Attack of the Killer Crab

I had gone to Narrows Beach Park this morning.  It was a warm sunny morning with a gentle breeze and an ebbing tide. The young mothers with their children were already setting up blankets and chairs near the park exit to the beach.

I had walked  a good distance in the direction of Point Fosdick, then turned and began moving back to the parking lot – casting in the same direction as the ebb tide.  Stripping the line back presented the fly as a baitfish scurrying upstream.  Not much to be had in terms of searun cutthroat trout, but it was a good time for watching the fly cast and making corrections to improve its form.

At one point, I looked down and noticed a crab next to a rock. While not unusual, most of the crabs one sees are the carcasses of crabs that provide lunch for seabirds.  This was a medium sized red rock crab.

I stopped and watched it to see it was moving.

I gently bumped the rock and its claws immediately came up in a defensive position.

Not wanting to step on it, I bumped the rock again, anticipating it would move away.

That wasn’t even close to its reaction.

It came over the rock with its claws extended and began moving toward me. I knew I was in no danger as my wading boots were protective.

But I stepped quickly to the left,  assuming me moving away would eliminate the threat the crab felt and it would go back to sitting. But the crab turned and continued to come at me.

As I moved it continued coming for another foot or so – not much for me, but a good distance for the crab. This was no bluff charge – this was an attack.

That was the first time that had ever happened and it was a good reminder – what we see as recreation, animals in the wild see as life and death.

Author: Tom

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