November was very kind to us after the first real cold front of the year and gave us a 75 degree day for our outing. We left the marina with a crew of 20 in the Boston Whaler Vantage 270 and Sea Ray 270 and headed out to Joe and Jay Mahoney’s oyster farm down by Trail’s End.
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Really interesting operation. We learned how the oysters begin as “seed” which is the size of a pencil eraser. After beginning their lives in mesh bags, they are transferred to wire cages where they grow until ready for market.
This is an easy fishery to support because not only is it sustainable, the oysters actually clean the water as they grow keeping the Masonboro Reserve area pristine for future generations. And because of the ideal growth conditions, farmed oysters can be ready for market within a year while their counterparts that grow naturally can take over twice that time. Much thanks to Joe and Jay Mahoney for giving this great tour.
Earlier in the week we had baited some crab pots that we picked up on the way in. Some people are surprised to learn that November and early December are actually the best time to go crabbing. As they prepare to burrow and hibernate for the winter, blue crabs essentially gorge themselves to prepare for the coming inactivity which means not only are they hungry and easy to catch but absolutely packed full of meat!
We ended up with 6 dozen crabs in our 8 pots including a couple of HUGE stone crabs
Oyster Farmers Jay and Joe Mahoney and Boat Club Member Elizabeth Gardner
We had a great crew of crab pickers and spent the next couple hours thinning out the monster pile of blue crabs on the table. We are truly fortunate to have such great fisheries right in our back yard. Thanks to everyone who came out and made this excursion another success. Stay tuned, once the water cools a bit more it will be the perfect time to wait for a low tide and gather oysters! See you all next time.
If you have an interest in doing this as a private event, give us a call! (910) 256-0638