John Edwards of Linda Brand Crab was born and raised in Portland. Initially, he was drawn to the sea to troll salmon and only got into crabbing to carry him through the winter until salmon season began again. He has been crabbing since 1974 and under the Linda Brand Crab name for about 10 years.
John chose his location of Chinook, Washington because the port is close to the ocean, saving him both time and fuel and shortening his commute. This is crucial for a job with hours that vary with the tide. John’s day may start anywhere between midnight and 8:00 am, depending on the tide tables. His home in Chinook is just across the border from Oregon in Washington, and John has licenses to fish both waters.
A crab fisherman is as good as his boat, and the F/V Linda has been good to John and his wife Ruby. Built in 1947, the F/V Linda is solidly constructed and, like other boats from the 1930s and 40s, has outlasted many boats built since. Over the years, the motor has been replaced and the hull refastened, but the boat still carries its original name. It is considered bad luck to change the name of a boat once it is named and documented and the F/V Linda is no exception.
Weather is the biggest obstacle that John and Ruby face in their line of work. The hurricane-force winds that hit the coast in December of last year were particularly brutal. The crabbing had been strong before the storm, but the arrival of the powerful gale forced the fisherman to shore for days and left many crab traps damaged, carried up to 30 miles away or lost entirely.
Through foul weather and fair, John is proud of the team of fishermen he works with to bring their customers the best of the best. At the Linda Brand Crab stand, you will not only find John and Ruby’s crab, but Jim’s salmon, Robby’s black cod and Ernie’s clams. This collaborative of Chinook fishermen supports each other and enables them to provide their customers with a wide array of quality products.
Linda Brand Crab sells their products at six weekend farmers’ markets in the Portland metro area, including the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. They also have a small retail location in the tiny building that houses their commercial kitchen in Chinook.