|Published:||Oct 15, 2013 6:33 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 15, 2013 6:42 PM EDT|
PINE ISLAND, Fla.- It's a day that can be described as the "Super Bowl" for crabbers. Stone crab season is officially underway. Starting tonight restaurants like "Pinchers" will serve up the delicacy, but this year's off to a slow start. However, fishermen say it's not necessarily a sign of what the rest of the season
"Today was a real big day for everyone just to get it started, whether it was a good day or a bad day," said fisherman Joseph Williamson.
A Florida delicacy is back on the menu of Pinchers restaurant.
"It's exciting, people wait, I mean they are going through five months of not having them, so there is a lot of people that will be lined up at the restaurants wanting them," said Owner and President of Island Crab Jeff Haugland.
However, in the wake of a poor crab season, local crabbers are hoping this season will rebound. Island Crab put six boats out in the water to pull 2,000 traps, but on the first official day of stone crab season, only 500 pounds was brought onshore.
"The last two seasons have been pretty rough and apparently this year isn't looking a whole lot better, it doesn't seem like there is a whole lot of crab out there," said Haugland.
We're told the amount of stone crabs lifted from the traps is not enough for fishermen to make a profit.
"It will be about three weeks before you can cover your expenses of putting the gear in the water, but we still have time, I mean we have seven months of this," said Williamson.
They say a little bad weather is needed to help stir up the ocean floor.
"A lot of it depends on the weather, get some bad weather, get things muddied up a bit and the crab will start crabbing."
In the meantime, crabbers are working with what they caught, and making sure it's distributed just in time for dinner.
"We are hopeful, we are hoping we didn't hit three bad ones in a row, but it's still early to tell."
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