Whether an experienced pro or a first timer, rock pooling is something any age can get involved with and enjoy and summer is the ideal time to head over to the beautiful beaches boasted by our coastline. If you have a little patience and visit at low tide and calmish waters, you are almost certain to discover a beautiful teeming haven of fish, crabs, anemones and other crustaceans.
Head to the golden sands at Lowestoft at low tide and you will often find pools left by the departing sea, both along the sea shore and around the groynes; in fact, as the sea heads out, the groynes are a great place to base yourself and your bucket. The key is to look in fairly sheltered places, Piers and pontoons and the underside of hanging boulders can also provide rich pickings.
There's lots of flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shores of Bawdsey, and the wooden groyne posts are often the habitat for many a crab. Don’t be afraid to get your hands slimy by picking across the seaweed as a lot of creatures will hide underneath to have a snooze! Look out for bubbling airholes coming out of the sand as this may indicate a crab who has burrowed down – you can scoop him out gently. Another reason to be prepared to get your hands wet and a bit slimy is because it’s much better for the critters to pick them up by hand (albeit very carefully) than using a net which could cause harm to some of these delicate creatures.
Here you could easily be fortunate enough to find starfish (possibly hidden under rocks), winkles, common prawn and anemones. If the tide is coming in, work your way inland along with it – if you see any fish, they may well be gobys, blennys or butterfish.
What about the crabs, I hear you ask… For many, crabbing is the very essence of the perfect summer pursuit – a simple and cheap outdoor pleasure popular with both locals and visitors alike. In fact, crabbing is such a traditionally popular Suffolk pastime that until a few years ago, The British Open Crabbing Championships were held in the village of Walberswick. For optimum crabbing, find a spot in the harbour or hop across the water on the Walberswick Ferry and perch on the harbour wall at Southwold for an authentic Suffolk summer experience!