Friday, October 3, 2014

North Carolina's "The Rocks"-- Part 1: Crabbing and Fiddlin'

After parking the car by the Begin US-421 sign, my brother Bob and I walked past the remains of Battery Buchanan, built during the Civil War south of Fort Fisher to guard the New Inlet entrance and exit from the Cape Fear River and regarded as a marvel of military engineering at the time) and out onto "The Rocks."

FIDDLER CRABS

Before reaching the water, you walk past marshy area on both sides which are filled with fiddler crabs.  Fiddler crabs are really small, maybe 1-2 inch crabs with one huge pincer and a little bitty one, that bask in the sun and wait for prey just outside their burrows into the sand.  It is neat to see them move in almost unison when danger (in the form of a human) appears.  They duck into their holes and emerge a few seconds later.

CRABBING AT "THE ROCKS"

We used to come to "The Rocks" often as young boys, especially with our grandfather who liked to fish there.  We also spent many hours crabbing there (not for fiddler crabs, but for blue crabs).  To do this, you take a piece of string, attach a fish head and toss it out into the water

When you feel the crab tug on the head, you slowly start pulling the head into shore, where someone is waiting out about knee deep in the water with a net to scoop the crab up as soon as they can see it.  This was very good crabbing area.  We'd come back with a big bucket of them and devour them at a crab and fish feast.

Mighty Good Eating.  --RoadDog

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