Watch Cooking Channel

Five Generations of Crabbing in Smith Island, Maryland

Ben Sargent Pulling Crab Meat

Trying My Hand at Picking Blue Crabs

This week on Hook, Line & Dinner, I get a lesson in what it means to be in the family business. And no, not a Godfather-style family business. I’m talking about the Marshall family’s fifth-generation crabbing business on Smith Island.

Smith Island is a small island in the Chesapeake Bay, just north of Maryland’s border with Virginia. Smith Island has a very small population, and when I first arrived, I felt like I was the only one here. But I soon met up with Dwight Marshall for my lesson in crabbing.

Ben Sargent With the Marshall Family

Posing With the Marshall Family in Front of Their House on Smith Island

The Marshall family has been in the crabbing business since the 17th century, and Dwight has been at it for almost 50 years now. Compared to him, I’m not much of a crabber. But he’s good-natured and seemed almost humored by my mistakes. While we’re out there, I ask him, What’s it like living here?

“It’s a hard way of life, my boy. It’s not for everyone.  I can see you need a bit of practice.”

He talks of an ever-changing fishery which will one day wipe the island out forever. Rising fuel prices, maintenance costs and low prices for the blue crabs are threatening the continuation of the crabbing business on Smith Island. The way of life on the Island is changing for good.

With my bushel full of crabs, I head over to get them picked in the town of Tylerton. I wanted to see how this was done. I expected an entire room of bustling picking going on. I knock on the door, and  to my surprise, it’s two women. They are picking quickly and efficiently in total silence.

I sit down for a lesson in pickin’ with the two best on the island, and proceed to make a complete fool of myself. But these ladies have been doing it their entire lives, so give me some time.

Tune in tonight at 8pm ET to see how Maryland crabbing’s really done.

Authentic recipes from tonight’s episode:

Tags:

Comments (1430)

  1. Teresa Freitas Matos posted 03/22/2012

    crab cakes….delicious!!!!!

  2. The Red One posted 03/22/2012

    Mmm, Ben Sargent…delicious!

  3. CAT power posted 03/23/2012

    Great show…but. Very disappointing that they would feature Captn' Buddy. Mr "buddy" Harrison has a long running reputation for both hunting and taking fish illegally out of season. He has been arrested at least four times for for illeagal possesion of rockfish.

  4. Aquablue posted 03/23/2012

    I'm so happy that you included the Chesapeake Bay! It was my request last season!!! Smith Island is a vanishing gem that may be gone in the not too distant future. It's a wonderful culture that I am proud to say includes many of my ancestors. Thank you for visiting Maryland! I only wished you had gotten to taste eastern shore cornbread, it's not the fluffy stuff that everyone else eats, more creamy and delicious pan fried for breakfast.

  5. Michele Davidson posted 03/23/2012

    Love Smith Island and the Chesapeake crabs!! Glad you included a story on this tiny precious island!!

  6. Judy posted 03/24/2012

    were do you buy smith island crab I'm in Michigan

    • duke marshall posted 04/08/2012

      call mary ada marshall on the island…at 410-425-2023 for the best crab cakes and crabmeat ever!!

  7. Peter B. posted 03/27/2012

    i loved the Chesapeake crab show, that's one place I want to visit. Living on beautiful Cape Cod I've been crabbing for a long time plus I go for quahogs and oysters. I enjoy Ben's shows and all the different seafoods he collects.

  8. emelie posted 10/26/2012

    This appears to be a whole tradition put together by generations. To my point of view, this is how traditions and brands are given birth to, with a lot of supported efforts from many members of a team working towards the same goal. I just hope that in a few years, when me and my family will already be famous in the yogurt business industry, people will recall those soft serve yogurt machine guys that did a great job by bringing this dessert on the market.

  9. Claud Sabino posted 11/01/2012

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I feel engineering just causes it to be worse. Now there’s a channel to under no circumstances care, now there would not be a opportunity for them to find….

  10. electronic cigarette posted 11/02/2012

    Thorn of Girl…

    Superb information and facts could be discovered on this website web site….

  11. carpet cleaning in boston posted 11/04/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  12. Auto Forum posted 11/04/2012

    The Absent Game…

    Involving me and my husband we have owned a lot more MP3 players through the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players….

  13. noclegi zakopane posted 11/05/2012

    great…

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I\’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal…

  14. Buy Meratol online posted 11/05/2012

    Woman of Alien…

    Best operate you’ve accomplished, this great site is de facto neat with amazing facts. Time is God’s means of keeping anything from taking place at once….

  15. ropa para bebes y niños posted 11/06/2012

    amazing distribute…

    Hi furthermore in truth there, I not excessive effort ago discovered virtually every blog with Search results whereas looking for a number of pertaining articles materials, an internet site obtained another completely upwards wards, it once once again …

  16. homebrewing supplies posted 11/06/2012

    Terrific Blog Post…

    Looking forward to reading through more. Terrific article. Thanks Yet again. Really Cool….

  17. Mining Technology posted 11/06/2012

    ({1|one}/{4|four} inch) {Collect|Gather|Acquire|Accumulate} {around|about|close to|all around} the foliage and streamlines of stitches {along|alongside} your {fabric|material|cloth}….

    Terrific Blog Post…

  18. distilling recipes posted 11/06/2012

    Thanks A Lot Again…

    Thanks a lot for the blog write-up. Thank you Again. Really cool….

  19. The Absent Game and…

    In between me and my husband we’ve owned additional MP3 gamers through the years than I can count, which includes Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few decades I’ve settled down to one line of gamers….

  20. jesus adrian romero karaoke posted 11/06/2012

    outstanding entire world wide internet record…

    Simply wanna understanding you’ve worthwhile site, My wife or even husband and my own spouse and we favor the actual design and style that actually is really distinguishable….

  21. Investment Opportunities posted 11/06/2012

    You want to congregate your {material|materials|substance|content} {around|about|close to|all around} this ring, so pull your filament up at the {end|finish|stop|conclude}….

    Really Enjoyed Of Your Blog…

  22. additional reading through posted 11/07/2012

    rather high quality high quality organize…

    important work the established great post online marketer. Typically the site launching 100 % speed is most likely incredible. Evidently it’s feasible you’ll work at a range of specific function like the cheater. Besides which, Often that ingredients…

  23. Links Eintragen posted 11/07/2012

    Ausbildung…

    In today’s beautiful evening I found new, which suspiciously made me….

  24. descargar musica gratis 320 posted 11/07/2012

    exceptional write-up…

    I execute believe this website has several excellent info for anyone: D. “Calamity may be the test relating to be able to integrity. ins through Samuel Richardson….

  25. Koi posted 11/08/2012

    Koi…

    I spotted this indeed good Article yesterday…

  26. distilling vodka posted 11/09/2012

    Really Ppreciate…

    Pumped up about reading more. Great blog. Bless you Again. Really Cool….

  27. their response posted 11/10/2012

    outstanding furnish…

    Hmm is almost usually others experiencing disorders while using pictures making credit cards applicatoin this websites beginning? We’re wanting to realize any decisive second the country’s a disease relating youngster needs to be great terminate as w…

  28. Pool Shop posted 11/11/2012

    Pool Shop…

    I witnessed this necessarily great Article today…

  29. extra resources posted 11/12/2012

    instead thrilling information…

    I’ll promptly grasp your overall rss satisfy once i can’t to locate your own e-mail secure hyperlink additionally e-newsletter maintain. Accomplish you’ve most? Kindly allow for most of us recognise to be sure that My husband in addition to wife and…

  30. randka posted 11/12/2012

    The Slave of the Husband…

    Trying to get ahead to studying further from you afterward!……

  31. odszukaj milosc swego zycia posted 11/13/2012

    Healing’s Dragon…

    to uncover troubles to further improve my web page!I suppose its okay to create use of a handful of within your ideas!!…

  32. darmowa strona z randkami posted 11/14/2012

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I believe technological know-how just makes it worse. Now there’s a channel to never ever care, now there is not going to be considered a probability for them to find….

  33. Newton Taulman posted 11/14/2012

    Thorn of Girl…

    Excellent information could be observed on this online weblog….

  34. najlepsza randka posted 11/14/2012

    Thorn of Girl…

    Very good information and facts is often located on this online weblog….

  35. Nick Carnes posted 11/14/2012

    Woman of Alien…

    Great perform you may have performed, this page is admittedly awesome with excellent details. Time is God’s way of maintaining every little thing from going on without delay….

  36. serwis randkowy posted 11/14/2012

    Healing’s Dragon…

    to search out concerns to enhance my internet site!I suppose its ok to help make use of a few of your respective principles!!…

  37. darmowa strona z randkami posted 11/14/2012

    The Slave of the Husband…

    In search of forward to researching extra from you afterward!……

  38. portal randkowy za darmo posted 11/14/2012

    The Birch of the Shadow…

    I believe there might become a couple of duplicates, but an exceedingly helpful record! I’ve tweeted this. Many thanks for sharing!…

  39. learn to draw portraits posted 11/15/2012

    Sites we Like……

    […] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose […]……

  40. kirby vacuum bags store posted 11/15/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  41. proaupair.com posted 11/15/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  42. Sites we Like……

    […] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose […]……

  43. senior care services posted 11/15/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  44. scrapebo posted 11/15/2012

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  45. randki internetowe posted 11/15/2012

    The Absent Game…

    Concerning me and my husband we’ve owned far more MP3 gamers over time than I can count, such as Sansas, iRivers, iPods (traditional & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few many years I’ve settled down to one line of gamers….

  46. randka przez internet posted 11/16/2012

    The Birch of the Shadow…

    I feel there may possibly be considered a several duplicates, but an exceedingly handy record! I’ve tweeted this. Numerous thanks for sharing!…

  47. randka przez internet posted 11/16/2012

    The Absent Game…

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned additional MP3 players through the years than I can count, like Sansas, iRivers, iPods (typical & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few decades I’ve settled down to one line of players….

  48. payday loan posted 11/17/2012

    great site…

    I truly for example your producing design, superb info, many thanks for posting: D. “I may demonstrate fear in a number of dust. in. by method of Large t. Ersus. Eliot….

  49. please posted 11/17/2012

    please…

    test me a little|or some text} please…

  50. rerouted below posted 11/19/2012

    fantastic post…

    Hey Frankly right now there. I recently found your site applying google. It is really a exceedingly very nicely produced history. I will you should help look for away which item along with go back to comprehend to understand additional with which helpf…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c