By Jay Lloyd

ROCK HALL, Md. (CBS) — If you’re tired of hocking the house for a bushel of crabs on a Maryland getaway, you’ll be pleased to know the do-it-yourself crab season opened on April 1st.

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Grab some gear, pick up a bag of chicken necks, and start crabbing!

One of the best spots to begin the quest is Maryland’s Chester River, right off the Chesapeake Bay. There’s a pristine spot called Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, just south of a fishing and boating town called Rock Hall.

You can toss a line or a trap from the pier or a boat.  Inexpensive chicken necks are your bait.

If you have a trailerable boat, Eastern Neck has the launching ramp.


(You can drop a baited handline right off the dock.  Photo by Jay Lloyd)

(You can drop a baited handline right off the dock. Photo by Jay Lloyd)


So what are you looking for?  Once again we turn to lifelong Chester River waterman Chris Lingerman.

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“Not necessarily a big crab. You see a black collar on the outside of a shell, that’s a heavy crab” — a crab full of meat, he advises.

Those heavy crabs are hard to come by this early in the season, but they’ve been caught on the Chester River.  The season runs through December 15th.

One note:  you must have a Maryland crabbing license. Go to: for the rules and regulations.  Then you too can become what locals call “a chicken necker.”




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