Good Catch prioritizes local seafood because we know that short and transparent supply chains are good for both our communities and oceans. But what is the most sustainable way of getting fish on your dinner plate? Catching it yourself! This is called subsistence fishing and it is the backbone to the historic foodways of Charleston. On this note, we are pleased to introduce you to one of our newest Good Catch partners: Tia Clark, The Casual Crabber!
Tia Clark is a Charleston, South Carolina native, and the host of the Airbnb Experience, “Let’s Go Crabbing,” an immersive experience that allows guests to practice the art of crabbing. In 2018, Tia’s experience was recognized as one of Airbnb’s best in the world. We caught up with Tia to learn more about her history with crabbing.
Tell us more about Casual Crabbing with Tia.
It’s an experience that I lead here in my hometown where I get to teach folks about my beloved blue crab and how to catch them to eat; they are so delicious along with being very interesting and beautiful at the same time. Casual Crabbing with Tia is my gift that I get to share with the world. Guests come crabbing with me for 2 ½ hours, and any legal sized catches they are allowed to take away with them.
Why is crabbing important to you?
Crabbing is so special to me because it has changed my life in so many ways and has put me on the path of this life changing journey. Crabbing has helped me to get my physical and mental health to the best place that it’s ever been in my life. I’ve lost over 100 pounds by changing my diet and adding crabbing into my life. It’s taught me life lessons and helped me to knock down some of the walls I had up to keep the world out. I was burnt out on people and was keeping everyone and everything happy and positive out of my life. My life used to be about drinking and working, and now it’s all crabs; I’m happier than I have ever been.
What makes the experience that you offer your guests unique?
My experience gives my guests a deeper connection to the Lowcountry because they visited Charleston and can leave saying that they had an experience that connected them to where they just visited. Anyone 16 and up that takes my experience purchases a recreational saltwater fishing license. This goes directly towards the protection of South Carolina coastal resources. I take pride in giving a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. My health journey led me to the dock and I share a lot of my personal journey which builds an unbelievable bond with my guests.
What is one thing you want people to know about crabbing?
ANYONE can go crabbing. I encourage everyone to go. It’s such a special unique experience that I am trying to share with the world. My guests say stuff like “I never knew I needed to go crabbing until today” or “I didn’t know what to expect and this far exceeded my expectations.” Crabbing speaks for itself and I just lead folks to the experience I had when I fell in love with crabbing. We haven’t had a bad time yet. I have taken small groups, large groups, kids on school outings, corporate groups and worked with nonprofits in the community. I’ve even taught a gentleman in the wheelchair how to throw the cast net. I welcome everyone on the dock with me.
What do you want your guests to take away from this experience?
I hope my guests walk away with a love and respect for my beloved blues. I want them to feel like they have learned a new skill that they can pass on and a bond with the saltwater like the one I have now. Have you ever had the situation where you feel like you know a secret and you want to share it with everyone? That’s what this is like for me. I feel like everyone in the world needs this experience that I’ve built on the dock. Since I have 100% success so far with 320 five-star reviews, I am taking it as a personal challenge to find a person who doesn’t enjoy this experience. I want everyone leaving here talking about the time we had on the dock and I just want everyone to have fun. I love this job and feel grateful that I have this opportunity to represent for my hometown.