Blue Crab Resources

Each section is listed alphabetically by title

Books, Non-Fiction, Blue Crab Related


All About Blue Crabs and How to Catch Them

By Russell Roberts
Published by Centennial Publishers
Copyright ©1993, ISBN 1-882418-07-7

"Russell Roberts is a writer and crabber, although he has found it impossible to do both simultaneously! Taught by his grandfather how to crab at a very early age, this New Jersey resident has never lost his love of the sea and its creatures. His articles and short stories have appeared in over 75 national publications."

Highly Recommended

Beautiful Swimmers

By William W. Warner
Published by Back Bay Books
Copyright ©1976, 1994, ISBN 0-316-92326-5

"For almost two decades, William Warner's Pulitzer Prize-winning exploration of the Atlantic blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay has delighted thousands of readers and become a modern American classic. In these pages we are immersed not only in the world of the Chesapeake's most intriguing crustaceans, but in the winds and tides of the Bay itself and the struggles of the watermen who make their living in pursuit of the succulent, pugnacious blue crab.

Webmaster's Note: This book is an absolute "must read" for any crab aficionado!

Highly Recommended

Blue Crabs: Catch 'em, Cook 'em, Eat 'em

By Peter Meyer
Published by Avian-Cetacean Press
Copyright ©2003, ISBN 0-9628186-3-1

"A practical and entertaining guide for persons interested in blue crabs. The book is intended to be used and understood by the lay public. Significant effort, nevertheless, has been made to provide scientifically accurate information within the text."

Webmaster's Note: Peter has done a fine job with this book and provides a great deal of valuable information regarding the blue crab.

Catching & Feasting on Blue Crabs

By Rich Faler
Published by Beaver Pond Publishing
Copyright ©1995, ISBN 1-881399-11-7

"No saltwater creature gives as much pleasure, profit and good eating along North America's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts than the blue crab. The purpose of this book is not to be a complete work on this prolific creature. Rather, this book is a tool. Many old hands at blue crabbing might learn a new twist or two from this book. I sincerely hope so. The main thrust of this book, however, is to the weekend crabber of the newcomer to the pursuit."

Chesapeake Legacy: Tools & Traditions

By Larry S. Chowning
Published by Tidewater Publishers
Copyright ©1995, ISBN 0-87033-462-X

"In the years since Larry Chowning's book, Harvesting the Chesapeake: Tools and Traditions, was published, the author has fielded many questions from readers about why he didn't include a particular fishery or tradition in his collection. To answer those requests, Chowning has created this second volume relating to the fisheries in his continuing effort to document the heritage of the Chesapeake Bay."

Webmaster's Note: This book contains only one chapter related to catching blue crabs. Nonetheless, it is still a good book and worth reading.


The Compleat Crab & Lobster Book

By Christopher R. Reaske
Published by Burford Books, Inc.
Copyright ©1989, 1999, ISBN 1-58080-027-0

"The Compleat Crab & Lobster Book features detailed instructions for trapping the feisty blue crab, with cooking, opening, and picking techniques and a wealth of recipes. Natural history and lore on crabs will satisfy all lovers of these engaging creatures. Then on to lobsters: how to cook, how to eat, and plenty of lobster-lore as well. The Compleat Crab & Lobster Book is a comprehensive guide from water to table."

Webmaster's Note: This book is very comprehensive and contains lots of good information about blue crabs and catching them. It also contains some good recipes.

Follow The Water

By Varley Lang
Published by John F. Blair
Copyright ©1961, Out of Print

"Depending on the season, the watermen of the Chesapeake Bay may be tongers or clammers or hard crabbers, they may eel or fish, but their common purpose is to get food out the water. They have a specialized knowledge of the habits of the mollusks, crabs, and fish they seek and a great deal of skill in using a waterman's gear: oyster rakes and nippers, gill nets, eel pots, trot lines, and dipnets. Because of the author's own bent, the greater part of this book is devoted to oysters, clams, eels, crabs, and the business of catching them, but fishing, boats, and hunting also come under Dr. Lang's easy scrutiny."

Highly Recommended

Harvesting the Chesapeake: Tools and Traditions

By Larry S. Chowning
Published by Tidewater Publishers
Copyright ©1990, ISBN 0-87033-407-7

"Larry Chowning, a reporter from Urbanna, Virginia, has painted this vivid picture of the [Chesapeake] Bay's fisheries from both historical materials and oral history. His unique blend of these two sources makes the book a valuable resource for those studying the gear and operation of the Bay's fisheries, as well as entertaining reading for those who love the lore of the Bay region."

Webmaster's Note: An excellent book containing lots of information about catching (harvesting) blue crabs. Also contains chapters with detailed, step-by-step, instructions for making a crabpot and dipnet.

Highly Recommended

How To Catch A Crab

By William Randolph Poppke
Published by Stein and Day
Copyright ©1976, ISBN 0-8128-2248-X or 0-8128-2249-8 (paperback)

"As a sportsman and adventurer, William Randolph Poppke has crabbed on the West Coast from California to Alaska and on the East Coast from New York to Florida."

"Covers crabs and crabbing from A to Z." - Bill Burton, Baltimore Sun

Webmaster's Note: An excellent book! Packed full of useful information.

Highly Recommended

How To Catch Crabs By The Bushel

By Jim Capossela
Published by Stackpole Books and Northeast Sportsman's Press
Copyright ©1981, ISBN 0-8117-4023-4

"Learn about the secrets of the mysterious Blue Claw. Learn about some of the many quirks of crabs and crabbing. Invaluable tips. Learn how to catch crabs. Covers all popular methods. Learn where to find crabs, and especially, where to find more crabs. Learn how to keep, clean, and freeze crabs. Learn how to cook up a true gourmet feast! Includes cooking tips and dozens of crab recipes."

Webmaster's Note: A good book packed with lots of useful information.


An Island out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake

By Tom Horton
Published by Vintage Books
Copyright ©1996, ISBN 0-679-78105-6

"Smith Island is a marshy archipelago in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Although it is only nine miles from the mainland, its 150 watermen and their families live much as their ancestors did 300 years ago, exquisitely attuned to the habits of blue crab, oyster, and waterfowl, knowing that on any given day their lives literally depend on which way the wind is blowing. Tom Horton spent nearly three years on Smith Island. An Island out of Time gives us an intimate portrait of a deeply traditional community that is on the verge of vanishing."

Secrets of Potfishing

By Ed Ricciuti
Published by Hancock House
Copyright ©1982, ISBN 0-88839-085-8

"Dedicated 'To Good Eating,' this informative handbook reveals the secrets of fishing for lobsters, crabs, and the good-tasting sea-snails variously known as conches, whelks and winkles. Lively illustrations add an amusing twist to the wealth of detail. Each shellfish is introduced, placed in context according to lifestyle and habitat, and the betrayed - favorite baits, successful traps (and how to make them), and, as a final insult, best recipes. But the outrage of the intended victims will go unnoticed beside the delight of the lucky pot fisherman who can turn the author's years of experience to advantage."

Successful Crabbing

By Ernest J. Cottrell, Frank L. Mellaci, John B. Cottrell
Published by International Marine Publishing Company
Copyright ©1976, ISBN 0-87742-069-6

"Do you know how to distinguish a male crab from a female? How to recognize a shedder crab? How many eggs a female lays in her lifetime? How to catch crabs? How to cook crabs? These questions and many more are answered in Successful Grabbing. Successful Crabbing starts, logically, by detailing the entire life cycle of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, which primarily inhabits Atlantic coastal bays and estuaries from Canada to Argentina. Illustrations of the blue crab in its various stages of growth accompany the text. The catching of crabs forms the core of the book - and you will learn four different ways to catch hard-shell crabs and three ways to catch soft-shell crabs."

Sunup to Sundown: Watermen of the Chesapeake

By Mick Blackistone
Published by Blue Crab Press
Copyright ©1998, ISBN 0-9627726-2-3

"Sunup to Sundown: Watermen of the Chesapeake presents a year in the life of Maryland watermen. Songs, poetry, essays, and interviews express their feelings and ideas about living and working on the Chesapeake Bay. Along with the stirring photographs of them working, playing, and sharing with their families that appear throughout, the simple artistry of their expression evokes an existence rich in natural rewards.


Books, Pictorials, Blue Crab Related

Highly Recommended

The Watermen of the Chesapeake Bay

By John Hurt Whitehead III
Published by Tidewater Publishers
Copyright ©1979, ISBN 0-87033-374-7

"This is one of the few picture books I've seen where the 'cutlines' are as good as the pictures. Whitehead has an ear for picturesque speech as well as an eye for beauty... And you'll go a long way to match these pictures" -Guy Friddell, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

"By adding the words of his subjects to the strikingly vibrant photographs, Whitehead has captured the gentle wisdom and beautiful humor of the Chesapeake Bay watermen." -Bill Sanderling, Eastern Shore News

Webmaster's Note: This book contains stunning photographs of Chesapeake Bay watermen, blue crabs, and much more. Any Chesapeake Bay aficionado would be proud to have this displayed on their coffee table!


Books, Crab Cookbooks

The Art of Catching & Cooking Crabs

By Lynette L. Walther
Published by William H. McCauley, Publications & Imports
Copyright ©1983, ISBN 0-911145-07-9

"It used to be that crab lovers had to venture to Maryland, Massachusetts, or Florida to taste this delicious seafood. But now that crabs have become more widely available, millions across the country are looking for ways to enjoy them. The Art of Catching & Cooking Crabs features an exceptional array of crab recipes. Included are instructions for delicious appetizers, salads, sandwiches, soups, and numerous main dish selections. And for those fortunate enough to live in coastal regions, this guide explains the fine points of crabbing."

Webmaster's Note: Aside from recipes, this book contains good information on catching crabs and also contains a chapter with detailed, step-by-step, instructions for making a crabpot.

Blue Crab Cookbook

By Sharon E. Buck
Published by Ouroboros Publishing
Copyright ©2004, ISBN 0-9716467-9-1

"It was one of those perfect summer nights where the full moon shone brightly on the picnic table filled with steamed blue crabs. Sharon E. Buck and Jonnie Church Kalmback, both Palatka, Florida natives, were sitting around chomping down on the delicious blue crabs when a brilliant idea struck. Sharon and Jonnie swear that the blue crabs all jumped off the table and started making fun of all cooks everywhere. Thus was born their desire to publish a cookbook and get back at the crabs, showing them who the bosses are!"

Visit the author's website at

Webmaster's Note: 64 pages in length, this cookbook contains some good recipes. The "It's a Guy Thing" crab muffin appetizer recipe is simple yet delicious.

The Chesapeake Bay Crab Cookbook

By John Shields
Published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
Copyright ©1992, ISBN 0-201-56762-8

"Spicy steamed crabs, crab cakes, and all manner of crab fare are synonymous with the long, lazy, days of summer - particularly along the Eastern seaboard. Here, in The Chesapeake Bay Crab Cookbook, John Shields provides more than eighty mouthwatering recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, chowders, and main dishes as well as all the information you could possibly need about buying and cleaning both hard- and soft-shell crabs. This treasure chest of crab lore is packed with signature dishes like Charm City Crab Imperial, Deviled Crab, and Gertie's Crab Cakes as well as those that reflect the Bay's ethnic diversity such as Blue Crab Gumbo, Crab Cakes Creole, and Crabmeat Pasticcio."

Webmaster's Note: Lots of good recipes, plus some good general information about blue crabs.

Highly Recommended

The Chesapeake Bay Crabbiest Cookbook

By Whitey Schmidt
Published by Marian Hartnett Press
Copyright ©2000, ISBN 0-9613008-5-X

Dubbed the "Blue Crab Guru" by Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Whitey Schmidt presents 210 recipes that demonstrate the flavor and versatility of his lifelong favorite food—Crab.

Whitey Schmidt has been sharing his life-long love of crab with readers since 1985, when he published The Official Crab Eater's Guide. Now in his eighth book, The Chesapeake Bay Crabbiest Cookbook, he focuses entirely on the blue crab of his native Chesapeake Bay. This delicacy is considered by many to be the tastiest crab species in the world.

The 210 recipes included in this book serve up imaginative ways to prepare this succulent seafood, such as shrimp and crab stew, crab and cheese soufflé, scalloped crab, and crab bake. All are as fun to read as to cook, accompanied as they are by Whitey's comments about the dishes or by stories about their background. And who could resist such chapter titles as "Crabba-dabba-do?"

Visit Whitey's website at

Webmaster's Note: An excellent book filled with great recipes and plenty of crab lore. A "must have" for any blue crab connoisseur!


The Crab Cookbook

By Whitey Schmidt
Published by Marian Hartnett Press
Copyright ©1990, ISBN 0-9613008-8-4

"From the author of the best-selling The Official Crab Eater's Guide and A Guide to Chesapeake Seafood Dining/Bayside Views to Dine By, comes The Crab Cookbook, a wonderful collection of hundreds of delicious and elegant ways to prepare crab. There are recipes for every variety of crab you may want to serve, from the popular blue crab, stone crab claws, Dungeness crab, to Alaskan king crab legs. The impressive array of memorable meals features entrees from formal grilled dinners to casual summer fare."

Visit Whitey's website at

The Crab Cookbook: How to Catch and Cook Crabs

By Cy and Pat Liberman
Published by Middle Atlantic Press
Copyright ©1978, 1998, ISBN 0-912608-96-X

"Every crab connoisseur relishes the pleasure of sitting down to a delectable meal of hard or soft shell crabs. Many, however, think crab is a dish best enjoyed in a restaurant, prepared by a trained chef. For the past twenty years, The Crab Cookbook: How to Catch and Cook Crabs has shown crab lovers that they need not be deprived of their favorite food in their own homes. Now, in this revised and expanded edition, the authors make it even easier to experienced and amateur crab cooks - and eaters - to buy, prepare, and even catch their own crabs."

The Crab Lovers Book: Recipes & More

By Mary Ethelyn Orso
Published by University Press of Mississippi
Copyright ©1995, ISBN 0-87805-801-X

"For aficionados of one of the world's most delectable crustaceans and indispensable handbook chock full of lore, legends, and recipes. Whether you spend summers netting crabs along the coastline or relish them only in a stewpot of a favorite restaurant, this captivating book is sure to delight."

Cooking with Crab
Best-Loved Recipes and Menus From Chesapeake Bay Gourmet

By Margie Kauffman
Published by QVC Publishing, Inc.
Copyright ©2000, ISBN 1-928-99833-X

"Ron and Margie Kauffman of Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, makers of world-famous gourmet crab cakes, bring you a unique collection of over 100 delicious, easy-to-make recipes. Here are the basics of making crab cakes, plus a wonderful selection of other crab recipes such as Maryland Crab Soup Supreme, Crab Quesadillas with Mango Balsa and Asparagus and Crab Quiche. But it doesn't stop there! You'll also find a variety of other main courses, ranging from seafood to pasta to meats, plus Margie's favorite starters, sides, and even wonderful desserts like Peaches and Cream Casserole and Blueberry Shortcakes. She also includes a dozen menus for added inspiration. So go on and feast on today's hottest food trend with Chesapeake Bay Gourmet!"


Books, Non-Fiction, Chesapeake Bay

Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Second Edition

By Alice Jane Lippson & Robert L. Lippson
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press
Copyright ©1984, ISBN 0-8018-5476-8

"Published in 1984, the first edition of Life in the Chesapeake Bay became an instant classic, providing fascinating insights into some of the more than two thousand plants and animals that make their home in America's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Superbly illustrated and clearly written, this acclaimed field guide described the richly varied habitats found along the mid-Atlantic coast and cataloged more than three hundred species of fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants commonly found in the Chesapeake Bay and in coastal inlets from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod."