The Premium Crab
October 21, 2015
At Coveside Crabs, we grade crabs into three categories: #1 Males, #2 Males, and #3 Females. The crew of the “Island Girl” culls the crabs before docking to insure that EVERY crab is of PREMIUM quality and meets exact sizing to our highest standards. #1 Males are a minimum of 6 inches and go up in size. The largest crabs are generally the fall crabs, the ones caught after Labor Day. #2 Males are measured between 5 ¼” – 5 7/8”. By Maryland law, we can catch 5” crabs until mid-July. We never keep any crab below 5 ¼”. We leave these in the bay to catch another day. Here, at Coveside, there is NO difference in QUALITY between #1 and#2 crabs; it is simply a matter of size. Our #3 crabs are female crabs that are of mixed size, but all meet our premium standard. Our soft-shelled crabs are priced by size and all are removed from our tanks within 2 hours of sloughing to assure pristine quality. There is no industry standard for grading hard crabs. For instance, a crab that is graded "large" in the lower Chesapeake Bay region would be graded "medium" in the upper regions. Use the following guide as a general rule if you choose to purchase crabs at another location (But, Why would you???):
- Colossal - Hard crab measuring 6 ½ inches or more.
- Jumbo - Hard crab measuring 6 to 6 1/2
- Large - Hard crab measuring 5 ½ to 6 inches in size
- Medium - Hard crab measuring 5 to 5½ inches in size
- Small- Hard crab measuring 4 1/2 to 5 inches in size, usually females.