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Author Topic: Where are the best Crab Prices? DC to baltimore & chesapeake docks?  (Read 9512 times)
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hollowbob
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« on: May 13, 2005, 11:05:21 AM »

Where are the best places to get the best prices on crabs. I think $90 / half bushel is a bit pricey for mediums (http://www.franksseafood.com/price_list.html#crabs) in jessup MD for example, which usually has a decent price. And if you go to the main street warf in DC they price gouge you even more. Is there a dock on the cheasapeak ( preferably west side of the bay, or northern portion) or local shop that does the catchin and sells out the front door at a more reasonable price... and why does everyplace change the size of their #1's or jumbos or super extra jumbo whatever they're callin em now, dependin on the place, a #1 might only be 5+inches or it might be 6.5+ WTF. I'm in gaithersburg, but regularly travel up thru baltimore to philly and don't mind makin a bit of a detour or just drivin to the crabs.
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JBCrabber
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 11:58:42 AM »

I'm not sure where the best prices are but I can tell you that it's not up around Lancaster, Pa. area. Wanted to try my luck this weekend but decided to wait for another 2-3 weeks until quanity becomes available. Called local crab houses 15 min. ago to check current prices for 1/2 bushel #1. They quoted $104  and $105, WOW no way! Looks like a drive down to the chesapeake on sunday for me. Does anyone have any ideas for the upper chesapeake region?
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Crabslayer
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 01:19:56 PM »

Folks you are going to have to get used to those prices even if the availability picks up.  With gas prices the way they are the crabbers have to make a fair share.  The middle man takes his cut and passes it all on to the consumer.  I predicted that they would hit $200 a bushel by next year.  Looks like we're getting close.  Until people stop buying em ( which I doubt) I don't see the prices comming down.  You might see lower prices in the fall but not much lower.  With prices hitting $50-$75 a dozen in restaraunts, bushel prices will also be high.
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Dave Jr.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 01:59:56 PM »

Crab Slayer is right on.  It's going to be expensive this year even if we have plenty of crab out there.  The number #'s get sold off to Crab Houses and restaurants and people will pay to have their crabs.  Get down to the dock and make a friend or get out there and catch all you can.  I'm not paying those prices again.
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Felinis
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 04:43:12 PM »

$139/bushel of large at Breezy Point Seafood, Rosedale (Baltimore), MD 410-574-7222
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JBCrabber
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2005, 04:58:53 AM »

Well, I hope everyone will be satisfied with market conditions on crabs this year. As for me, I only purchase when I need a fix and I can't get out and fend for myself. As far as $200.00 a bushel, that's crazy. Early season crabs prices are always higher but as soon as supply picks up, prices always come down. I made one call yesterday to a water community on the Eastern Shore. They told me that they just received local crabs. Bushel of #1 crabs $155.00. I'm sure I can find them a little less expensive if I try.
All of a sudden I'm losing my desire for crabs this weekend Sad Maybe I'll make another call or two before I call it over.
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procrabber
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2005, 06:23:04 PM »

from me. pick them up saturday nights near the stadium in b-more.  110 a bushel for next week, while supplies last... caught same day
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JBCrabber
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2005, 09:31:20 PM »

Procrabber, Thanks for the good reeport for those who still need to purchase. $110.00 is far better than $200.00
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hollowbob
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2005, 09:27:31 PM »

Procrabber, seems like you have a decent price, do you usually have crabs every saturday for the summer? Only sat? do you have a business # or email I can get you at to see what you have available next time I need a bushel? Is it a mixed bushel?  Thanx!
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procrabber
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 06:19:08 AM »

crabs are 5" and up, all hard males. i do not pick out the large crabs. last week about 1/3 were above 6" I only got a bushel last week.  I will base my price directly on wholesale price + making it worth my time driving.  the wholesale price is very high right now, so my price will change through the year.   I hope to go all summer saturdays and maybe one day over the week. 
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rj
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2005, 07:43:54 AM »

When buying crabs there is more than price to consider.  I see mention of $90 for 1/2 bu "mediums"  and $104 for "large",,however no one except Procrabber makes mention of size (inches) and quality,,,many retailers no longer sell "small" crabs,,what was formerly a "small" is now a "medium"  since no one wants to pay $90 a 1/2 bu for "small"..one retailers "large" is annother retailer's "medium"...one retailers "Extra Large" is annother's "Extra Jumbo"  (more$$$ for the same crab)
also some retailers make up their own description of #1 

For a #1 crab I expect them to be at least 5 3/4'' and heavy (fat),,any smaller than this but still heavy is a #2,, and that is how I cull my catch.
White crabs are sold as "culls"  If they are kept at all,(I get occasional requests for white crabs) and females are not graded for size.
(yes I keep females,I have customers that will not buy a male crab)

when my #1 baskets go to the retailer they are opened and re-sorted for size    they now become ,,small,med,large,ex-large,jumbo,extra jumbo,collossal,and last year for the first time, I saw the size 'monsters'' @ $99 a doz in a restaurant,
Bottom line--for the money that you are spending ,don't be affraid to ask,
What size am i getting? (inches,not med,large,etc) are they ALL #1 or #2 and heavy?   


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procrabber
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2005, 08:21:59 AM »

I see mention of $90 for 1/2 bu "mediums"  and $104 for "large",,however no one except Procrabber makes mention of size (inches) and quality



this is because the buyer is getting ripped off! and the crabber is getting shortchanged.  once i get a good market for my crabs, i want to start helping others sell the crabs for more off the boat and less (and honsetly) to the retailer

while we are at it, if you buy a bushel of crabs and want them steamed, buy the crabs, ask to see them, and ask that they are steamed IN THE BASKET!!!

what is done to rip you off more is that the crabs are taken out of the basket and steamed, and placed back in the basket.  you can skim %10 of the crabs this way, since you can fit fewer in the basket after they have been steamed
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crabologist
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2005, 08:30:41 AM »

Very good advice procrabber . Most people don't think to ask any questions , especially if they think they're getting a DEAL !!
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2005, 09:11:22 AM »

Yup, all good advice and insight on what goes on at the retail level, Mark. It's been a reeeeeel pet peeve of mine how the working man AND the customers get the shaft while the middleman is lining his pockets. Unfortunately, most people don't know any better and get taken to the cleaners. It's the American way.  Angry I'd much rather pay the working man directly - that way he gets a few more bucks and I save a few bucks. Good Luck on your business venture, a co-op is a great idea!  Cool
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Crabslayer
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2005, 09:33:43 AM »

You have to keep in mind that not ALL waterman sell their catch at the reatail level or want the hassle, hence they sell to a middle man who may supply many places.  Most on the eastern shore especially at the county docks are met by buyers who buy right off the boats.  They don't want the hassle of spending the rest of the day selling there catch when their day may have already started at 1-2 AM.  They still have there equipment to tend to and have to prepare for the next morning and many are doing it six days a week.  It's a long day.
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