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Creature Feature: Off-the-Chart Blue Crab

Nine-and-a half-incher sets an unofficial record

Waterman Steve Smith and wife Barbara with the 9.5" blue crab he pulled from the Bay — “the biggest crab I’ve ever seen,” he said.

         The minimum keepable size for Atlantic blue crabs is five to five and one-quarter inches, depending on the season. Crabs that size are ranked as smalls. Mediums range up to six inches, large six and a half and jumbo up to seven. Crabs seven inches and up are ranked as behemoths, also called heavyweights or whales. 

         So what do you call a blue crab measuring nine and one half inches tip to tip?

         Fairhaven crabber Steve Smith called it “the biggest crab I’ve ever seen.”

         Crabber Dave Watts agreed. The biggest he’d ever seen or caught was eight and a half inches tip to tip. Together, the two watermen have logged a century of crabbing.

         Smith caught it in the midst of shedding. So, if he resisted marketing it, that giant could grow still bigger. 

–Sandra Olivetti Martin