Bodega Bay boats set out for Dungeness crab along Sonoma Coast

The full force and focus of the West Coast crabbing fleet has turned on the waters off Sonoma County, where newly opened fishing grounds are expected to yield the next crop of holiday Dungeness crab. Local fishing vessels left docks in droves before dawn Friday to start setting traps in a fishery whose bounty has made the sweet, succulent crustaceans an important cash crop around the North Coast. Boats from around California, as well as Oregon and Washington, where the crab seasons have been delayed, have also joined in the latest opening, making for crowded, derby-style action that gives the advantage to the very biggest boats, crabbers say. “I’ve never seen this many boats and this much gear north of Point Reyes,” Windsor crabber Ben Platt said by phone Friday off the Sonoma Coast as he deployed traps earlier set in Half Moon Bay, where he started the season. 11 great images, read the story here 08:30