Have you ever wondered what happens inside crab pots when they’re underwater? 

Fortuna resident Robert Wall decided to find out.

“We saw a nice break in the weather on Saturday and decided to go out,” the local sport crabber told the Outpost. “My friend John said we should put a GoPro in one of the pots. Honestly, I was just curious and wanted to see what goes on down there.”

So they zip-tied the little camera to the inside of the cage, loaded some herring and chicken in there for bait and pressed record. The footage they later pulled up with their hard-shelled catch shows the cage quickly sinking to the bottom of Humboldt Bay, kicking up a plume of sediment as it lands.

Before the silt has settled, the shadows of hungry Dungeness descend, their claws and legs clattering against the bars of the metal grate.

“I didn’t expect the crab to be at the pot in under 30 seconds,” Wall said. “It gets pretty crazy down there.”

The video — which switches from regular speed to slow-mo, then time-lapse, then back to regular speed — shows an all-out feeding frenzy as the ten-legged crustaceans scuttle up to the bait and start tearing off hunks, using their claws to shove meaty morsels into their little crab mouths. (Make sure you have the sound on when you watch.)

After several years of shortened seasons due to high levels of domoic acid detected in the meat, the commercial and sport crab fishing seasons are now in full swing. 

“It has been really good for us sport crabbers,” Wall said, adding, “They are delicious this year.”