Maryland blue crab season has officially started

It's here, it's here! The most wonderful time of the season has finally arrived and people are wasting no time preparing for the Maryland tradition of crabbing.

Crab season officially started April 1 in Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries as well as the Atlantic Ocean and coastal bays.

Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer said, "Crabbing is a unique and rewarding experience that offers everyone a great day on Maryland's beautiful waters, a firsthand look at the environment of one of our iconic species, and finally an enjoyable feast that's defined our state's culture for generations." 

But before you hit the bay, you should familiarize yourself with the various rules and regulations behind crabbing.  

One of the most common questions people have is if they require a recreational crabbing license. It depends.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources anyone who uses a collapsible crab traps, eel pots, net rings, seines or trotline; or who catches more than two dozen hard crabs or more than 1 dozen soft crabs or male peelers requires a crabbing license.

Licenses are NOT required for crabbers using handlines, dip nets or catching beneath the above stated limits. Additionally, passengers aboard a boat with a valid crabbing license do not need an individual license to crab. More details can be found on the department's website

Whether smothered in old bay or fried to perfection, check out this drool-worthy recipe, there is no wrong way to eat the crustacean!

But if you want to learn how to crack 'em like a pro, Jody Schulz, owner of Fisherman’s Inn in Kent Island, Maryland has a great method.

Happy hunting, crabbers!