I have adapted this to the finest crab in the world - the inimitable Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, 'beautiful swimmers'. Nothing compares to their rich unctuous, mildly sweet, faintly briny, "ocean" flavor - nor to their absolute pugnacity & resoluteness in standing their ground. Insist your blue crabs are alive & fighting - they deteriorate rapidly when they expire (never fall for "they're just slow from the cold" - don't buy seafood from anyone who uses that line!).
Atlantic blue crabs have suffered terrible population declines in the past 20 years - they seem to be making a comeback here in the past 2 to 3. We love going crabbing & using handlines while the traps sit through a tide n deeper water through a high tide.
A wonderful book about our crabs is "Beautiful Swimmers - Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay" by William W. Warner. I can't recommend this book highly enough. A most excellent summer read; oh & nice to know who you're eating.
Serve al fresco with newspaper tablecloth, large pasta bowls if available, steamed rice, steamed Chinese broccoli or green beans, cucumber shavings in rice wine vinegar and a light bubbly ice cold beer.