauce and toss to combine.

Salt and pepper to taste. Yum

Tilly with traps

Tilly with traps and crabs!

Our little girl loves to be involved… in the kitchen, garden or out on the water with ropes and traps, fishing for crabs with her old dad.

Lucky me.


Russell Bacon

Web: russellbacon.net





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