July 1990 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. From Psalm: 127
Maple Pond in Dividing Creek is one of the hottest crabbing areas in Southern, NJ. Maple street leading out of the small town, has a small pond on each side. On the south side the pond leads to maple creek. People in the summer can be seen lined up on the edges of both ponds, sometimes as early as 3:30am, catching blue claw crabs and fish. At low tide the huge pond shrinks down to about 8 inches in water depth. Captain Willie and youngest daughter (10 yrs old) Billie Sue (an up and coming horse riding expert, who can already ride very well) were after some Blue Claws for dinner. It was a very hot and humid July day, but very pleasant for crabbing. The crab hopefuls arrived at Maple Pond around 8:00am.
The crew unloaded their 10 ft aluminum jon boat and slid it off the truck, over the guard rail, and into the water. The traps were then baited with bunker fish (a smelly oily fish that is great bait). The crew then shoved off, and made for the far side of the pond, where the creek feeds it. The captain rowed for about 30 minutes. ( It was at this time the Capt. realized his rowing days were about over, he would get a better boat and motor soon) The boat arrived and the anchor (a cinder block on rope, and this was when the capt decided he needed a real anchor) was tossed overboard. Blue Claws were nailed right away, they were hungry, and Billie Sue brought in crab after crab. The Capt. caught a few, and had a fishing line in the water. Billie Sue proved to be a natural crabber, she was doing a fine job of filling the bushel basket with aggressive crustacea.
After a few hrs, it was time to rebait the traps. Everything had been going so smooth so far, the boat did leak some, but that was handled by bailing out the water with a cup. ( that was when the capt decided he would by a boat that wouldn't leak). But now, where was the bait? It took a few minutes to figure out. 3 bags of bunker (9 fish), smelly and now unfrozen, were sitting in the front seat of the captains truck. The truck was parked in the sun with the windows up, and it was 30 minutes of hard rowing away. The inside of the truck was no doubt ripe with the aroma of crab bait! Of course the Capt. made an attempt to blame the crew, but the deck hand quickly pointed out the Capt. is responsible for checking the ship before departure. She was correct of course. It was too nice an afternoon to worry about details.
The Capt. reeled in a large eel and a couple of perch. They became bait. Billie Sue continued to catch most of the crabs, they were big, full of meat, and had massive claws. The crabbers hit the 3/4 bushel mark, and it was time for the long row back. Upon loading the boat on the back of the sweet smelling truck, the crab happy crew headed for home base, with the windows down. Arriving home, the crabs were cleaned and steamed, and attack eaten with great fervor!! It was a delightful day on maple pond with a wonderful daughter-pal !! It was a day this captain-crab daddy will never forget !!
Capt. Willie ~~~ Creek Crabber !!
The heavens declare
the glory of God; the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Psalm 19