Fishermen returning to Bodega Bay on Wednesday reported large catches and above-average crab.

"It appears to be real good right now, we don't know how long it will hold up," said Tony Anello, who has three boats and runs the Sonoma Crab Shack. "We have smaller boats with 3,000 to 4,000 pounds per boat. The bulk of the fleet will come in tomorrow or the next day."

Anello said the crabs look above average, soothing the concerns of many of the crab fishermen who delayed the Sunday opening of the commercial season.

Fish processors and fishermen had agreed Saturday to a price of $1.75 a pound, but both were concerned the crabs caught by sport fishermen and in early sampling were too skinny.

Wednesday, the day after fishermen began setting the pots, returning boats were packed and processors were hurriedly unloading crab.

"You can't believe how busy we are," said Rich Franceschi, manager of Paisano Brothers in Bodega Bay.

-- Bob Norberg