Fishing, crabbing, clamming spots at the head of the Chesapeake Bay?
April 16, 2006 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Found a good deal and we plan on visiting Maryland at the end of next month. I believe we are staying at what's considered the head of the Chesapeake Bay - Elke river??? Does anyone know where there might be any good clamming / crabbing spots or what fish we might catch? TIA! :)
posted by Jujee to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Eating blue crabs = yum!

Catching blue crabs = argh!

The estuaries of Chesapeake Bay are loaded with biting flies which can render an adult human completely bloodless within minutes. Bring a giant bottle of the most potent bug repellent you can find. It won't help - the flies don't seem to mind it - but at least you'll feel like you've done something.
posted by jellicle at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2006

I'm envious, Jujee. I spent a good amount of time on Maryland's eastern shore when I was in college and a few years afterward. If you're up for a drive, I can recommend a few places to visit in Kent County, to the south of where you'll be. My only experience in Cecil County is from making late-night runs to Elkton to print our campus publications.
posted by emelenjr at 1:29 PM on April 16, 2006

Catching crabs is fun :) If you're in the right spot, you just throw out a string with a hotdog or a chicken leg on the end, and wait for a tug. You pull it in very very slowly, and then use the net to catch it. It's a lot of work for not a whole lot of food, but it is fun :)
posted by empath at 2:47 PM on April 16, 2006

Can you tell us what town in particular you will be staying in? I can give better recommendations then.
posted by visual mechanic at 5:59 PM on April 16, 2006

jellicle - are the black flies around this time of year? *shiver*

emelenjr - sure, i'm open to suggestions in Kent County.

visual mechanic - i think the town is Elkton. TIA!
posted by Jujee at 7:10 PM on April 16, 2006

Ah, Elkton, home of the Cecil Whig. I spent many a long night in those offices. I'm not sure about crabbing around that area, though. If you strike out, you could always head north into Delaware for some tax-free shopping.

Or you could head south into Kent County, MD. Some ideas for you:

Rock Hall is a big crabbing town. You're bound to run into some watermen there, and the museum is pretty interesting to see, too. You'll be able to find some steamed crabs in a couple restaurants there, naturally.

As luck would have it, Monday is the kick off for celebrations of Chestertown's 300th anniversary. Various events on the calendar here. The Old Wharf Inn has some of the best cream of crab soup you'll ever find. (Lucy is no longer there, though.) They used to bring a little of pitcher of sherry to the table to add to your soup, too, but it's been a while since I last ate there so I don't know if that's still the case. Another restaurant to check out is the Feast of Reason.

There's a nice stretch of beach in Betterton, which I always thought was more fun to visit at night for a moonlight swim, but the locals never really appreciated those kinds of visits from the college kids.

Hope that helps.
posted by emelenjr at 8:51 PM on April 16, 2006

Thank you, emelenjr! That is a big help. If we were to go crabbing in Rock Hall, would you know of any good spots?

Another question - I've never been to this area before - how tolerant or intolerant is...hmm...racial diversity? I'm more concerned about our safety more so than whether anyone likes us. ;) We will be a mixed group traveling together.
posted by Jujee at 9:43 PM on April 16, 2006

I think you'll find Cecil and Kent County pretty tolerant places. To be honest, I used to hear about racial tensions in Kent County as well as white-supremacist groups along the MD-DE border in Cecil County (Rising Sun, MD, if I remember correctly) but I never saw any protests or evidence of hate crimes or the like. And as for Kent County, I think the college there in Chestertown is partly responsible for creating a pretty progressive environment.

I don't see any contact info for you, but feel free to e-mail my username at that free e-mail service run by Google. Take that, address harvesters.
posted by emelenjr at 4:15 AM on April 17, 2006

I think you'll find Cecil and Kent County pretty tolerant places.

Kent maybe, Cecil, not so much. It's getting better, but Cecil is the Alabama of Maryland (I grew up across the river in Harford). It's not unsafe, but I would stay out of dive bars. It may be kitschy and fun in the city, but it can get ugly in the hinterlands. Especially somewhere like Sweeny's, where they sell switchblades behind the bar.
posted by electroboy at 6:47 AM on April 17, 2006

I live in Elkton!

You won't be able to crab here, that's about an hour away. However, if you want somewhere very close by and BEAUTIFUL visit the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area, which is thousands of acres of protected land that surrounds the Elk River. Yes, you can fish there too, and there are numerous stone ruins that are great to explore.

Also, you're not far from PA and DE, and the White Clay Creek hiking and fishing areas.

Both of these creeks and rivers have lots of trout mostly, but the fishing is pretty good from what I've heard.

Also, you could have fun at Elk Neck State Park, near Northeast, Maryland, which is on the Cheasepeake.

For crabbing I would check out St. Micheals and Rock Hall on the Eastern Shore, but please be aware it is a long drive from Elkton. I think the whole "Gateway to the Cheasepeake" name is mostly marketing hype, sorry.
posted by visual mechanic at 4:58 PM on April 17, 2006

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